Did Your 2019 Divorce Hijack Your Stimulus Check?
Many Americans expected the Covid -19 stimulus check from the government to arrive this week. While it will surely be a great help to families, what if your family looks very different this year than it did last year at tax time?
The checks are being issued through the IRS and if you chose direct deposit with your 2018 taxes, the funds will be deposited into that same account. This means, if you were married, filing jointly in 2018 and directly deposited your return into a joint account with someone that you are now divorced from, the deposit will still go into that account.
First Things First
First let’s back up a little. What if you did not use direct deposit for 2019? This is the simplest fix. You can go to the IRS site and update your deposit information and address information on the Get My Payment application to let them know where to send your funds.
What if you already filed your single 2019 taxes? This is also a good place to be. If you already filed separately for 2019, you might even have your payment as I type.
Now, what if you did use direct deposit and you haven’t filed your 2019 taxes yet? What if the direct deposit account is now solely in the custody of your ex-spouse? What do you do? Well some of the payments have already started to go out this week. If you are the spouse that kept the account, again, you might even already have the funds. If not, you will have to contact your ex to get your funds returned.
What To Do If . . .
If you are not in the group of folks that has already received your payments, the IRS has instructions on your next steps here. You may be in the group that needs to file taxes electronically as soon as possible to update the system, or you may be in the group that needs to wait for a paper check to arrive. Whatever the case, check the website ASAP.
What if the account is now closed? This could possibly move you to a list for getting a paper check. The most important thing again is to go to the website linked above to check your payment status and see what they are instructing you to do.
These scenarios might bring up new issues that require mediation to work out. If you face any of these things and need to talk about your options, contact us. We are here and available even during the quarantine to help you with a virtual mediation or answer any questions you may have. Being stuck at home does not mean you are stuck without solutions.
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- Review your financial situation and explore creative settlement possibilities
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