FAQ: What to Know About Online Tax Prep and Stimulus Checks

April 29, 2020 | Posted in Tax Services, Financial Stability, In the News | Keywords: , ,

Is free tax preparation available during COVID-19 closures?

Yes! Foundation Communities has partnered with GetYourRefund.org to offer free online tax preparation for the local community. You provide your household information and tax documents, and our IRS-certified tax preparers will complete and file your tax return. Visit bit.ly/GetYourRefundAustin to get started. We are not offering in-person tax preparation due to the coronavirus and social distancing restrictions.

When can I get help with my taxes?

Free tax prep will be available through the extended IRS filing deadline of July 15th. Our IRS-certified tax preparers are available Monday – Saturday, but you can submit your documents any time. Once you’ve submitted your tax documents online, your tax preparer will schedule a phone call with you to review everything.

Is online tax prep available in other languages?

Currently, our online tax prep site is available in English only. We are hoping to launch a Spanish version by the end of May. If you need help accessing our tax prep, you can reach our bilingual (English/Spanish) tax team at 512-610-7374.

Is there a penalty for waiting until July 15th to file my taxes?
The IRS extended the filing and payment deadline for 2019 tax returns to July 15, 2020, so there is no penalty for waiting to file. All taxpayers can take advantage of the extended deadline due to coronavirus. If you are expecting a refund, we urge you to let us help you file your tax return as soon as possible.

Will filing online make my refund come sooner?

If you are expecting a refund, we urge you to file your taxes as soon as possible and claim your refund. We are able to file your return electronically with the IRS, which is the fastest way to get your refund. Your refund will be directly deposited to your bank account. Visit bit.ly/GetYourRefundAustin to get started with free online tax prep. The IRS is not currently processing mailed paper returns because of COVID-19 closures. Filing online is the only way to ensure getting a timely refund.

Can I get help claiming my $1200 stimulus check?

Our tax preparers can help you claim your stimulus check even if you don’t need to file a tax return. If you have not filed your 2018 or 2019 tax return, filing your 2019 return is the fastest way to receive your $1,200+ economic impact payment (stimulus check) from the IRS. Use our free online tax prep services to file your tax return and expedite your stimulus payment. Funds will be directly deposited into your bank account if the IRS has your account information. In most other cases a paper check will be mailed. If you do not need to file a tax return we can help you fill out the form needed to update your address or banking information.

How do I know if I’m eligible for a stimulus check (Economic Impact Payment)?

  • U.S. citizen tax filers with adjusted gross income up to $75,000 for individuals and up to $150,000 for married couples filing joint returns will receive the full payment of $1200.
  • For filers with income above those amounts, the payment amount is reduced by $5 for each $100 above the $75,000/$150,000 thresholds.
  • There is also an additional payment of up to $500 for each eligible child.
  • Single filers with income exceeding $99,000 and $198,000 for joint filers with no children are not eligible.
  • The primary taxpayer and spouse must both have a Social Security Number to get a stimulus check according to requirements in the federal CARES Act. Couples who file jointly where one has an SSN and one has an ITIN will not be able to claim any stimulus payments.

I didn’t need to file a return in 2018 or 2019 because I receive Social Security, disability (SSDI), VA benefits, or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). How can I claim my stimulus check?

Most eligible U.S. taxpayers will automatically receive their Economic Impact Payments including:

  • Social Security retirement, disability (SSDI), survivor benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Recipients of Veterans Affairs benefits
  • Individuals who receive Railroad Retirement benefits

NOTE: VA and SSI recipients with eligible children need to act by May 5 to quickly add money to their automatic Economic Impact Payment. VA and SSI recipients who have a qualifying child and didn’t file a 2018 or 2019 tax return have a limited window to register to have $500 per eligible child added automatically to their soon-to-be-received $1,200 Economic Impact Payment. Visit the special Non-Filers tool on IRS.gov by May 5 to help put all of your eligible stimulus into a single payment. Our IRS-certified tax preparers can help navigate this process.

Will you reopen your in-person tax prep before the July 15 deadline? 

We hope to reopen our Prosper Centers before July 15 to provide in-person tax prep services, but we have not yet decided how or when we can reopen. Ensuring the safety of all clients, volunteers, and staff is our highest priority. When we do reopen, it will likely be on a limited, appointment-only basis in compliance with social distancing measures.

Click here for additional information from the IRS about Economic Impact Payments

Click here for more information from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau about Economic Impact Payments