IRS: You do not have to pay back your federal stimulus check money

Posted at 8:10 AM, Apr 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-15 15:27:23-04

(WXYZ) — Despite rumors circulating on social media that you'll have to pay back some or all of your stimulus money, the IRS says that is not true.

You do not have to pay back your federal stimulus check money on your next tax return – or at all.

"Your stimulus payment is technically a refundable tax credit, which reduces your 2020 tax bill on a dollar-for-dollar basis," according to Business Insider. "It's like having store credit at your favorite clothing shop: When you apply it to your total bill, it reduces what you owe. In this case, even if you have no tax liability, the government is "refunding" your credit back to you as a cash payment."

An IRS spokesperson says the relief checks have no bearing on your income deductions for 2020.

The online confusion seems to come from the language used in the rescue bill. The CARES Act refers to the checks as "advanced refunds," but the U.S. Treasury Department assures that's not what was meant by that term.

The department says there is no obligation to pay that money back.

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