Stimulus Checks for Americans Abroad

January 31, 2024 | | 4 minute read
Expat Tax Guide | Everything you need to know about filing taxes abroad in 2024

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Are you an American living abroad? You might have heard about the stimulus checks handed out during Covid-19. These checks acted as a financial relief to many American families. In March 2020, the first round of payouts started, followed by two more in January and March 2021.

How is this relevant now? Even though it’s 2024, you still have a chance to secure these benefits if you meet all the requirements from previous years. This guide will explain this, helping you to understand how to get these Covid-19 relief checks and what the criteria you must meet.

Stimulus Checks

The Covid-19 pandemic didn’t only affect our health. It also had a massive impact on economies worldwide, causing financial distress. To help, the US government issued three stimulus payouts, totaling $3,200 for every eligible taxpayer.

First Stimulus Check

The first stimulus check called for several eligibility factors, like your income, tax filing status, and dependents. If eligible, you could claim at up to $1,200 plus additional amounts for your dependents. Here’s what you need to be eligible:

  • Cannot be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s US tax return.
  • Must have a valid Social Security number.
  • Must meet income limits in your 2021 tax return:
    • Up to $75,000 for single filers,
    • $112,500 for heads of households,
    • and $150,000 for joint filers.

Even if you’re slightly over these income limits, you can still qualify for a reduced stimulus check. For every qualifying dependent on your return, you could also get an additional $500.

Second Stimulus Check

If you’re eligible for the first check, you automatically qualify for the second. This check is worth $600. Also, qualifying dependents, for instance children under 17 with valid US Social Security numbers, could get a $600 stimulus check.

Third Stimulus Check

For the third stimulus check, the eligibility is similar to the second round, but with some slight changes. The major change is that the amount increased — eligible US expats could get $1,400, or $2,800 for joint filings. Every additional dependent on your return could also get you another $1,400.

Missed Opportunities from 2020?

If you didn’t qualify for the first stimulus check in 2020, you have another chance. There is an opportunity to amend your returns and potentially qualify for all three checks. The value of the stimulus checks depends on past tax returns, which means some US citizens who initially missed out due to lack of filing could still be eligible.

For US expats, it may be worth it to reassess past returns as using expat tax benefits like the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion could reduce your income and therefore affect your eligibility. Our expat tax software is designed to help with this, guiding you as you claim your stimulus checks.

Furthermore, filing an expat tax return for the 2020 tax season could make you eligible for the Recovery Rebate Credit, granted that you did not receive the full $1200 stimulus check amount. You can file for the recovery rebate using the MyExpatTaxes forms within our software, resulting in either a reduction in owed US tax or an increase in your tax refund amount.

Steps to Claim your Stimulus Checks in 2024

Haven’t claimed your stimulus checks yet? The process is as simple as 1, 2, 3. Here’s a check list for you:

  1. Confirm your eligibility: Make sure you are eligible for the stimulus checks. Using our MyExpatTaxes software makes it easy.
  2. Gather your documents: You need your latest tax returns and Social Security number. Make sure you provide correct information to ensure smooth processing.
  3. Claim your checks: Use our tax software to claim your stimulus checks. MyExpatTaxes software guides you through the process, making sure all necessary details are submitted to the IRS.
  4. Wait for your payment: Once you’ve submitted, all that’s left to do is wait. The IRS will process your claim, and you’ll receive your stimulus check either by direct deposit or mail.

Remember, regardless of your location, claiming your stimulus check with MyExpatTaxes is just a few clicks away.

The Streamlined Procedure

As an US expat, it’s not always common knowledge that you need to file US taxes especially when the US is one of two countries that requires US taxes from abroad. As it is a responsibility, the IRS created the Streamlined Procedure for people who forgot or didn’t know they needed to file as an expat.

This procedure allows you to file your last three tax returns (including this years) and six years of FBARs. This means you can catch up on your taxes AND still receive those much needed Stimulus Checks. Here’s the catch! You must file BEFORE June 15th, 2024 in order to have the best chances for getting all three Covid-19 relief checks.

Are you in this situation? Learn more about the Streamlined Procedure and all the requirements that surround it.

Make Claiming Your Stimulus Checks Easy!

It’s a given that with correct bank and tax information, the IRS can easily transfer you the stimulus checks as an American living abroad. We at MyExpatTaxes can help you become and stay tax compliant enough so receiving tax refunds will be a breeze.

Be sure to sign in to our software and be done with your expat taxes so you can receive your economic payment relief check! We provide the most accurate US expat tax software, guaranteed.

Written by Michelle H.

January 31, 2024 | | 4 minute read

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