On Friday, March 27th, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law, which consists of a historic $2.2 trillion dollar stimulus package and put in motion an eventual disbursement of rebate funds for most taxpayers. Depending on adjusted gross income and other factors, taxpayers will receive these rebate funds (up to $1,200 for individual filers, up to $2,400 for joint filers, with $500 for each eligible dependent) within the next coming weeks.
(See how much you will be getting by using the calculator at CNN.com).
Things to Know to Avoid Scams
One of our top concerns here at Altura is your safety and we know that scammers are always looking for a way to get into your accounts. Here are some things to keep in mind regarding the stimulus check:
- No one will be calling, emailing or messaging you through social media to access personal information in order to process, disburse or finalize your stimulus check.
- The Treasury Department advises: “If you receive calls, emails, or other communications claiming to be from the Treasury Department and offering COVID-19 related grants or stimulus payments in exchange for personal financial information, or an advance fee, or charge of any kind, including the purchase of gift cards, please do not respond.”
- Income will be generally based on your 2019 or 2018 tax returns.
- According to CNN, “The money will likely be deposited directly into individuals’ bank accounts — as long as they’ve already authorized the IRS to send their tax refund that way over the past two years. If not, the IRS would send out checks in the mail.”
Scam Methods We’ve Seen Already
- Cures for purchase that do not exist at this time. This can be through card, wire, or ACH channels
- Robocall and text scams and messages
- Fraudulent test kits or vaccinations
- Data Scams. With many of us working from home, our company systems are more vulnerable, so please use caution with outside emails
- Phishing emails. With some of us out of work right now, at-home job opportunities and other online job scams will become more prominent in the coming months
Tips on how to Spend the Check
MarketWatch states that more than 20 financial advisors say that they’d “first fill their rainy-day funds, pay down debts next and — very cautiously — invest.”
In an article by NBC News, personal finance and economic experts stated that, “Consumers should spend their direct cash payment portion of the $2 trillion coronavirus aid package passed by the Senate on basic essentials — or put the funds in an emergency savings account.”
What if the IRS does not have my direct deposit information. What can I do?
In the coming weeks, Treasury Department plans to develop a web-based portal for individuals to provide their banking information to the IRS online, so that individuals can receive payments immediately as opposed to checks in the mail.