How to receive government stimulus checks as quickly as possible

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The details are now in writing for direct cash payments included in the federal coronavirus stimulus package.

Individuals would receive $1200, and married couples would receive $2400. Payments also increase by $500 per child. The U.S. Treasury Department said they could start issuing these payments in three weeks.

“These are payments that are not restricted in any way," Marquette Political Science Department Chair Paul Nolette said. "You can use it as, just like getting any sort of check that you can use however you want.”

The money scales back for individuals making more than more than $75,000 a year. Those making $99,000 or more will not receive payments. For married couples the figures scale back at $150,000, and couples making more than $198,000 will not receive checks.

The federal government will use your tax information to determine income, so if you haven’t filed, do so as soon as possible.

“Try to add your bank information to your return as well for direct deposit because it will get to you much faster that way,” Nolette said.

Those who do not submit their direct deposit information to the government for their tax filing will receive a physical check in the mail, which is expected to take longer.

The government will use your 2019 tax return, or the 2018 filing if 2019 is not available. Individuals who filed taxes for 2019 will likely receive payments first.

It is unclear if people who filed neither will receive payments. It is also unclear how the government will handle people who's last filing was in 2018, but they moved, or changed bank information.

“These are all details that still need to be worked out," Tax Policy Center expert Mark Mazer said. "The legislation gives the secretary of the treasury a lot of leeway in figuring out exactly how to do this.”

Those receiving social security benefits will also receive cash. Only people with a Social Security Number will receive payment.

Mazer said, this is a huge task, it took several months during the 2008 bailout, so don’t be surprised if it takes longer than three weeks.

“Probably the best advice for households and taxpayers is to just take a deep breath and wait for more information to come out.”

These figures are dependent on the U.S. House of Representatives passing the version of the bill that passed the Senate. The House is expected to take a vote on the package Friday.

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