President Donald Trump called off the negotiations a couple of days ago, but on Thursday, he claimed that the negotiations are back on. This means there is still hope for another round of coronavirus stimulus checks, including payments for older adults. In this article, we will discuss all that older people need to know about stimulus check eligibility.
As far as the IRS is concerned, everyone age 65 or older is considered an older adult. This means if you were 65 or older by the end of 2019, the IRS will consider you as a senior for the taxes starting in that year and beyond.
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Like with any other person, whether or not an older adult or retiree is eligible for a coronavirus stimulus check depends on their AGI (adjusted gross income) in their 2019 tax filing. However, the income for an elderly person may constitute different elements than other adults. For instance, the income may include pensions and other contributions.
It must be noted that pensions and investments that are taxable impact the AGI as well. Thus, they will affect your eligibility for the direct payments. Similarly, interest from a bank account is also taxable. However, if you earn interest from tax-exempt bonds, then that won’t be included in your AGI.
A point to note is that Social Security benefits are not part of your gross income, although there are two exceptions to this. The first exception is if you are married but file taxes separately, and you lived with your spouse for some time in a year. The second is if the total of half of your Social Security benefits, other gross income and any tax-exempt interest is over $25,000 (or $32,000 if married filing jointly).
When do older adults need to file taxes?
Whether or not you need to file a tax return depends on your gross income. It includes all the money you get that is taxable, whether it's goods, property or services.
To make it clearer, if you are 65 or above, you need to file taxes if: your gross income (single filer) is at least $13,850; you are a head of household and your gross income is at least $20,000; you are married and filing jointly (the gross income limit is $25,700 if one spouse is 65 or above, and the limit is $27,000 if both are 65 or above); you are married and filing separately; and lastly, you are a qualifying widow or widower with a gross income of at least $25,700.
If you are 65 or above and meet all the eligibility requirements for stimulus checks but still haven’t gotten the first stimulus check, then you need to check the status of your payment by going to the Get My Payment webpage. You can also call the IRS to get an update.