Eligibility for Covid stimulus checks

29 posts in this topic

Hi all,

 

I am curious how many American expats have received covid stimulus checks. I received the first check last year (delayed but I received it by mail in Germany). I have yet to receive the second stimulus check ($600) and I know the $1400 checks are just now being sent out. According to the IRS website, all the second-wave checks have been mailed out and you can't even check the status on those anymore. I guess it is possible the check still could be coming on the mail (mail is really slow right now between the US and Germany). But I am starting to lose hope. 

 

I file taxes every year (have not yet for 2020 - don't have enough information yet). Curious how many expats have received the checks effectively because of the German/US tax treaty and the ability to set off income nearly 1:1 (like with a Form 2555) + deductions, which results in little to no bottom line income in the US. I was surprised to receive the first check because had I earned my income in the US, I would not have been eligible to receive any Covid relief. But because my US income effectively nets out to $0 on my 1040, I guess it looks like I, or indeed most expats, are pretty poor. I am not complaining that I got my check - just wondering if the IRS considered that! Well...maybe for the second check they have! Anyone else out there get a check only essentially only because your bottom line 1040 nets out to a small number or $0?

 

Thanks! Would love to hear other experiences. 

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9 hours ago, Lindsayj said:

I received the first check last year (delayed but I received it by mail in Germany). I have yet to receive the second stimulus check ($600) and I know the $1400 checks are just now being sent out.

 

Same situation but I'm not losing hope because they just started going over the weekend, AFAIK. I have mine earmarked for a charity so if I don't get it, nothing lost.

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Mine were direct deposited. There was a link at one time you could go to to co firm your banking info on the first payment. Might want to look for it on irs website if this is still active. I had to do this because i did not have a previous refund with banking info on the system

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I got my first one as a paper check in early May 2020, and my second one as a paper check in mid January 2021.  I'm curious if Biden will include his name on the current checks going out as Trump did.  

 

Similar to OP, my U.S. returns show very little income taxable by U.S.

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5 minutes ago, DoubleDTown said:

I got my first one as a paper check in early May 2020, and my second one as a paper check in mid January 2021.  I'm curious if Biden will include his name on the current checks going out as Trump did.  

 

Similar to OP, my U.S. returns show very little income taxable by U.S.

Ditto here!

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The bigger question is do these payments need to be reported on a german tax return. I have asked my steurberator is not sure. Anyone have any info?

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The stimulus checks are based on AGI (Adjusted Gross Income). The Foreign Earned Income Exclusion will usually knock it down significantly (e.g you make 140k $US, after FEIE, your AGI is like 32k $US). For stimulus checks AGI less 150k as a married couple filing jointly and 75k for a single person.

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Thanks, all. :rolleyes: If it is based on AGI I should clearly qualify - I definitely do not earn more than 75k after FEIE. I must have qualified for the first stimulus because they sent me the first check! So I was surprised that I did not get the second check, because nothing in my income or circumstances changed.

 

I would have been happy to have them wire the money to my US account but I guess this was not an option. I have always done paper filing, not e-filing. This would have also saved me the hassle of mailing my check to a family member to deposit in my US account on my behalf (as Deutsche Bank would not take my check, because it was drawn by the US Treasury, which for reasons not clear to me, is not an acceptable payor to Deutsche - or seemingly other German banks!)

 

I guess I just have to wait to see if I get the third check. I guess if the US Government is printing money like monopoly, and my kids or I will be responsible to pay it back/pay the interest, I might as well get my cut, right. 

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On ‎15‎.‎03‎.‎2021‎ ‎21‎:‎21‎:‎53, wien4ever said:

The stimulus checks are based on AGI (Adjusted Gross Income). The Foreign Earned Income Exclusion will usually knock it down significantly (e.g you make 140k $US, after FEIE, your AGI is like 32k $US). For stimulus checks AGI less 150k as a married couple filing jointly and 75k for a single person.

 

Thank you Wien4ever - that answered my question. I was a bit skeptical when my tax guy said I was a getting an $1800 refund this year because, in US $$, I definitely do not qualify for it. And, while I feel like it's not really right because other people could use the money more than me, I'll take it.

 

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On 3/17/2021, 12:42:51, Lindsayj said:

I would have been happy to have them wire the money to my US account ... This would have also saved me the hassle of mailing my check to a family member to deposit in my US account on my behalf

 

there's an app for that

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On 3/15/2021, 12:08:59, DoubleDTown said:

I got my first one as a paper check in early May 2020, and my second one as a paper check in mid January 2021.  I'm curious if Biden will include his name on the current checks going out as Trump did.  

 

My third paper check arrived.  Now I know the answer.  Biden's name is not on the new checks. 

trump v biden.jpg

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I don't know what you guys are talking about, my check was personally signed by Trump himself!

 

May be an image of 1 person

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I don't recall getting a letter during the Trump administration about anticipated payments.  Were there letters?

 

Today I got what I thought was a scary looking envelope from the IRS. It came about 3 weeks after I got my most recent Economic Impact Payment.

 

Inside the IRS envelope, was a letter from President Biden telling me he had fulfilled his promise to me and I would be getting a check for $X.  (which I already have got)  But wait, there was more.  I could visit the White House web site and learn more about The American Rescue Plan. 

 

The letter was printed in English on one side and in Spanish on the other side.

 

60a4eefa86a5b_Bidenletter.jpg.25f610a5ad

envelope.jpg

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39 minutes ago, DoubleDTown said:

I don't recall getting a letter during the Trump administration about anticipated payments.  Were there letters?

We had funds directly deposited and received letters from Tr***.  I didn’t read mine.  Tore it up and into the 🗑.  🤮 One person just got a Biden letter 6 weeks after the deposit was made.  Doesn’t interest me really.  Old news, but not 🤮. 

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I got two letters , one Trump , one Biden, and three checks .

 

I also got scared when I saw the IRS envelope!! :D

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