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I'm Canadian, but have been working in US 3 years 2015-2018 on TN visa.

In 2018 I returned to Canada, filed IRS return for 2018, but didn't do it for 2019, because that year I didn't work in US.

But today I got direct deposit $1200 IRS TREAS 310 TAX REF to my US bank account.

I found the following information:

These deposits are from the recent stimulus package. $1200 per adult and $500 per child, dependent on level of income.

But I don't understand why I got it and for which year, 2018, 2019?

Maybe it's related to COVID-19?

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    It is the COVID-19 stimulus payment, for 2020. – Aganju Apr 15 at 23:27
  • @Aganju, but will I need to file 2020 tax return in this case? – Alexan Apr 15 at 23:39
  • @Alexan: no . . – user102008 Apr 16 at 0:13
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The eligibility and amount of the stimulus check is based on your situation on your 2019 tax return, or, if you haven't filed for 2019, your 2018 tax return. In the 2018 tax year, you were an "eligible individual" for the purposes of the stimulus payment, since you were a "resident alien" for tax purposes (you passed the Substantial Presence Test for 2018) and you had a Social Security Number. Therefore, you were eligible for the $1200 check.

You were not an "eligible individual" under the 2019 tax year, since you were a "nonresident alien" for 2019, but that didn't matter because, since you haven't filed a 2019 tax return yet, the year that is used to determine eligibility and amount is switched to 2018 instead of 2019.

You will not have to file a 2020 tax return or pay back any amount. You are not an "eligible individual" under the 2020 tax year (because, again, you would be a "nonresident alien), and so, if you filed a 2020 tax return, you would not get the stimulus tax credit. Although the amount you received in the check reduces the tax credit for the 2020 tax year, the law says that the tax credit is not reduced below 0. So it does not become $0 - $1200 = -$1200 (i.e. you have to pay an extra $1200 tax) on your 2020 tax return even if you filed a tax return; instead, it would remain $0 credit (no credit or extra tax), and you still keep the $1200.

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  • Is there a government page/article that states all of this eligibility points? – ErickES7 Apr 18 at 18:15
  • @ErickES7: Read 26 USC 6428, the section of law regarding the recovery rebate – user102008 Apr 18 at 18:35
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It's COVID-19 relief from IRS. You may get it from next 2 months. You need not file taxes for this.

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    Could you please update your answer with support for your claim that the OP does not need to mention this income on their tax return? (Remember that the OP is resident in Canada and so is presumably filing taxes there, not in the US.) – Psychonaut Apr 17 at 8:38
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Yes, it's related to Covid-19. The US government is giving this to all citizens. I don't know whether as a Canadian you're entitled to it, or if they'll be asking for it back at some point.

It's based on your 2018 tax return unless you have filed one for 2019.

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    It's not for "all citizens" (e.g. there are income limits), and it's also for people who are not citizens, as long as they meet all the conditions, including being a "resident alien" for tax purposes and having a Social Security Number. – user102008 Apr 16 at 0:15

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