Will I still qualify for the stimulus payment if I did not file a tax return last year?

Date: April 2020


Dear Deans,

I am a graduate student who did not file a tax return last year, will I still qualify for the stimulus payment?

-Interested in Economic Impact


Dear Interested in Economic Impact,

The recently passed law provides economic impact payments up to $1,200 for single adults and $500 for children under 17. Payments start phasing out for those with income above $75,000 in adjusted gross income for individuals, $112,500 for heads of household (often single parents), and $150,000 for married couples.

According to the IRS website, if you have not filed a tax return for 2018 or 2019, you can still receive a payment as soon as you file one. They suggest including direct deposit banking information on the return. People who filed a return for tax year 2018 or 2019 don’t need to do anything else to receive the funds. If you filed a return in 2018, but not 2019, they will use the information on the 2018 return to process the payment.

The Graduate School has additional tax information relevant for graduate students on our website or consult the IRS website with a complete FAQ on the economic impact payments.

Best wishes,


Jason Kahabka
Associate Dean for Administration