Clarifications on the final Coronavirus Stimulus law
Updated: Mar 29, 2020
As a public service, I reviewed the final law that was finalized yesterday. I clarify the following:
1. The cash available under the law is NOT an advance. It need not be repaid. Rather, the taxpayer is considered to have made a tax payment in the amount due him/her, and this fictitious payment is refunded to him. So if you owe no US taxes in 2019, you get a “refund” for the money that you are considered to have paid. If you owe US taxes, you get a tax credit in the amount of the cash due you under the stimulus law.
2. Timeline for distributions. The Treasury/IRS shall allow no refund or credit after December 31, 2020.
3. Is filing a tax return required to receive the monetary relief? To receive relief, the person must have filed a 2018 or 2019 return The law requires Treasury/IRS to send relief to taxpayers who have filed a 2019 return. The law states that Treasury/IRS "may" look at 2018 returns in no 2019 is on file, but it may not be required to do so.
4. Delivery of payments. Treasury will distribute the “refund” to an existing authorized bank account or mailing address that the address provided by the taxpayer on its 2018 or 2019 tax return.
Nothing herein shall be deemed legal advise. Furthermore, the above text is subject to change.