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Coronavirus Stimulus Control: The Best Ways to Use Your $ 1,200



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$ 1,200 can go a long way if needed.


Patrick Holland / CNET

Visit the WHO website for the latest news and information on the coronavirus pandemic.

On March 27, US President Donald Trump signed an unprecedented bill worth $ 2.2 trillion aimed at the financial implications of the corona virus . It includes a stimulus check of $ 1,200 for most adults and $ 500 per dependent child. Individuals with an adjusted gross income of less than $ 75,000 or married couples with less than $ 150,000 will receive the full amount, while those who earn more will receive a lower check based on their income. The IRS says it will use taxpayers' 2019 tax returns or 2019 tax returns, depending on which ones are filed, to determine the amount.

The Treasury Department told CBS News on April 3 that the payout date for 50 million to 70 million Americans is April 15. US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said at a news conference on Monday that 80 million checks will be sent electronically. The money is sent via direct deposit using the bank details from a filer's last tax return. Those who receive social security, disability, survivors' or railroad benefits will receive the money automatically.

The non-filer web portal on the IRS website, launched April 11. According to the page, U.S. citizens and resident aliens are eligible for the Incentive Funds if they:

  • have a valid Social Security number, [19659009] Cannot be claimed as dependent on any other taxpayer and
  • had gross income below certain limits adjusted.

Read more: Find out if you qualify for a coronavirus stimulus check [19659007] On April 15, the "Get My Payment" tool was launched on the IRS website. Individuals can enter their details to track the status of their payment or see if the service needs direct down payment details. Those who don't have access to a bank account can use payment platforms such as PayPal and Square's Cash app that provide routing and account numbers to send the money to the users' accounts. If a person has not yet received their stimulus funds, they are advised to visit the IRS page to check the status, as there may be several reasons why they have not received payment, such as filing through a third party or their return for 2019 has not yet been processed .

For many, such as the 26 million who have applied for unemployment benefits since mid-March this money will provide the necessary support during the pandemic. For others, the funds will, at least for the time being, supplement more.

If you belong to the latter category, here are six ways to make the most of your stimulus control.


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1. Take Care of Your Immediate Needs Above all, ensure that your immediate needs are met. This includes food, monthly bills and rent or mortgage. But before giving priority to rent over food, for example, consider that many jurisdictions, utilities, and even banks offer help because of the outbreak. See which programs you can use and allocate money accordingly.

2. Pay your taxes

Finance Minister Mnuchin announced on March 20 that the deadline for filing and paying income taxes has been moved to July 15 . Those who have not filed an application – and owe the public money – can use the stimulus check to cover the tax payment. If you have not yet saved for federal and state taxes and are facing financial difficulties, consider returning the money to the government.

3. Reduce your debt

One way to secure your financial future is to reduce your debt. A significant payment made to pay off a credit card and loan will help reduce the amount of interest paid in an account with a balance. The less interest you have to pay, the more money you will have available in the future. But before you do that, you should contact the debtors, as some offer relief, including deferment and forgiven interest . Be sure to read the fine print, as some of the help offered can slow interest rather than forgive.

4. Starting or supplementing an existing emergency fund

It cannot be emphasized enough how important it is to have an emergency fund. As this outbreak shows, the world can change very quickly. The fund must be equal to the amount spent on expenditure for three to six months. While the $ 1,200 probably doesn't cover that entire amount, it can be used as a starting point. A simple savings account can be used to keep the money safe.

5. Give to Those in Need

Those lucky enough to find they don't need any of the $ 1,200 for themselves should consider giving it to people who do. There are many charities that fight the pandemic, such as food banks and hospitals . Another consideration is to help friends and family members who have been severely affected by the pandemic.

6. Open a long-term investment account for your children

Part of the incentive package offers an additional $ 500 per child. If your family is already comfortable, you can use that money to help your children's future.

"If you don't need this money, consider opening a 529 plan for your child," said certified financial planner Marguerita Cheng. & # 39; Your state can provide a tax break. This money can become tax free. If necessary, you can even contribute modest amounts of, say, $ 50 to $ 100 on a regular basis. & # 39;

Contact your bank or investment to start a 529 plan. company to see what they have available and what benefits come your way when you open one.


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