Scammers Want Your Stimulus Payment. Here’s How To Ensure You Receive It.

As the IRS begins to issue Stimulus Payments this week, scammers are salivating over the billions of dollars that will be distributed.

The IRS urges taxpayers to be on the lookout for scam artists trying to use the economic impact payments as cover for schemes to steal personal information and money. Remember, the IRS will not call, text you, email you or contact you on social media  asking for personal or bank account information – even related to the economic impact payments. Also, watch out for emails with attachments or links claiming to have special information about economic impact payments or refunds.

The IRS is launching a website mid-April that will allow you to:

  • Check your payment status.
  • Confirm your payment type: direct deposit or check.
  • Enter your bank account information for direct deposit if the IRS does not have your direct deposit information and hasn’t sent your payment yet.

Oregon Congressman Shares Latest News On Stimulus Payment.

Courtesy of Congressman Earl Blumenauer.

Today, the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) launched a new web tool to allow for quick registration for the COVID-19 Economic Impact Payments to those that don’t normally file a tax return.

Here’s some information from the IRS:

How do I use the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info tool?

For those who don’t normally file a tax return, the process is simple and only takes a few minutes to complete. First, visit IRS.gov, and look for “Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here.” Then provide basic information including Social Security number, name, address, and dependents. The IRS will use this information to confirm eligibility and calculate and send an Economic Impact Payment. Using the tool to get your payment will not result in any taxes being owed. Entering bank or financial account information will allow the IRS to deposit your payment directly in your account.  Otherwise, your payment will be mailed to you.

“Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info” is secure, and the information entered will be safe. The tool is based on Free File Fillable Forms, part of the Free File Alliance’s offerings of free products on IRS.gov.

Who should use the Non-Filers tool?

This new tool is designed for people who did not file a tax return for 2018 or 2019 and who don’t receive Social Security retirement or disability benefits or Railroad Retirement benefits. Others who should consider the Non-Filers tool as an option, include:

Lower income: Among those who could use Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info tool are those who haven’t filed a 2018 or 2019 return because they are under the normal income limits for filing a tax return. This may include single filers who made under $12,200 and married couples making less than $24,400 in 2019.

Veterans beneficiaries and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients: The IRS continues to explore ways to see if Economic Impact Payments can be made automatically to SSI recipients and those who receive veterans disability compensation, pension or survivor benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs and who did not file a tax return for the 2018 or 2019 tax years. People in these groups can either use Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info option now or wait as the IRS continues to review automatic payment options to simplify delivery for these groups.

Social Security, SSDI and Railroad Retirement beneficiaries with qualifying dependents: These groups will automatically receive $1,200 Economic Impact Payments. People in this group who have qualifying children under age 17 may use Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info to claim the $500 payment per child.

Students and others: If someone else claimed you on their tax return, you will not be eligible for the Economic Impact Payment or using the Non-Filer tool.

Coming next week: Automatic payments begin

Eligible taxpayers who filed tax returns for either 2019 or 2018 and chose direct deposit of their refund will automatically receive an Economic Impact Payment of up to $1,200 for individuals or $2,400 for married couples and $500 for each qualifying child. Individuals who receive Social Security retirement or disability benefits, SSDI or who receive Railroad Retirement benefits but did not file a return for 2019 or 2018 will automatically receive a payment in the near future.

Also coming next week: Get My Payment shows Economic Impact Payment date, helps with direct deposit

To help everyone check on the status of their payments, the IRS is building a second new tool expected to be available for use by April 17. Get My Payment will provide people with the status of their payment, including the date their payment is scheduled to be deposited into their bank account or mailed to them.

An additional feature on Get My Payment will allow eligible people a chance to provide their bank account information so they can receive their payment more quickly rather than waiting for a paper check. This feature will be unavailable if the Economic Impact Payment has already been scheduled for delivery.

More Information on Economic Impact Payments

The IRS will post additional updates on IRS.gov/coronavirus on these and other issues.

SBA Paycheck Protection Program For Small Businesses And Their Employees Begins Today.

As part of the stimulus package just signed by President Trump, SBA loans are available beginning today designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll.

SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.

A business can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. 

The Paycheck Protection Program will be available through June 30, 2020.  Full details at the website

COVID-19 Relief Package Payments Scheduled To Begin April 13 Per Oregon Congressman.

Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer serves on the House Ways and Means Committee and released an update today on the status of the COVID-19 Relief Package:

“I want to give you updated information as I understand it right now for when you might receive your direct payment of $1,200 from the COVID-19 relief package, and what you may need to do in order to receive it.

The Department of Treasury determined that beginning April 13 they will begin sending out the COVID-19 payments through direct deposit information submitted with your last tax return. If the IRS doesn’t have that information on file, the best way to receive the benefit would be to file your 2019 taxes.

Just yesterday, we received great news. According to the Treasury Department, if you receive Social Security benefits, your check will automatically come to you. 

This came after pressure from my colleagues and I on the Ways and Means Committee, who are continuing to fight for those in need to receive direct cash assistance. We are also looking to build on this progress and make the same automatic payment available to some Veterans and those who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

As of today, here is the latest estimated timing from the IRS on economic impact checks: 

-The IRS will make payments to people through direct deposit in mid-April (likely, the week of April 13th). In order to be in the first round the IRS has to have direct deposit information from either your 2019 or 2018 tax filing.

