Accounting Aid’s Response to Covid-19: Updates and Assistance

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 Updated November 10, 2020

 IMPORTANTIf you aren’t required to file income taxes, and you haven’t received your Economic Impact Payment (also known as a ‘stimulus check’ or ‘stimulus payment’) yet, you’ll need to register by NOVEMBER 21, 2020 to receive your payment by the end of the year. Register by filling out a safe and secure online form on the IRS website (select the blue ‘Enter Your Information’ button).  See the ‘Economic Impact Payment FAQ’ section below for more information and support. 

Following Michigan’s shelter-in-place order, all in person tax site operations for Accounting Aid Society are currently paused. In the meantime, we are piloting online methods of tax preparation assistance for previously scheduled clients. As soon as we are confident these services may be offered with appropriate security and client privacy, we intend to scale up in order to serve as many taxpayers as we have the capacity to do so. Information and capacity are constantly evolving in the current environment, so please continue to check back here for ongoing updates, service offerings, resources and information. 

WAYS WE CAN HELP YOU

Accounting Aid offers 2 free programs to complete your return online yourself. Review the options that best fit your situation. Note that support IS available via our Help Hotline:

Option 1: Do your taxes for free

  • IRS Free File Program Delivered by TurboTax – a free service to individuals with an adjusted gross income of $36,000 or less ($69,000 for active military, or anyone who qualifies for the Earned Income Tax Credit). This service includes free online filing of federal, state, and local (city) income taxes. For additional support, watch the TurboTax overview video here.
  • My Free Taxes by H&R Block – free filing of federal and state income taxes for individuals with incomes less than $66,000. Please note this program does not include local (city) returns
  • Non-Filers: Enter Payment Information – If you don’t usually file a return, you can complete this free online form so the IRS can determine your eligibility, payment amount and send your Economic Impact Payment. If you choose this option, you will still need to file a Michigan return to receive a Homestead Property Tax Credit (renters rebate), and file a Michigan Home Heating Credit form if you typically receive these credits.

HELP HOTLINE: If you have questions working with tax software or entering your payment information, we have a hotline that is staffed Monday through Friday from 12:30 pm to 6 pm. To reach the hotline, call us at: 1-844-806-5780.

Option 2:  Use our new VITA ACE (Accessible, Convenient, Electronic) program

Make an online appointment to have Accounting Aid Society complete your federal, state and city returns at no cost. This IRS-approved program uses phone calls and secure file transfer to prepare your return. You will need a computer, tablet or smartphone with internet access. Learn more about VITA ACE, how it works and what you’ll need to get started by visiting the webpage or by downloading the shareable PDF.

IMPORTANT DEADLINES
  • 2019 Federal, State and City of Detroit income tax filing – July 15, 2020
  • 2019 City income tax filing (all other cities including Highland Park, Hamtramck, and Pontiac) – July 31st, 2020
  • 2019 Michigan Home Heating Credit – September 30, 2020
  • 2019 Michigan Homestead Property Tax Credits can be claimed through April 15, 2024
  • Last day to register for Economic Impact Payments – November 21, 2020
ECONOMIC IMPACT PAYMENT FAQ

 What are Economic Impact Payments?

Economic Impact Payments (EIP), commonly known as ‘stimulus payments’ or ‘stimulus checks,’ are one-time payments that are calculated and distributed by the IRS to help provide financial relief to individuals and families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The payments are calculated and distributed by the IRS. While most people receive their payments automatically, some may have to provide additional information to get their payment. Eligible people will receive a payment of up to $1,200 for individuals or $2,400 for married couples. Up to $500 is provided for each qualifying child who is a dependent under 17.

Will I get an Economic Impact Payment?

You’ll most likely get the full Economic Impact Payment if you meet the following requirements:

  1. Your adjusted gross income (AGI) is under $75,000 (for single or married filing separately, or $150,000 (if married filing jointly),
  2. You have a valid Social Security Number
  3. You cannot be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return
  4. You are a U.S citizen, permanent resident or qualifying resident alien.

How do I get my payment?

