If you or your spouse lost out on the first stimulus payment due to child support debt, you won’t have to worry about your second payment being garnished. Unfortunately, you still might not see that money anytime soon. It all depends on how you filed your 2019 tax return.
[NOTE: Despite the IRS stating directly on their site here that your stimulus check will not be offset by past-due child support, we have received several reports of that happening. We suggest that if this happens to you that you contact your Congressperson and complain, loudly. Be sure to point them to the IRS website where it states that your stimulus payment will not be offset.]
No Garnishment for Second Stimulus
According to the IRS website, the stimulus payment is protected from garnishment for all debts, including specifically child support arrears. This is a relief for parents who lost their last stimulus payment to the child support collection office, the DA’s office, or directly to their ex.
Payments for Those Who Didn’t File Taxes
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The IRS provides several avenues for distributing funds to people who don’t file taxes. If you didn’t use the Non-filers: Enter Payment Info Here tool or already receive services through Social Security Administration, Veteran Affairs, or Railroad Retirement Board, you can still get the stimulus by filing for the Recovery Rebate Credit on a 2020 tax return.
What if I don’t have to file taxes?
File a tax return anyway! You don’t need a job or income to file for tax credits.
Stimulus Checks Have Already Been Delivered
The IRS has claimed that all payments have been delivered at this time. You can check your payment status online here: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment Unfortunately, there were several problems with the delivery that threatened to hold the payments up.
Stimulus Delivery Problems and How to Solve Them
Due to a mistake, the IRS sent roughly 13 million stimulus payments to the wrong accounts, resulting in a mass of rejected payments. There was a lot of confusion at first. People were blaming tax preparation services like H&R Block and TurboTax instead of the government, but they clarified the problem on their website.
At first, the IRS directed people to file for the credit on their taxes as soon as possible. However, individuals whose payments were sent to tax preparers by mistake may still receive them. Many TurboTax customers received their payments on Friday while H&R Block users have reported more inconsistencies. Customers who do not receive or do not receive all of their stimulus payments must file for the tax credit.
If the IRS system says you’ve received a paper check, it may be a month before you receive the funds. If the payment was mailed to the wrong address, the IRS will not be issuing new payments. You will have to file for the tax credit.
The Good News
While your stimulus payment may be late, the good news is that it will be intact, with no garnishments.
Please let us know if you have already received it, or if you are someone who has had their 2021 stimulus payment held up for some reason.
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