CARES Act: No Filing Requirement for Seniors to Receive Stimulus Payments

The IRS no longer requires eligible senior citizens to file a tax return to receive federal stimulus payments. Here are answers to some common questions.

DSB_Marketing April 9, 2020

When the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) went into effect, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) stated senior citizens would need to file a “simple tax return” to receive their stimulus payments. Not surprisingly, this policy was not well received, and members of Congress quickly voiced their concerns. As a result, the IRS and the Treasury Department reversed course. Now, eligible seniors and other non-filers no longer need to file a return as a condition to receive their stimulus checks.

What do seniors need to do instead to receive stimulus payments?

The short answer: Nothing. According to Secretary of the Treasury Steven T. Mnuchin, “Social Security recipients who are not typically required to file a tax return need to take no action, and will receive their payment directly to their bank account.” Social Security recipients will receive their stimulus payments in the same way they would normally receive their benefits: as a direct deposit or by paper check.

How will the IRS generate stimulus payments for seniors?

The IRS will reference Form SSA-1099 and Form RRB-1099 to generate stimulus payments to seniors, Social Security recipients, and railroad retirees who are not required to file a tax return—and did not file a tax return in 2018 or 2019.

When can seniors expect to receive stimulus payments?

The date eligible U.S. citizens, including seniors, can expect to receive their stimulus payments is a moving target. The IRS says, via its website, that it “will start sending payments to most Americans in April.”

We’ll keep you up to date.

At DS+B, we are closely monitoring tax and financial updates related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit our COVID-19 Clarity Center for the newest updates. If you have questions or concerns, please contact your DS+B CPA.