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What do I need to know about the second round of Economic Impact Payments?

A second round of Economic Impact Payments was authorized by Congress in December 2020. This $900 billion package is aimed at providing additional relief to individuals and businesses who have been negatively impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.

This initiative will provide one-time payments to a majority of Americans -- up to $600 for individuals, $1,200 for married couples and up to $600 for each qualifying child. Social Security recipients and railroad retirees are eligible as well. These payments are not taxable.

The IRS uses your 2019 tax return to determine your eligibility for a payment. Because the income threshold is slightly lower than the first round, not as many will qualify for a payment this time. Some Americans earning more than $75,000 will also receive a lesser amount of money if they meet certain qualifications. Adult dependents aged 18-26 who can be claimed on someone else’s tax return will not qualify for a payment this time either.

If you have already received a payment from the first round of stimulus, then the IRS will deliver this second payment in the same way. Most Americans will receive the payment via direct deposit, but the IRS will send you a paper check if it does not have your bank details on file or if you closed the account the IRS has on file. Direct deposits are expected to arrive in January, with paper checks to follow. 

The relief package will also extend federal unemployment compensation benefits an additional 11 weeks, providing an additional $300 per week supplement to state unemployment compensation. The latest information may be found at IRS.gov.

Here is a brief summary of this round of support:

What it means for individuals: How Commerce can help:

One-time Economic Impact Payment:

  • $600 per individual, $1,200 for joint filers and $600 per child under 17. Adult dependents (ages 18-26) who can be claimed on someone else’s tax return will not qualify for a payment.
  • Anyone who is a U.S. citizen or has a valid identification number listed on their tax return will be eligible for payment.
  • The full rebate amount is available for those with adjusted gross incomes at or below $75,000 for individuals, $112,500 for head of household and $150,000 for married couples.
  • Reduced payments on a sliding scale are available for individuals making up to $87,000 a year, heads of household earning up to $124,500 annually, and married couples who earn up to $150,000.
  • Social Security recipients and those who received regular payments from the Railroad Retirement Board or the Department of Veteran Affairs are eligible to receive the benefit as long as their total income does not exceed the limit.

Extended Unemployment Assistance:

  • $300 weekly jobless benefit supplementing state unemployment benefits
  • Duration extended an additional 11 weeks for a total of 50 weeks coverage
  • Eligibility expanded to include individuals not normally eligible for State or Federal unemployment, individuals directly affected by COVID-19, and self-employed, independent contractors / gig economy workers, nonprofit employees and others
  • Contact your state unemployment office directly.
  • The latest information should be posted on the U.S. Department of Labor website
  • If you are a Commerce Bank customer facing financial hardship due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, please call us at 833-518-3458 to discuss your current accounts. You may experience an extended wait time due to high call volume. Your patience is appreciated.

Most people will not need to take any action to receive their payment. If you filed your 2018 or 2019 tax return and linked an account for your tax refund, the IRS will calculate and automatically direct deposit your payment into the account you provided on your tax return. If you receive Social Security benefits, via direct deposit, your payment will automatically go to that associated account, even if you didn’t file a tax return.

If the IRS does not have your direct deposit information, a check will be mailed to the address they have on file. You can deposit this into your account quickly and easily using our mobile app or ATM.

Be on the lookout for phishing scams tied to Economic Impact Payments.

Scammers may:
  • Emphasize the words "Stimulus Check" or "Stimulus Payment." The official term is “Economic Impact Payment.
  • Ask you to sign over your Economic Impact Payment check to them.
  • Ask by phone, email, text or social media for verification of personal and/or banking information saying that the information is needed to receive or speed up your economic impact payment.
  • Suggest that they can get you a tax refund or Economic Impact Payment faster by working on your behalf. This scam could be conducted by social media or even in person.
  • Mail you a bogus check, perhaps in an odd amount, then tell you to call a number or verify information online in order to cash it.

The IRS will never call, text, mail, message you on social media, or email you to verify your bank account information so you can get your refund faster. Do not open any suspicious texts or emails, or click any attachments or links, and do not provide any of your direct deposit or banking information if asked.

Based on our experience with the first round of Economic Impacts Payments, we believe payments by both ACH and check will be staggered by several days or weeks. Commerce Bank has no insight or information as to when any specific consumer will receive his or her payment. Likewise, we do not have any information about how much your payment will be, as each payment is dependent upon many factors, including number of dependents in your household and adjusted gross income.

We kindly ask you to refrain from contacting us to ask when your payment will arrive and how much it may be. We will only know these details once the payment has arrived, at which point the information is available to you through Online Banking and our mobile app.

For the latest information on Economic Impact Payments, including how to check your payment status, visit https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments.