Economic Impact Payments have gone out to people in the states and in Puerto Rico. However, there are some differences in Puerto Rico.
U.S. citizens with Social Security numbers will receive payments of $1,200 for individuals, $2,400 for married couples filing taxes jointly, and $500 for each child up to age 16. Those with incomes over $75,000 will have reduced payments and those who earned more than $99,000 ($198,000 for couples) will not receive a payment.
People who receive Social Security benefits and those who filed federal income tax returns for 2018 or 2019 will automatically receive payments without any action, whether they live in a state or a territory. Many residents in Puerto Rico don’t fall into either of these groups.
The Puerto Rico government will distribute Economic Impact Payments to those who do not get payments directly from the federal government. The Secretary of the Department of the Treasury, Francisco Parés Alicea, announced that this process will begin in the last week in April.
The Economic Impact Payments are part of the CARES Act, a $2.2 trillion stimulus package approved by Congress. Residents of Puerto Rico will receive the same amounts as residents of states, even if they did not file a federal income tax return in 2018 or 2019. However, the process might take a little longer. The government says that most people will receive payments electronically.
People who will be receiving payments from the federal government have probably already received those funds if the government has their banking information. If the government does not have the information needed for direct deposit, they will send checks in the mail. These checks could begin to arrive by the end of April, but could take as long as August to arrive.
The federal government has online tools for people who want to track their payments or to provide direct deposit information. These tools are not, the federal government says, designed for people in Puerto Rico to use, but they also will not exclude Puerto Ricans. However, the Puerto Rico government does not recommend that residents of the Island use these tools.
“For those who do not file a return and do not receive Social Security or any government aid, we are working on a tool through SURI, which will not require an account, nor that people register to access,” said the Secretary of the Treasury in a press release. “The tool will require them to answer, in a simple way, some basic questions to be able to acquire the information of the bank account where the direct deposit will be made .”
The Economic Impact Payments are intended to help people who have been out of work because of coronavirus restrictions. There will also be extensions of unemployment compensation. However, even those who are currently working will receive the Economic Impact Payments.