CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: Federal stimulus and you
March 31, 2020The federal stimulus bill became law last Friday and is now known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
The CARES Act addresses the economic impact the United States and the American people face as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Most notably, the CARES Act is set to provide individuals and families funding in the form of tax rebates to help relieve some of the financial burden felt by all. Tax rebate checks will be issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) based on the information contained in the tax return you filed for either 2018 or 2019, or based on Social Security records.
Important information for TRSL retirees:
Some TRSL retirees may not have been required to file a 2018 or 2019 tax return due to the amount of their income. Additionally, most TRSL retirees (with the exception of Plan B retirees) did not participate in Social Security through their TRSL-covered employment, and therefore would not have received a 1099 from the Social Security Administration (SSA-1099).
If either of these circumstances applies to you, TRSL encourages you to file a 2019 tax return immediately so that you can receive a CARES Act tax rebate.
The deadline to file a tax return has been extended from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020. Filers who have zero tax liability can file for free on the IRS website, https://www.irs.gov/filing/free-file-do-your-federal-taxes-for-free.
More information from the IRS: Economic Impact Payments: What you need to know
Protect yourself from scams
Because many Americans are set to receive stimulus payments, the IRS and the Louisiana Department of Revenue are warning people to be aware of potential scams aimed at stealing their money. Please read this important information to keep you and your finances safe:
- Neither the IRS nor the Louisiana Department of Revenue will contact you to ask for your personal information.
- No government agency will charge a fee of any kind for the delivery of stimulus funds.
- Beware of "phishing" scams that seek to get your personal information (such as Social Security numbers) to commit identity theft.
Additionally, Louisiana residents who suspect they are victims of identity theft can take steps to protect themselves by reporting the crime to the police, reporting suspected fraud to the three major credit-reporting bureaus, and submitting a Louisiana Identity Theft Affidavit to the revenue department's Criminal Investigations Division.