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Old 18.03.2020, 11:15
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US Coronavirus Stimulus Checks [Cheques]

Hey everyone,


There has been talk about, and Trump announced interest in, sending stimulus checks to Americans, similar to what was done in 2008. While there is nothing concrete yet, I wanted to look into what happened to Americans living abroad for this package in 2008 and I couldn't really find anything. Does anyone have any information on how this will play out for Americans living in Switzerland?



My example: I (of course) filed a US tax return last year, but my Adjusted Gross Income was $0 due to earning less than the foreign earned income exclusion, and having no income in the US, therefore my tax burden was $0. Would I have been eligible under the rules of the 2008 bill? The only thing I can find is "earned XXXX in qualifying income," where qualifying income isn't really defined.



Hoping to start a general discussion here on the topic
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Old 18.03.2020, 11:44
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Re: US Coronavirus Stimulus Checks

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Hey everyone,


There has been talk about, and Trump announced interest in, sending stimulus checks to Americans, similar to what was done in 2008. While there is nothing concrete yet, I wanted to look into what happened to Americans living abroad for this package in 2008 and I couldn't really find anything. Does anyone have any information on how this will play out for Americans living in Switzerland?



My example: I (of course) filed a US tax return last year, but my Adjusted Gross Income was $0 due to earning less than the foreign earned income exclusion, and having no income in the US, therefore my tax burden was $0. Would I have been eligible under the rules of the 2008 bill? The only thing I can find is "earned XXXX in qualifying income," where qualifying income isn't really defined.



Hoping to start a general discussion here on the topic
Do I get this correctly? You actually think your government should send you a stimulus check to - Switzerland? Of all places?

<<The one-time payment went to recipients of Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, and veterans’ benefits.>>
Let's say you are on social security here in Switzerland. I'm almost sure you get more money than those back home. So maybe you should send some money to the US in these tough times?

Is this the info you're looking for about 2008?
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Old 18.03.2020, 11:51
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Re: US Coronavirus Stimulus Checks

If they're handing out $1000 to each citizen i'll gladly take it whether im living there or not.
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Old 18.03.2020, 12:09
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Re: US Coronavirus Stimulus Checks [Cheques]

Tax Rebate cheques for $300 (singles)/ $600 (families) were also sent to Americans abroad as part of an economic stimulus program in 2001. The main criterion was:

"What do people have to do to get their check?

Nothing. As long as a taxpayer filed a 2000 return, he is eligible."

https://edition.cnn.com/2001/ALLPOLI...07/tax.primer/
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Old 18.03.2020, 12:12
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Re: US Coronavirus Stimulus Checks

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Do I get this correctly? You actually think your government should send you a stimulus check to - Switzerland? Of all places?

<<The one-time payment went to recipients of Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, and veterans’ benefits.>>
Let's say you are on social security here in Switzerland. I'm almost sure you get more money than those back home. So maybe you should send some money to the US in these tough times?

Is this the info you're looking for about 2008?
Yes, I do, if they're sending them to all tax paying US citizens. I have unlimited tax liability to the US, even if I earn my money exclusively abroad, so of course I expect to be included in tax breaks/benefits. This year I had no due taxes, but in previous years I've had to pay several thousand to the IRS/my home state, despite not earning any money in the US or setting foot there.

I'm not sure where you got the information about checks being only for SSI and veterans. I'm talking about the 2008 stimulus checks, which went to every tax paying citizen over 18. The main question is which metric did they use to determine income: gross income, net income, AGI?

As for the implication that I would spend the money here: don't make assumptions when you're clearly uninformed on the topic. I'm already in the process of purchasing gift certificates from local restaurants in my hometown, that are now forced to do delivery only. You also have no information about my financial situation, student loans, etc, so please keep your opinions on the topic to yourself.

If anyone has any informed contributions they'd like to make to the discussion, I'm happy to hear them
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Old 18.03.2020, 12:13
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Re: US Coronavirus Stimulus Checks

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If anyone has any informed contributions they'd like to make to the discussion, I'm happy to hear them

Then maybe better ask a forum in the US?
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Old 18.03.2020, 12:13
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Tax Rebate cheques for $300 (singles)/ $600 (families) were also sent to Americans abroad as part of an economic stimulus program in 2001. The main criterion was:

"What do people have to do to get their check?

Nothing. As long as a taxpayer filed a 2000 return, he is eligible."

https://edition.cnn.com/2001/ALLPOLI...07/tax.primer/
Okay cool! I hadn't realized that there was also a bill in 2001. I guess it will completely depend on the logistics of the new one. I just hope that Americans abroad aren't screwed out of it, despite holding tax liability...

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Then maybe better ask a forum in the US?
Why would an American forum know anything about the rules for Americans living abroad? The chances of someone knowing something here are much higher.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 18.03.2020 at 17:30. Reason: merging consecutive replies
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Old 18.03.2020, 12:40
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Re: US Coronavirus Stimulus Checks

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Why would an American forum know anything about the rules for Americans living abroad? The chances of someone knowing something here are much higher.

