Coronavirus: Knoxville financial adviser answers CARES Act stimulus check question

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — We’ve been getting questions from many of you about whether you qualify for a stimulus check from the government, part of the $2 trillion package Congress approved last week.

Financial adviser Zach Sheets with Edward Jones joined us via Facetime on WATE 6 On Your Side news.

Q: This is a lot of info, but as quickly as you can, let us know which groups of people are getting checks:

Well, essentially, from what we understand and everything we’ve looked at, it’s pretty much everyone who filed a return, has a Social Security number, and even then even if they didn’t file in the past two years, if they’re still eligible. They can do a tax return in 2020 and show this as a tax credit. So, they’ll still be able to get this money. It just wouldn’t come right away.

But pretty much everyone with the exception that we said. If you were owing back child support, that might be an issue as to whether or not you get a check.

Zach Sheets

Q: Let’s reiterate. On taxes, if you haven’t filed 2019 taxes because coronavirus hit right in the middle of tax season, are you out of luck in getting a check?

No you’re not. They’re going to look back on your 2018 return if you haven’t filed yet in 2019 and in those cases for those on Social Security disability and the like, they can look at those statements for them to get their information and be able to send them the checks or direct deposit.

Zach Sheets

Q: So, let me make sure I heard you correctly, people on disability – will they indeed get a check?

Yes, the act calls for people on disability to actually receive this check as well. Keep in mind it’s a stimulus check so that’s the goal of this: They’re wanting to get this check out to everyone, not just people filing taxes.

Zach Sheets

Q: What’s the best way to use the money?

First off everyone’s situation is different, and if they have a financial adviser, now’s a good time to talk to them. But if they don’t need this money right now, this is a great opportunity for those who haven’t set aside that emergency fund, put aside money for those terrible situations when they need it … to put it back and do something. Maybe they invest it, maybe they put it in savings but they have it in case they need it. And in this uncertain time, that’s very important.

Zach Sheets

Q: For many, the check won’t be enough to pay rent and food and car payment, etc., so what’s your advice for people in that situation?

If they find themselves in those situations, obviously the best thing is to pay the most important bills first, the ones that they have to pay, and maybe pay the minimum on credit cards — something we aren’t ever really going to suggest to people but in times of dire need, in times like this, that would be a good situation to do that — and try to pay those bills they absolutely have to have.

Food, if it’s a matter of housing or utilities, something they can’t contact a creditor or someone to try to get some forebearance on, then pay those first.

Zach Sheets

Q: Yeah it’s real important to stay in touch with these people let them know what your situation is, right?

Absolutely. Right now we have a lot of situations and offers and the like to postpone and hold back on payments that are due. So call your creditors, let them know what situation you’re in, and maybe you can work something out.

Zach Sheets

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