Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senator Susan Collins, the Chairman of the Aging Committee, announced today that Social Security beneficiaries will not be required to file a tax return in order to receive a rebate check under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Senator Collins strongly supported the policy released by the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service that will make it easier for many seniors to obtain these targeted relief funds.
“Seniors are already experiencing a time of great stress and uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This change removes an unnecessary, bureaucratic hurdle that will help ensure they receive the rebate they are entitled to,” said Senator Collins. “I am pleased that the Treasury Department and the IRS updated its policy in order to allow Social Security beneficiaries who normally do not file taxes to receive these checks automatically.”
The CARES Act, which was signed into law on March 27th, provides tax rebates of $1,200 to individuals and $2,400 for married couples. The checks begin phasing out for single filers with incomes exceeding $75,000 and $150,000 for joint filers.
The law provided the IRS with additional tools to provide rebate checks to some individuals who normally do not file a tax return by allowing the IRS to base a rebate on the information provided in Form SSA-1099, Social Security Benefit Statement or Form RRB–1099, Social Security Equivalent Benefit Statement.
IRS guidance originally indicated that individuals who do not typically file tax returns, including many seniors who receive Social Security benefits, would need to file a simple tax return to receive a stimulus check. Yesterday, Senator Collins joined a group of 22 Senators in writing to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig to express their opposition to this policy. The new guidance will allow Social Security recipients to automatically receive rebate checks.