Maybe because it will be bigger in the news than here? And people may help you with a link to the effective wording, that is why.
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Old 18.03.2020, 12:57
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Re: US Coronavirus Stimulus Checks

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Do I get this correctly? You actually think your government should send you a stimulus check to - Switzerland? Of all places?
[/URL]
Well if they're going to tax us abroad (for services we don't consume) then they should send us the check. Can't have your cake and eat it too if you insist on citizen based taxation.

I too was wondering what the basis would be for the checks, if tax returns, then that's a good, fair, means.
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Old 18.03.2020, 13:21
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Re: US Coronavirus Stimulus Checks [Cheques]

In 2008 US taxpayers abroad were in theory eligible for the "Recovery rebate credit" subject to the rules contained in two worksheets.

For the first worksheet, please see pp. 62-63 at 2008 1040 Instructions (which will send the Form 2555 filer to the next worksheet):

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-prior/i1040gi--2008.pdf

Then see the worksheet at p. 8 at 2008 Pub. 972:

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-prior/p972--2008.pdf
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Old 18.03.2020, 14:07
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Re: US Coronavirus Stimulus Checks [Cheques]

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...... My example: I (of course) filed a US tax return last year, but my Adjusted Gross Income was $0 due to earning less than the foreign earned income exclusion, and having no income in the US, therefore my tax burden was $0. Would I have been eligible under the rules of the 2008 bill? The only thing I can find is "earned XXXX in qualifying income," where qualifying income isn't really defined.
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Yes, I do, if they're sending them to all tax paying US citizens. I have unlimited tax liability to the US, even if I earn my money exclusively abroad, so of course I expect to be included in tax breaks/benefits. This year I had no due taxes, but in previous years I've had to pay several thousand to the IRS/my home state, despite not earning any money in the US or setting foot there.

I'm not sure where you got the information about checks being only for SSI and veterans. I'm talking about the 2008 stimulus checks, which went to every tax paying citizen over 18. The main question is which metric did they use to determine income: gross income, net income, AGI?

As for the implication that I would spend the money here: don't make assumptions when you're clearly uninformed on the topic. I'm already in the process of purchasing gift certificates from local restaurants in my hometown, that are now forced to do delivery only. You also have no information about my financial situation, student loans, etc, so please keep your opinions on the topic to yourself.

If anyone has any informed contributions they'd like to make to the discussion, I'm happy to hear them
LOL.

From the link I gave, one of the first sentences, - which was about 2008 and you didn't bother to read, obviously.

All the best.
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Old 18.03.2020, 14:19
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Re: US Coronavirus Stimulus Checks [Cheques]

It looks like as an American you must have filed taxes probably at least for 2019, be 18+ years of age and make less than $100,000 a year and you are eligible for a check or direct deposit of the $1000.

Information gathered from different sources, no-one seems to know all the details officially. It appears some articles say possibly more than $1000 if you're in the lower income range.

It's says in a few articles there might possibly be another check disbursed later as well.

I doubt if one is living abroad that excludes them from being eligible.
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Old 18.03.2020, 16:38
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LOL.

From the link I gave, one of the first sentences, - which was about 2008 and you didn't bother to read, obviously.

All the best.
I did read your link, which you clearly didn't. The first line is "In 2009, the Economic Stimulus Act sent out $14.2 billion in stimulus checks.1 2 The one-time payment went to recipients of Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, and veterans’ benefits." Which is not what I'm asking about. The next sentence, about further tax rebates in 2008, is also not what I'm asking about. Way near the bottom (in the section "Stimulus Checks in 2008"), they mention the same information I wrote about in my initial post (the $600 stimulus checks), with no more details than can be found in any other news article.

All the best to you as well.

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In 2008 US taxpayers abroad were in theory eligible for the "Recovery rebate credit" subject to the rules contained in two worksheets.

For the first worksheet, please see pp. 62-63 at 2008 1040 Instructions (which will send the Form 2555 filer to the next worksheet):

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-prior/i1040gi--2008.pdf

Then see the worksheet at p. 8 at 2008 Pub. 972:

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-prior/p972--2008.pdf
Cool! I supposed if it's a credit, and not an "earned income credit" (maybe I'm mixing up the terms), then it won't affect people with no tax due? Whereas the latter (like the child credits) can result in a refund even though no tax was paid?

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It looks like as an American you must have filed taxes probably at least for 2019, be 18+ years of age and make less than $100,000 a year and you are eligible for a check or direct deposit of the $1000.

Information gathered from different sources, no-one seems to know all the details officially. It appears some articles say possibly more than $1000 if you're in the lower income range.

It's says in a few articles there might possibly be another check disbursed later as well.

I doubt if one is living abroad that excludes them from being eligible.
That's about that I've seen too. I guess we'll have to wait on the specific wording. My concern wasn't that living abroad would disqualify me, but rather the way that the foreign earned income exclusion reduces adjusted gross income to zero. Then if they use the AGI number, it looks like I earned no money in 2019. Would be weird, and also unfair to low earning families whose AGI is also 0, but wouldn't be the first time there are weird tax rules...

