March 28  The IRS is offering information about coronavirus tax relief on its website, including details about the change in tax deadlines and the stimulus checks that will be sent out to a majority of Americans. Both the State of Illinois and federal income tax filing deadlines have been extended to July 15, 2020. Click on coronavirus relief  for complete information.

Congress has agreed on a $2 trillion economic relief plan to offer assistance to American households affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The plan includes stimulus payments to an estimated 125 million people, expanded unemployment coverage and other special provisions. President Trump is expected to sign the bill. A summary of information currently available about stimulus checks follows:

The amount of each stimulus check depends on income. Most adults will get the full amount of $1,200. For every qualifying child age 16 or under, the payment would be an additional $500. U.S. residents who have an adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less will get the full amount. Married couples with no children earning $150,000 or less will get $2,400 total. Taxpayers who file as head of household will get the full amount if they earned $112,500 or less.

Payment is decreased on a sliding scale for those who earn over $75,000. Single people who earn $99,000 or more, or married couples earning $198,000 or more are not eligible for payments. The maximum household income can be slightly higher for families with children.

Adults and children who are claimed as dependents will not receive a stimulus check.

Stimulus payments are based on 2019 income. Payments to those who have not yet submitted their 2019 tax returns will be based on 2018 returns. If a 2018 return has not been filed, people can use a 2019 Social Security statement that shows income reported by an employer to the IRS. However, those who have not filed for either 2018 or 2019 are advised to talk with a tax advisor about how best to ensure that they will receive a check if they qualify for the assistance.

Payments are made by direct deposit to bank accounts of those for whom the IRS already has bank account information. The amount will be based on the recent income-tax figures it already has if they are from 2018 or 2019.

Most people who qualify for a stimulus check can expect to receive it in about three weeks. At this time, the economic relief plan provides for a single payment.

Heidi Randhava is an award winning reporter who has a deep commitment to community engagement and service. She has written for the Evanston RoundTable since 2016.