If you’ve filed a tax return in 2018 or 2019, you don’t need to do anything. The IRS will automatically send your payment using the information you provided on your tax return. The payment will be directly deposited to the bank account listed on your return. If you did not provide direct deposit information, the payment will be mailed to the address on your return. 

 If you receive Social Security, including Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Railroad Retirement benefits, Social Security Insurance (SSI), or Veterans Affairs benefits, you will also receive a payment automatically.

If you did not file a tax return for 2018 or 2019, and are not planning to, and you’re not a dependent, you can fill out an online form with the IRS by November 21, 2020. Call Accounting Aid Society at (313) 556-1920 for additional support using the form. 

Beginning May 18th, the IRS and Treasury began sending nearly 4 million stimulus payments on prepaid Visa debit cards to eligible recipients who haven’t received their check yet. Recipients can use the prepaid cards online, at ATMs and at any in-store location where Visa is accepted. The cards will be mailed by MetaBank, and each mailing will include instructions. Visit the EIP card website for more information on how to activate and use the card, or call Accounting Aid Society at (313) 556-1920 for questions and assistance.

I got my stimulus check on a debit card, and lost it or threw it out. What do I do?

You can request a replacement by calling 800-240-8100.our card will arrive in a plain envelope labeled “Money Network Cardholder Services” and will be issued by “Meta Bank, N.A.” The envelope will include instructions to activate the card, information on fees, and a note from the U.S. Treasury.

How do I check the status of my payment?

Check the status of your Economic Impact Payment here.  

Where can I find my Adjusted Gross Income (AGI)? 

  • On your 2019 tax return, your AGI can be found on line 8b of Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR.
  • On your 2018 tax return, your AGI can be found on line 7 of the Form 1040.

Does someone who died qualify for an Economic Impact Payment?

No. An Economic Impact Payment made to someone who has passed away before receiving the payment should be returned to the IRS. 

What should I do to return an Economic Impact Payment to the IRS? 

 If the payment was a paper check, write “void” in the endorsement section on the back of the check. Mail the voided check, along with a written note stating your reason for returning the check (do not bend, staple or paperclip the check). 

 If the payment was a paper check and you have cashed it OR if the payment was a direct deposit, write a personal check or money order made payable to the U.S. Treasury. Write “2020EIP” and the social security number or individual taxpayer identification number of the recipient of the check on the memo line. Mail the personal check or money order along with a written note stating your reason for returning the payment. 

 If you live in Michigan, mail your items to: 

 Kansas City Internal Revenue Service

 333 W Pershing Rd.

Kansas City, MO 64108

If you live in a different state, you can find the appropriate mailing address under Q54 here.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
  • Where’s My Refund? an online tool that will allow you to track the status of your refund. To do so, you’ll need your Social Security Number of Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, filing status, and exact refund amount. Typically, your status will be available 24 hours after e-filing or 4 weeks after you mailed your return.
  • IRS2Go Mobile App the official mobile app of the IRS that allows you to check your refund, make a payment, find free tax preparation assistance and sign up for tax tips and information.
  • Property Tax Exemptions If you’re a Detroit homeowner struggling to pay your property taxes, you may be eligible for a Property Tax Exemption for 2019. 2020 Property Tax Exemption applications are required to be filed by December 14, 2020. Visit the City of Detroit’s Homeowners Property Tax Assistance Program (HPTAP) website for more information
  • The Michigan COVID-19 Pandemic Resource Guide -information on programs aimed at supporting Michigan residents during the coronavirus pandemic, with a special section for programs serving Detroit residents
  • DTE Energy is extending shut-off protections, offering billing assistance and sharing energy savings tips to help during the pandemic. Visit DTE’s website to learn more and reach out directly with your questions and concerns.
  • Scams – If you receive calls, emails, text messages or any form of communication claiming to be from the Treasury Department, IRS or government offering coronavirus grants or payments in exchange for personal financial information or for a fee, do not respond. These are scams. Report scam attempts here.
  • BCBSM Tool Kit – To help communities inform their residents about the coronavirus, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan developed an online tool kit that provides resources and comprehensive information about COVID-19 symptoms, prevention and protection. Some of these resources include food relief, health and wellness, and mental health assistance.