What exactly is an Economic Impact Payment (EIP) Return?

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Apr 132020

Taxpayers who were not required and in fact, did not file a 2018 or 2019 Federal Income Tax return (under the filing threshold, etc.) and who did/do not receive Social Security Benefits must file a “simple” return in order to qualify for the Economic Impact Payment due to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. These “simple” returns are officially titled EIP returns.

All that is required is name, address, SSN, and date of birth of the taxpayer (and spouse, if filing jointly) and name and SSN of any dependents under the age of 17 (as well as relationship and number of months in home – students away from home and infants born on or before 12/31 are considered “in-home” for the entire year). Finally, banking information for direct deposit is needed. The return itself reports $1 of interest income (itself below the filing and taxation threshold, but sufficient to register as “income” for this purpose).

If you were not required to file and did not for 2018 or 2019, but do receive Social Security benefits, there is no need to file this “simple” return to ensure qualification for the Economic Impact Payment.

Hint: Kids living at home, 17 years of age or older, who may not have filed returns due to their income being below the threshold, but who were not claimed as dependents in 2018 or 2019 (or will not be claimed in 2019, in cases where the parent’s/parents’  return has not yet been filed) will need to file one of these returns in order to receive an EIP. Note that the EIP is not available to dependents of other taxpayers. See the IRS’ Econominc Impact Payment Information Center for qualification info.

Rosenthal & Rosenthal can prepare these returns.