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Explaining the stimulus relief check coming your way

How to get your stimulus check faster
Posted at 10:45 AM, Apr 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-20 12:48:44-04

JENISON, Mich. — The government stimulus or relief checks have started showing up in Americans' bank accounts this week.

Normally, on April 15 we'd be talking about tax day but that has been pushed back until July 15 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

FOX 17 spoke with accountant David Echelbarger, president of EHTC and the chair of the board of MICPA.

He answered the biggest question, if this federal money is new money or an advancement on our 2020 taxes. In a nutshell, Echelbarger told us, it is real, new money, and most people will not have to make any adjustments for it going forward.

"Most of the readings have stated, if they've over funded your account, you will not have to reimburse the IRS. However, I'd rather just warn people up front, if they're in a situation where they did get that money and, like we've seen in the past, that was a credit and then they look at our actual income for 2020 and decide whether you should have qualified for that money or not. It's one of those things that we proceed with caution," Echelbarger told Fox 17 Wednesday.

If your income dramatically changed either way from your last tax filing, or if you removed or added qualifying children from your tax return, that may have slipped thru the cracks with the government.

Echelbarger adds, "When you file your 2020 tax return, there will be a line for the amount of money you received under the stimulus, and then they will adjust that up or down. So when you actually file your tax return, you may owe a little bit of money or get back a little, depending on how that calculation came out."

For anyone who wants to check the status of the government check, or add your banking information to speed up your payment, go to irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment. But Echelbarger warns, never click on any link you receive in a text or email that asks for your banking information. The only safe way to do it is on the IRS's website.