Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Monday, May 20, 2024 78° Today's Paper

Hawaii NewsKokua Line

Kokua Line: Couples might receive EIP3 in 2 payments weeks apart, IRS says

Question: I have a question about the economic stimulus payments. My wife and I have a combined income of well under $100,000. We filed our 2019 tax return last year and had our tax refund sent to our savings account as usual. We have not yet filed our income taxes for 2020, but our income is basically the same. For the first stimulus payment, in April, we correctly received a combined deposit to our account of $2,400. This year, on Feb. 4, we received two deposits, each for $600, for the correct combined total of $1,200 for the second round. My question is about the third round. On March 17 we received a deposit of $1,400, which is the amount for one person. What is wrong? What can we do?

Answer: We didn’t hear this question much during the first two rounds of Economic Impact Payments, but it’s coming up a lot during the ongoing third round — all from married people filing jointly who should have received a combined payment of $2,800.

After confirming that you and your wife met eligibility requirements for the full amount, we suggested that you each use the “Get My Payment” tool on irs.gov to see whether your stimulus payments were being issued separately. Sure enough, they were — your wife’s EIP3 was scheduled to be deposited in the same account about a week after your payment was made.

This might reassure other couples now asking the same question; they can use the same online tool you did and could get a similar response. They all said they had received the joint payment as a single deposit, check or prepaid debit card in earlier rounds.

We also followed up with the Internal Revenue Service, which updated its website Monday to address the fact that some joint-filers were receiving only half the EIP3 at a time. Readers we’ve followed up with have received the second half within a week of the first payment, and by direct deposit, but the IRS warns that won’t be the case for everyone in this situation. Here’s the full response:

“In some cases, married taxpayers who file a joint tax return may get their third payment as two separate payments; half may come as a direct deposit and the other half will be mailed to the address we have on file. This is generally the address on the most recent tax return or as updated through the United States Postal Serv­ice (USPS).

“The second half may come the same week or within weeks of the first half. Each taxpayer on the tax return should check Get My Payment separately using their own Social Security number to see the status of their payments. Please continue to monitor IRS.gov for additional information and updates.”

Find the tool at irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my- payment.

As your question indicated, EIP1 paid $1,200 per person; EIP2, $600 per person; and EIP3, $1,400 per person. EIP1 was the most broadly dispersed.

Q: I know a senior citizen who is collecting Social Security disability and has not filed taxes for about 20 years because he doesn’t have to file. He received the first stimulus of $1,200 and the second stimulus of $600 and is wondering whether he will get the third stimulus.

A: Yes, assuming that he is otherwise eligible. “The IRS will automatically send a third payment to people who didn’t file a return but receive Social Security retirement, survivor or disability benefits (SSDI), Railroad Retirement benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Veterans Affairs benefits. Social Security and other federal beneficiaries will generally receive this third payment the same way as their regular benefits,” according to the IRS website, which does not say when EIP3 will be issued to these groups.

Q: Where is the thing that tells you what documents you need for the DMV?

A: Honolulu County’s interactive document guide prepares the applicant to prove legal U.S. presence, legal name, date of birth and principal Hawaii residential address. Find the guide at www2.honolulu.gov/documentguide.

Write to Kokua Line at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or email kokualine@staradvertiser.com.

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines. Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.