Are expats eligible for the stimulus checks?

*I am not a tax officer or a lawyer, I am reading this for my own knowledge because I am curious about the stimulus checks. I am now passing this on to you, if you want to read more read the bill. This is for entertainment purposes*

We have been hearing about these stimulus checks that are similar to the ones sent in 2008. I did not receive them then, so I decided to check out if it was possible if I would be sent one this time, despite being abroad.

I sat down and read the Senate bill, so you would not have to. This is the latest version here.

Now, there are some ex-patriates who will be eligible but from what I understand, most of us will not be. These are under the title ‘2020 recovery rebates for individuals.’

In the case of an eligible individual, it will be $1,200.00 or $2,400.00 for joint tax return.

Qualifications – My interpretation is in brackets.
  1. “a qualifying income of $2500.00.”  [I am assuming this is those that fall under ‘U.S earned’ income,’ still researching if foreign earned income counts.] Under the definitions, qualifying income is: Earned income, social security benefits, and qualified pension/compensation payments.
  2. “Has a net income tax liability greater than zero.” [Okay, easy enough to understand]
  3.  “Gross income which is greater than the basic standard deduction.” [For single filers, it is $12,400.00, essentially you need to have an earned income over that.]
  4. “Limitation based on adjusted gross income…as $75,000.00. [Basically, if you make more than this, you might get a reduction or none of the $1200.00].

Now, this is the current bill, it can be changed. From what I am reading, many of us will not be eligible, even those in the U.S.

Is it a tax credit or a check?

From what I am reading, it looks like a tax credit, rather than a check. Which is the opposite of what I am hearing, I heard it was to be a check, which might get out to the public quicker. If it is a credit, I wonder how it will work for everyone who has already filed their taxes. Then, there will be a huge backlog of amended tax returns after this is all over?

Who is an eligible individual?

Basically anyone who is a citizen or a resident, not including nonresident aliens and estates/trusts.

What now?

So, after reading this. I realized that I am probably ineligible, I also realize many citizens living abroad are also ineligible. There will be constant updates to this.

I also wrote about the student loan interest rates. Read here.

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