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What you can do to make sure you get the next stimulus payment

Make sure Uncle Sam knows where to find you
stimulus checks
Posted at 2:51 PM, Mar 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-11 15:52:11-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The nearly $2 trillion latest coronavirus relief package is much bigger than the first two but is similar in many ways.

Of course, it means more money in most Americans' pockets.

By now, you probably know the basics, but there are some tricks to making sure you get this latest payment. The income caps are at $80,000 per year for single people and $160,000 for married couples.

You know if you qualify - but how can you be sure you'll receive this latest payment?

"The IRS isn't going to chase you down to give you your money, so it's your job to update the information with the IRS," said tax and financial expert Friday Burke.

Most eligible Americans got the first two stimulus payments, but many who qualified did not - and plenty worry about things this time around.

Keep in mind, the IRS does not alert you when they send a payment. It's just electronically sent to your bank account if you have direct deposit set up. Check before assuming you didn't get one.

"I can't tell you how many times I have gone through people's bank accounts and found the money direct deposited," Burke said.

Once you confirm it's not there, Burke said there is likely a good reason.

"Wrong bank accounts, bad addresses, divorces, children that have grown up and are no longer dependent - all of these things affect who is actually getting the stimulus and who isn't," she said.

Make sure your information is up to date with the IRS so the service hows where to find you.

And...

"It's an easy fix guys. File a 2020 tax return - line 30 and put the credit in there," said Burke.

Even if you don't earn enough for taxes, even if you are on Supplemental Security Income and haven't filed for years - go to IRS.gov and submit a free e-file. That's like waving a flag - here I am... and you'll get your stimulus payment.

One other note for those who collected unemployment last year: If you already filed your 2020 tax returns, you may have more money coming.

Under the new coronavirus relief package, the first $10,200 earned last year is tax-free. You'll want to file an amended return to get that benefit.