Last edited by 3Wishes; 18.03.2020 at 17:31. Reason: merging consecutive replies
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Old 20.03.2020, 10:37
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Re: US Coronavirus Stimulus Checks [Cheques]

From a thread on reddit today (thread: https://www.reddit.com/r/Economics/c..._1200/fkzvr6t/), someone posted a link to a bill currently in the Senate (link to pdf of bill: https://www.republicanleader.senate....Mar%202020.pdf).


Page 35 is where the relevant information starts, on p.p. 36 they have basically the same language about qualifying income, but actually define qualifying income on p.p. 37, which includes "earned income." The only time AGI is mentioned is after the fact, and will be the cap that determines if you make too much money (e.g. over $75k AGI for a single earner starts reducing the payout).


So still not even close to being passed, but still some good information for fellow Americans working abroad
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Old 20.03.2020, 12:04
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Re: US Coronavirus Stimulus Checks [Cheques]

Here's a link to the Treasury Memo that outlines the administration's current thinking on it.

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/03/18/p...age/index.html

Also CRS issued two quick pieces yesterday that often indicate Congress' thinking on the matter with possible ways to go. One of the main issues that is noted there, and in my view Congress will want to cover, is the fact that many low earners do not need to file tax returns. So they would likely need a different or add on method compared to the 2008 procedure. Another procedure brought up was UBI, universal basic income approach.
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Old 20.03.2020, 13:57
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Re: US Coronavirus Stimulus Checks [Cheques]

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Here's a link to the Treasury Memo that outlines the administration's current thinking on it.

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/03/18/p...age/index.html

Also CRS issued two quick pieces yesterday that often indicate Congress' thinking on the matter with possible ways to go. One of the main issues that is noted there, and in my view Congress will want to cover, is the fact that many low earners do not need to file tax returns. So they would likely need a different or add on method compared to the 2008 procedure. Another procedure brought up was UBI, universal basic income approach.

Good info, thank you. I passed it on to some friends running small businesses, as there is some info at the end about a potential payroll loan program
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Old 23.03.2020, 13:44
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Re: US Coronavirus Stimulus Checks [Cheques]

Here's details on what's proposed in the Senate, known as CARES Act, S.3548. Still the House Dems apparently want something else, so its still not clear where this is going atm.

Main points--
Taxpayers who had filed 2018 taxes would have the credit advanced to them in 2020, generally by direct deposit or check

It would be 1,200 per person (2,400 married joint returns) and 500 per child (assuming child qualifies for child tax credit)

It phases out at AGI above 75,000 USD (150,000 married)

SSN required. Those with only ITIN are ineligible, i.e. foreign spouses perhaps.

Non-resident aliens, does not apply to them.



I just found out there is a second proposal, by a group of 6 Senators that is different to the above.

Just a letter outling so far. see https://www.documentcloud.org/docume...ents-3-17.html

But essentially offering 2,000 recurring cash payments to families until situation improves.
Offered to 2019 tax filers plus the ones that generally don't file, as outlined in my previous post.
Would also be phased out for high income, but no level defined.

Last edited by runningdeer; 23.03.2020 at 14:37.
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Old 26.03.2020, 11:34
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Re: US Coronavirus Stimulus Checks [Cheques]

Interesting that is says that it is based on AGI and not MAGI. Thus the FEIE is not counted back in. This leads me to believe it should be possible for adults to get $1200 and for children to get $500. (as long as you have an SSN)

The times of Israel is also confiming in a story:

If you are using tax credits, then your are probably SOL
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Old 26.03.2020, 16:51
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Re: US Coronavirus Stimulus Checks [Cheques]

FYI, American Citizens Abroad sent a letter to the House and Senate leadership, the IRS, and Sec Treas. detailing many of the concerns in this thread:

https://www.americansabroad.org/news...lative-relief/

The text of the letter:
https://www.americansabroad.org/medi...oad-200323.pdf


Whether anyone will listen, though...
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Old 26.03.2020, 18:15
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Re: US Coronavirus Stimulus Checks [Cheques]

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Here's details on what's proposed in the Senate, known as CARES Act, S.3548. Still the House Dems apparently want something else, so its still not clear where this is going atm.

Main points--
Taxpayers who had filed 2018 taxes would have the credit advanced to them in 2020, generally by direct deposit or check

It would be 1,200 per person (2,400 married joint returns) and 500 per child (assuming child qualifies for child tax credit)

It phases out at AGI above 75,000 USD (150,000 married)

SSN required. Those with only ITIN are ineligible, i.e. foreign spouses perhaps.

Non-resident aliens, does not apply to them.



I just found out there is a second proposal, by a group of 6 Senators that is different to the above.

Just a letter outling so far. see https://www.documentcloud.org/docume...ents-3-17.html

But essentially offering 2,000 recurring cash payments to families until situation improves.
Offered to 2019 tax filers plus the ones that generally don't file, as outlined in my previous post.
Would also be phased out for high income, but no level defined.
Are you saying that 1200 is paid out to all who earn up to 75,000. Every American? 1200 seems like nothing?
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