By John D. McKinnon 

WASHINGTON -- The government will begin sending out stimulus payments to households in the next three weeks, and will distribute them automatically, with no action required for most people, officials said Monday.

But some seniors and others who typically don't file returns will need to submit a simple tax return to receive the economic-impact payments, the Treasury and Internal Revenue Service said in an announcement.

The payments will provide $1,200 to most adults and $500 for children under age 17. The payments, authorized under an economic-relief law signed by President Trump on Friday in response to the coronavirus pandemic, will total about $292 billion.

Officials have been moving quickly to implement the payments, to get money out to hurting workers and boost the sagging economy.

"We have everybody within Treasury and the administration working around the clock to get this money out quickly, since this doesn't do people any good if it takes a long time," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said over the weekend on CBS's "Face the Nation."

The government will create a web portal for people who haven't already provided their direct-deposit information to upload it to the IRS so they can get their money more quickly, the IRS said.

The recovery payments will go to a broad range of people.

Almost any adult with a Social Security number can qualify, as long as a person isn't a dependent of someone else. Qualifying adults also get the payments for children in their household.

People with little or no income will qualify, meaning money will flow to retirees and people who don't normally file tax returns.

People who filed a return for tax year 2018 or 2019 don't need to do anything else to receive the funds.

But people who don't usually have to file returns will need to file to receive the payments, the IRS said.

The IRS said its website will soon provide information at instructing people in these groups on how to file a 2019 tax return with simple information including their filing status, number of dependents and direct-deposit bank account information.

People who are required to file returns anyway but haven't filed a return yet for 2018 or 2019 also should file now, the IRS said. They also should provide direct-deposit information to the IRS to speed up their payments.

Payments start phasing out for those with income above $75,000 in adjusted gross income for individuals, $112,500 for heads of household (often single parents) and $150,000 for married couples. The payments start shrinking above those levels.

For people with no children, the benefit disappears at $99,000 for individuals and $198,000 for married couples.

However, the plan excludes anyone who isn't a child and who can be claimed as someone else's dependent. That group includes some high-school students, many college students and some disabled and elderly people.

They won't get money directly, and no one will get money for them. In all, that is about 21 million Americans. Immigrants who don't have Social Security numbers also aren't eligible.

The administration and Congress also have provided expanded unemployment benefits and small-business loans aimed at helping workers stay afloat.

"It's really bridge liquidity for people as they go through these difficult times," Mr. Mnuchin said.

Write to John D. McKinnon at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 30, 2020 19:38 ET (23:38 GMT)

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