If We Owe the IRS Money Will We Still Get a Stimulus Check?


Dear Steve,

My husband and I recently filed out 2018 taxes and owe/paying down a few thousand dollars. Our combined adjusted gross income in 2018 was around $97K. We didn’t receive our stimulus check, although I receive SS which is directly deposited into my bank account. Do you know if someone owes the IRS money, do they not receive the stimulus? And if not, does that amount count against our 2018 tax bill?

Mary Louise


Dear Mary Louise,

I asked my tax guru, Jim Buttonow, your question. Here is what he had to say, “This one is easy- the IRS is not offsetting the stimulus payment against any prior tax debt (it is in the CARES Act law). They will get their entire stimulus check if they qualify.”

Jim immediately knew of that part of the CARES Act that says, “Exception From Treasury Offset Program.—Any credit or refund allowed or made to any individual by reason of section 6428 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (as added by this section) or by reason of subsection (c) of this section shall not be subject to reduction or offset…”

The IRS has a tool for locating your Economic Impact Payment. But it seems the delay in receiving your check probably surrounds the delayed filing of your 2018 taxes and the fact the IRS may not have your direct deposit information on file.

I would suggest you use the tool online here to get more information about where your specific payment might be.


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Steve Rhode
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