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COVID Stimulus Checks: The Latest Edition Of “Where is my refund I didn’t apply for?”



Olivier Wagner - Covid Stimulus Checks

By way of background, the IRS is issuing stimulus checks/direct deposits to most US taxpayers who have an SSN. If your income was less than $75,000, you would get $1,200 and another $500 per dependent.Interestingly enough, US citizens living overseas are eligible. You can find more details here.

Part 1: It might not be a check
The first payments were in the form of physical checks (or direct deposit for those who had their direct deposit information on their 2018/2019 tax returns).

While they are still issuing physical stimulus checks, the federal government is sending 4 million “economic impact payments” in the form of prepaid debit cards. The IRS noted that individuals cannot specifically opt to receive the “EIP cards,” as they’re known, over a paper check. According to the Treasury Department, they are distributing the cards to individuals who don’t have their bank account information on file with the IRS. Also, to those whose tax returns were processed by the IRS service centers in Austin, Texas, and Andover, Mass. The first cards were mailed out last week. Austin, Texas is the center which processes tax returns for American overseas. They might receive a debit card.

It can be a good thing for those whose ties to the US are so weak that they don’t have a US bank account to cask it to.

It also leads to confusion with some taxpayer discarding that envelope as spam.
Here are the signs that that debit card is indeed the stimulus check money you’re been waiting for:
– It will arrive in a plain envelope from “Money Network Cardholder Services”
– The name Visa will appear on the front of the card
– The back of the card has the name of the issuing bank: MetaBank
– Information will explain that card is your EIP card

Part 2: “the check is in the mail”
Many countries experience an interruption or disruption of their postal system due to COVID-19. If you are waiting for your stimulus check and you live in one of these countries, postal disruptions might cause that delay.The affected countries are listed on the USPS Service alert website.

Part 3: The IRS is here to help
The IRS has created a new hotline you can use if you are waiting on your economic impact payment.You can call 1-800-919-9835 and get answers on the status of your payment. Also, they have automated services and are adding call-center representatives.

Do you have questions on expatriate taxes? Contact Olivier Wagner.

Olivier Wagner

Olivier Wagner

Certified Public Accountant, U.S. immigrant, expat, and perpetual traveler Olivier Wagner preaches the philosophy of being a worldly American. He uses his expertise to show you how to use 100% legal strategies (beyond traditionally maligned “tax havens”) to keep your income and assets safe from the IRS. Before obtaining my U.S. citizenship and traveling all over the world, he was born and raised in France. His experience learning the intricacies of the U.S. immigration process combined with his desire to travel freely lead me to specialize in taxes for Americans living and working abroad. He helps Americans Abroad file their taxes and devise strategies that make sense for their lifestyle. These strategies encompass all aspects of registering an offshore business, opening a bank account abroad, and planning out new residencies and citizenships. He is operating the accounting firm 1040 Abroad. 1040 Abroad exists to help you make sense of an incredibly large world of possibilities. Find out more by visiting www.1040abroad.com

2 thoughts on “COVID Stimulus Checks: The Latest Edition Of “Where is my refund I didn’t apply for?”

  1. ‘Interestingly enough, US citizens living overseas are eligible’, to me that’s NOT interesting. It would be interesting if US citizens living overseas were NOT eligible.

    FYI see https://www.linkedin.com/posts/daniel-gray-41363b7_tax-irs-economicimpactpayment-activity-6673631577387356160-Ri8p and https://www.linkedin.com/posts/daniel-gray-41363b7_are-you-an-american-abroad-who-received-an-activity-6671129985828360192-V0Jp

  2. Avatar Wallace Lampert says:

    The amusing thing is, an “Accidental American” or any other US person living overseas who has never filed US taxes (or who has not been filing for many years) but who has a Social Security Number, can easily set up a US deposit account with Transferwise, submit the “non-filer” form and receive their stimulus benefit in a matter of weeks. It should probably be renamed the “renunciation subsidy” – particularly if there’s a second $1200 instalment.

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