Citizens living abroad or in U.S. territory: Did (or will) they qualify for coronavirus stimulus checks

All hopes of another round of stimulus checks are still not dead as calls are being made for standalone bills. This means eligible Americans, including U.S. citizens living outside the U.S. or a resident of a U.S. territory, still stand a chance of getting coronavirus stimulus checks.

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Q2 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

Coronavirus stimulus checks for U.S. citizens living abroad or in U.S. territories

There will be many U.S. citizens living abroad or in U.S. territories who may still have questions regarding their eligibility for the first coronavirus stimulus check, as well as for the second stimulus check, if it comes.

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All the U.S. citizens living abroad were eligible to get the stimulus checks under the CARES Act. This means, if the next stimulus package follows the same rules as the first, then you would be eligible for the second stimulus checks as well.

Like other Americans, you would be eligible for the direct payment if you have a valid Social Security number, and someone else doesn’t claim you as a dependent on their tax return.

This means, if you met these requirements and filed 1040 or 1040-SR (for older adults) in 2018 or 2019, then you would have gotten the stimulus checks deposited directly into your own U.S. bank account, or send to your address based on the information you gave in the 2018 or 2019 tax return, or Social Security retirement or other federal benefits program.

Who all were eligible?

Under the CARES Act, all U.S. citizens and also the non-US citizens with a Social Security number qualify for the coronavirus stimulus checks. This includes the “resident aliens," green card holders and employees on visas such as H-1B and H-2A.

Also, it includes U.S. citizens living abroad. However, if your citizenship status changed after you got the social security number, then you need to inform the IRS about the same using the non-filers tool.

In case you don’t have a valid Social Security number, then you are not eligible for the payment under the CARES Act. Also, you are then unlikely to qualify for the second payment as well, if Congress passes it. Even if you pay taxes in the U.S., but don’t have a Social Security number, you are not eligible.

What if I don’t file taxes?

If you are a U.S. citizen living abroad or a resident of a U.S. territory, but didn’t file 2018 or 2019 taxes, you also are eligible for the first coronavirus stimulus check. You will likely be eligible for the second one as well. If you haven’t yet gotten the payment, then you have until November 21 to claim your stimulus check.

You need to use the IRS’s non-filer tool to claim the payment. To claim the payment, the non-filer tool will ask you your name, address, social security number and banking information.

If you are planning to file a 2019 tax return, then you should not use the non-filer tool. According to the IRS, it would slow down your tax return processing. The last date to file the tax return is October 15.