Economic Impact Payments

Good news! The Internal Revenue Service has sent out the first wave of economic impact payments. The direct deposits are expected to hit accounts on April 15th for those who already filed taxes for 2019 and have their bank account information on file with the IRS. This is great news and welcome assistance for many, but you may still be left wondering, what do I need to do to access the payment? What’s the best use of this money?

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First, it’s important to remember that most taxpayers will not need to take any extra steps to receive their payment. If you’re not sure how much you should be getting, here’s a simple breakdown. If you do still need to file, there are some great resources available, including free electronic filing if your adjusted gross income is $69,000 or less. As you likely have heard by now, the deadline to file your taxes this year has been moved from April 15 to July 15. Even though the deadline has been extended, the sooner you file, the sooner you are able to receive your economic impact payment.

Once you receive your payment, your first thought may be to spend it on things to keep you busy during quarantine. While it’s easy to get a little carried away with spending when it comes to a large sum of money, be sure to prioritize your highest needs: food and shelter.  If you need even more relief from your financial obligations, contact the utility company, your auto loan provider, cell phone provider, and other companies you owe money to and see what they can do to lower your bills or waive fees. Most organizations are working with customers during these difficult times so don’t be afraid to ask for assistance! For a more visual guide regarding ways to use your stimulus payment, check out this excellent chart provided by the National Credit Union Foundation.

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Talking with your credit union or other lenders can also help you determine the programs available to you that would provide the most financial relief right now. Setting aside a little money in your savings is another way to help you manage and plan for future obligations. Lastly, if you know you owe the government money to pay your taxes, set aside some money to ensure you have enough to cover that payment. The less debt you have now, the easier it will be to manage your finances once things return to normal.

One thing to keep in mind is that your money is safe with SunWest so there is no need to hoard cash once you receive your stimulus payment. We also want to remind you to be on the lookout for scams as we are seeing a rise in COVID-19 related fraud.

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We know you are being bombarded with an overwhelming amount of information as guidelines and resources are constantly changing or being updated. Here’s a summary of the basics you need to know about the economic impact payments, including how to designate a direct deposit account and the garnishment process. If we can help to clarify any of the above information, or if you have any questions, you can ask us in the comments or call your nearest branch.