Will the Incarcerated Get a Stimulus Check?
Yes. In 2020, the IRS issued two direct stimulus payments to Americans. These checks went out to most people. Incarcerated people in all levels of the criminal justice system can get a stimulus check.
Can incarcerated people get a stimulus check?
Yes. Even the IRS website says so. It states that “the IRS cannot deny a payment to someone who is incarcerated if they meet the criteria.”
But it gets a little more complicated. If you did not get the first payment, you probably cannot get it. The IRS gave people until Nov. 21 to apply for the first stimulus payment. You can, however, still apply that payment to your 2020 taxes as a tax credit.
You are also still eligible for the second stimulus check in most cases. If your income for 2020 was less than $75,000, you are eligible for the full $600 stimulus payment. If your income was between $75,000 and $87,000, your payment will be reduced. Income above $87,000 will disqualify you. Other than that, you can get a stimulus check.
How can you get the stimulus check from prison?
The IRS has an online form that people can use to submit their information, even if they don’t file taxes. But, with limited internet access in prison, this may not be an option. That leaves you with two choices:
- Use the simplified paper return. You can request a paper tax return form from your facility. You should fill out the form as you normally would.
- Ask a loved one or friend for help. If you have someone in your life that you trust with your financial information, you can ask them for help. Make sure to provide them with the information they’ll need so they can help you complete the form.
If you choose to send a paper return, you should make sure to send it to the correct address. The office you send it to depends on which state you live in. Staff at your facility should know where to send your return. If not, the IRS published a list of offices and the states they serve on its website. Be sure to use the address for people who are NOT enclosing payment.
Where will your stimulus money go if you are in prison?
You can choose where you want the IRS to send your stimulus money. If you want them to send money into your bank account, you can write your account number and routing number in fields 21b through 21d on the tax form. Otherwise, the IRS will send a check to the address they have on file for you.
You can get the IRS stimulus check if you are an incarcerated. But you will have to claim your first stimulus payment on your 2020 taxes if you haven’t gotten it yet. You can still get your second payment, but you may have to fill out a form online or on paper. Once you do, you need to let the IRS know where to send your money.