Economic Impact Payments Provide Some Relief to Individuals; Offer Opportunities for Community Support

 Americans are beginning to see the first Economic Impact Payments around the country this week. For millions this is uplifting news during uncertain times. For eligible taxpayers who filed tax returns for 2018 or 2019 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, survivors or disability benefits, SSDI or who receive Railroad Retirement benefits but did not file a return for 2018 or 2019 will automatically receive a payment in the near future. 

The Rollout of IRS.gov’s 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). 

On Friday, April 10, the Treasury Department and IRS launched a non-filer online tool helping people who normally don’t file tax returns to get payments. 

The tool provides an online option for people who don’t have a return filing obligation, including those with too little income to file. Those people provide basic 

information so they can receive their Economic Impact Payments as soon as possible. 

The online tool is designed for people who did not file a tax return for 2018 or 2019 and who don’t receive Social Security retirement, disability (SSDI), or survivor benefits or Railroad Retirement benefits, those with lower income (single filers who made under $12,200 or married couples making less than $24,400 in 2019). It is important to note that students or others who are claimed as a dependent on another person’s tax return will not be eligible for the Economic Impact Payment or using the Non-Filer tool. 

Economic Impact Payments are part of the CARES Act, the $2.2 trillion federal stimulus package passed in late March. Among the many provisions also included in the CARES Act, a few incentives were offered to encourage philanthropic giving during these challenging times. For those who receive Economic Impact Payments and are philanthropically able to donate, the following changes for 2020 are in effect: 

• Donors may take up to $300 in above the line deductions for charitable gifts made in 2020, even if you do not itemize. 

• Individuals who do itemize can elect to deduct up to 100% of their 2020 AGI (up from 60% previously). 

• Corporations can deduct up to 25% of taxable income (up from 10% previously). 

The United Way of Santa Barbara County, Hutton Parker Foundation, and Santa Barbara Foundation are leading the COVID-19 Joint Response Effort with members of the Foundation Roundtable to address the needs of individuals and families in Santa Barbara County as well as the nonprofits who serve them. 

“Our community leadership was quick to respond to the widespread impact of this global pandemic,” said Jackie Carrera, Interim CEO of the Santa Barbara Foundation. “We are grateful for the support of our philanthropic partners and donors throughout the county.” 

Many generous donors have contributed to the COVID-19 Joint Response Effort, but applications received for funding far exceed the funds available at this time. 

“We knew when the COVID-19 Joint Response Effort and our partnerships were solidified that this effort would be an ongoing challenge,” Carrera continued. “We hope that the stimulus package combined with efforts to flatten the COVID-19 curve will help to lessen the burden of so many in our communities. For those who are able, now is a great time to help support our most vulnerable neighbors and the organizations that assist them. The need is significant and growing every day.” 

About Santa Barbara Foundation 

The Santa Barbara Foundation, the largest community foundation in the region and the county’s go-to resource for investment and capacity-building, strives to mobilize and elevate all residents to thrive. Nearly every Santa Barbara County nonprofit organization and essential community project has been supported by the Foundation during its 91-year history. The Foundation is working to improve areas that affect quality of life in Santa Barbara County including childcare, workforce development, and workforce housing. The Foundation connects those who give with those in need – and all who dream of stronger communities. To learn more, please visit SBFoundation.org.

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