-About 3 weeks after those deposits are made (the week of May 4th), the IRS will begin issuing paper checks to individuals.

-The paper checks will be issued at a rate of about 5 million per week, which could take up to 20 weeks to get all the checks out.

-The checks will be issued in reverse “adjusted gross income” order—starting with people with the lowest income first.

-The IRS is encouraging taxpayers to file their 2019 returns to the maximum extent possible. As taxpayers file their 2019 returns electronically, the IRS will post updated tax information weekly to its files and then send this information to another agency that will issue weekly payments.

-The IRS expects to create a portal by the end of April/early May that will allow taxpayers, once they have been authenticated, to: (1) find out the status of their rebate payment and (2) update direct deposit information.

-For SSA beneficiaries who do not file returns, Treasury and the IRS announced on the evening of April 1st that these beneficiaries will not need to file a “simple tax return” to receive their rebate. Recipients will receive their rebate just as they would their Social Security benefits.

-For other taxpayers who do not file returns, the IRS expects to release the “simple tax return” soon. The IRS expects it will contain only a few questions, including name, Social Security Numbers, dependents, and deposit information. There also will be other IRS guidance accompanying this simple tax return.”

IRS Answers Questions On The Stimulus Payment With Easy To Read FAQ.

Everyone seems to have questions about the upcoming stimulus program and payment, and the Internal Revenue Service has created a webpage to answer them.  It’s easy to read and updated almost daily.

https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/economic-impact-payments-what-you-need-to-know

Oregon Department Of Agriculture Offers Tips And Resources During The COVID-19 Pandemic.

Press release from ODA this afternoon :

Dear ODA Partner,

Together, the agricultural community has a deep history of being resilient, compassionate, and leaders in our communities. Farmers, ranchers, food processors, farmworkers, truckers, and service suppliers are all identified as essential services at the national and state level. Our Federal and State governments are working hard to ensure that these vital sectors remain operational during this COVID-19 outbreak. This infectious disease has challenged our daily lives. In the face of uncertainty, the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) remains committed to supporting healthy natural resources, environment, and economy for Oregonians now and into the future.

We all have a vital role in protecting each other while maintaining our critical function and role in the community. ODA is reprioritizing resources, teleworking, and supporting functions outside our agency to do our part. The agency remains operational, but we ask for patience in your requests as we all work to minimize disruptions. Please reach out to the agency and know, while we might not have all the answers, we are here to help the best we can.

As the situation is rapidly changing, ODA has created a specific webpage oda.direct/COVID19 to provide a variety of information for all our partners.
Check frequently as information will be updated.

Why am I receiving this message?

As a critical partner in Oregon’s agricultural community, you are receiving this message as an update and to provide you with current resources to help navigate questions and concerns. You are encouraged to share, print, and forward this information to help ensure every Oregonian has science-based information.

No actions are being request or demands are being made—this message is for informational purposes only. For general COVID-19 information and general questions, please call 211. Visit the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) website for the most current information and guidance.

Should I keep my business/farm/ranch open?

Currently, essential businesses are not ordered to close, but are strongly encouraged to implement social distancing protocols. The Governor recognizes Oregon’s food production system as an essential function and is working hard to minimize disruptions. Each business has to independently assess themselves, be creative and innovative, and implement social distancing protocols that help reduce exposure.

What are social distancing protocols?

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued guidelines that are routinely updated. They can also be accessed in Spanish. Please check both sources for updates.

The basic social distancing and safety protocols you should implement are:

  • Provide the CDC-recommended distance of 6 feet between workers and customers;
  • Provide hand washing stations, routine disinfection, identify and mitigate pathways of exposure;
  • Stagger work schedules (if feasible);
  • Decrease social contacts in the workplace (e.g. limit in-person meetings, meeting for lunch in a break room, etc.);
  • Encourage sick or potentially exposed employees to stay home.

What resources are available to workers and employees?

Flexibility and compassion are important as we all navigate the COVID-19 situation.
Should you, as a worker or as an employer, be unable to work, there are resources.
As an employer, it is essential to help employees navigate resources and be accommodating to non-English speaking employees.

For information regarding COVID-19: Related Business Layoffs, Closures, and Unemployment Insurance Benefits, please visit the Oregon Employment Department (OED) website. The OED has Scenarios and Benefits sheets in both English and Spanish.

Unemployment

Both federal and state lawmakers are considering changes to unemployment to be able to respond to this unique situation. All changes and updates can be found on the Oregon Employment Department website. While these changes are being considered, if you or your employees need to file for unemployment, you are encouraged to file claims quickly. Claims can be filed with OED in English and Spanish.

How will ODA be conducting business?

ODA is prioritizing the health and well-being of our staff and families. Critical functions including: food safety inspections, maintaining market access, and responding to the agency’s customers remain operational. ODA is reprioritizing staff to conduct and maintain critical functions and may be delayed in response to non-COVID-19 related business. Rule makings and other meetings will be re-examined and either postponed or conducted remotely whenever possible. Please reach out directly to ODA programs for more information.