US expats and Green Card holders entitled to stimulus payments

Published:  8 May at 6 PM
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Tagged: USA, Citizenship
American expats can’t believe their luck as the USA government’s $1,200 stimulus payment now applies to them as well as to Green Card holders.

Most USA expats’ only contact with their government is a result of FATCA and the double taxation rule, with few actually expecting they’d also be recipients of the generous stimulus payment. It’s available to all US expats provided they’re up to date with their tax payments and have an income lower than $75,000 a year. To those whose income is between this amount and $99,000, a partial payment will be made.

The payment itself is per person, meaning that USA citizen couples can file jointly and receive the payment, and there’s also a payment of $5,000 for each child of the family. Line 8b of last year’s income tax payment will be used to determine entitlement based on salary, and applicants should expect to receive the payments within a reasonable amount of time. For those who’ve already registered their bank details with the IRS, the payment will be sent automatically to the account given.

Otherwise, those entitled to the payment can check the IRS online tool or instruct the authority to send a personal check. It’s not beyond the realms of possibility that the IRS is hoping the payment might well result in registration by those who forgot to get their tax affairs sorted out once they’ve become expats. US expat citizen couples with several children could gain by around $3,400, a not inconsiderable sum given the costs of living in some favourite US expat destinations. If they’re living on the cheap, their actual tax liability might be manageable once the stimulus payment is agreed.
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