Economic Impact Payment Information Center — Topic A: EIP Eligibility

A1. Generally, if you are a U.S. citizen or U.S. resident alien, you will receive an Economic Impact Payment of $1,200  ($2,400  for a joint return) if you (and your spouse if filing a joint return)  are not a dependent of another taxpayer and have a Social Security number valid for employment and your adjusted gross income (AGI) does not exceed:

  • $150,000  if married and filing a joint return
  • $112,500 if filing as  head of household or
  • $75,000  for eligible individuals using any other filing status
    Your payment will be reduced by 5% of  the amount by which your AGI exceeds the applicable threshold above.

You are not eligible for a payment if any of the following apply to you:

  • You may be claimed as a dependent on another taxpayer’s return (for example, a child or student who may be claimed on a parent’s return or a dependent parent who may be claimed on an adult child’s return).
  • You do not have a Social Security number that is valid for employment.
  • You are a nonresident alien.
    The following are also not eligible: a deceased individual or an estate or trust.

A2. Yes, if you are a U.S. citizen living outside the country, you may be eligible for a payment. If you have an SSN that s valid for employment, you can’t be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer., and your adjusted gross income does not exceed a certain amount. Nonresident aliens who file or would file Form 1040-NR or Form 1040-NR-EZ are not eligible for the payment.

A3. In many cases, the answer is yes. But special rules in the law apply to these five U.S. territories (possessions). In general, the tax authorities in each territory will make payments to eligible residents. If you are a resident of one of these territories with questions about a payment, you should contact your local tax authority.

Resident of a U.S Territory: If you receive a payment from the IRS and a U.S territory tax agency and you are a resident of a U.S. territory for the 2020 tax year, please consult with your U.S. territory tax agency concerning information about an incorrect or duplicate payment. 

Not a resident of a U.S. Territory: If you have received a payment from more than one jurisdiction and you are a not a resident of a U.S. territory for the 2020 tax year, you should return any incorrect or duplicate payment received from the U.S. territory tax agency to the IRS following the instructions about repayments. Go to Topic I: Returning the Economic Impact Payment for instructions.

A4. Citizenship or residency status in the Freely Associated States, by itself, does not entitle you to a payment. However, if you are a resident of a U.S. territory for the tax year 2020 for U.S. territory income tax purposes, you may be eligible for a payment from the U.S. territory tax agency. To determine whether you are eligible for a payment, consult with your U.S. territory tax agency. Alternatively, if you are not a resident of a U.S. territory for the tax year 2020 but you are a U.S. citizen or U.S. resident for federal income tax purposes, you may be eligible for a payment from the IRS.

Resident of a U.S Territory: You should not receive a payment from both the IRS and a U.S. territory tax agency. If you received a payment from more than one jurisdiction and you are a resident of a U.S. territory for the 2020 tax year, please consult with your U.S. territory tax agency concerning information about payments received, including any incorrect or duplicate payment.

Not a resident of a U.S. Territory: If you have received a payment from more than one jurisdiction and you are a NOT a resident of a U.S. territory for the 2020 tax year, you should return any incorrect or duplicate payment received from the U.S. territory tax agency to the IRS following the instructions about repayments. Go to Topic I: Returning the Economic Impact Payment for instructions.

A5. No, a payment made to someone who died before receiving the payment should be returned to the IRS by following the instructions in Topic I: Returning the Economic Impact Payment.

Joint filers with a deceased spouse: For payments made to joint filers with a deceased spouse who died before receiving the payment, return the decedent’s portion of the payment. This amount will be $1,200 unless your adjusted gross income exceeded $150,000.

If you can’t cash or deposit the check: If you cannot cash or deposit the payment because it was issued to you and a deceased spouse, return the check as described in Topic I: Returning the Economic Impact Payment. After the IRS receives and processes your returned payment, an Economic Impact Payment will be reissued to you.

  • The IRS is aware that some surviving spouses weren’t issued their portion of the payment. We’re in the process of correcting this issue to send these payments as quickly as possible. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. You can check the status of your payment using the Get My Payment tool. Eligible individuals who don’t receive a payment this year may be eligible to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit when they file their 2020 tax return.

The Bureau of the Fiscal Services (BFS) has cancelled outstanding Economic Impact Payment (EIP) checks issued to recipients who may not be eligible, including those who may be deceased. Recipients should still return these checks as described in Topic I: Returning the Economic Impact Payment instructions.  

Q6. A nonresident alien in 2020 is not eligible for the payment. A person who is a qualifying resident alien with an SSN valid for employment is eligible for the payment only if he or she is a qualifying resident alien in 2020 and may not be claimed as a dependent of another taxpayer . An alien who received a payment but is not a qualifying resident alien for 2020 should return the payment to the IRS by following the instructions as described in Topic I: Returning the Economic Impact Payment.

A7. Pursuant to a permanent injunction entered in Scholl v. Mnuchin, No. 20-cv-05309 (N.D. Cal. Oct. 14, 2020), appeal docketed, No. 20-17077 (9th Cir.), the IRS cannot deny a payment to someone who is incarcerated if they meet the criteria described above in the response to Q A1. Information can be provided to the IRS by using the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info here online tool by November 21, 2020.  Or, you may mail us a 2019 simplified paper tax return following the procedures at File a Simplified Paper Tax Return by the court-ordered deadline of November 4, 2020. For more information see Q B13. I am currently incarcerated, or I was incarcerated at some point in 2020, and I have not received a Payment.  What do I need to do to get a Payment?

Any updates regarding the appeal of the court’s order will be posted on this webpage.

 A8. A valid SSN for a payment is one that is valid for employment and is issued by the SSA before the due date of your 2019 tax return (including the filing deadline postponement to July 15 and an extension to October 15 if you request it) or your 2018 tax return (including extensions) if you haven’t filed your 2019 tax return.

If the individual was a U.S. citizen when they received the SSN, then it is valid for employment. If “Not Valid for Employment” is printed on the individual’s Social Security card and the individual’s immigration status has changed so that they are now a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, ask the SSA for a new Social Security card. However, if “Valid for Work Only With DHS Authorization” is printed on the individual's Social Security card, the individual has the required SSN only as long as the Department of Homeland Security authorization is valid.

A9. The payment in 2020 will not include an additional amount for these children because the payment in 2020 is based only on information from your 2019 or 2018 tax return. You may claim the child in 2021 as  an additional credit on your 2020 tax return, if eligible.