IRS and city tools help people track and budget their stimulus checks

Local News

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) —The IRS is launching a new tool to help folks get their stimulus checks.
The checks are part of the $2 trillion pandemic response and some people have already seen the money in their accounts.

Close to 90 percent of American will qualify for the economic impact payments.

Leaders with the Rochester’s Financial Empowerment Center say that money can help boost the local economy.

“A lot of folks are having either are having hours cuts or aren’t working. Small business are shut down and are not able to operate at a normal level,” said Brad Willows, Financial Empowerment Center program manager for city of Rochester.

The one-time payments of $1,200 started to roll out as early as last week, there is also $500 per child under the age of 17. The amounts will be determined based on most recent tax returns and payments phase out for individuals making more than $75,000. Individuals making more than $99,000 will not qualify

The IRS has launched a website portal that allows tax filers to track the money or for non-filers figure out how to get the checks.

Tax experts with Mengel Metzger Barr and Company says this is a great tool if anyone hasn’t gotten the checks or have questions.

“If people have a concerns, ‘hey I was under the income limit in prior years’ or ‘I’ve been on disability or i’m a social security only recipient’, they can go on there to enter their banking information to make sure that they get their stimulus check,” said James Schnell, tax director at Mengel Metzger Barr & Co.

Financial advisers say people should use the money for three main categories; immediate needs and bills, savings and if possible charity.

The city’s Financial Empower Center is a free service available for all city residents to  help with these decisions.

“Money’s complicated you know finances are sticky and they’re hard and not everybody is a professional, I’m certainly not a professional. So that’s why we do have a team of experts, they’re highly trained, they’re professional financial coaches and counselors who can sit down and work with you to figure out your specific situations,” said Willows.

The financial empowerment program-available through consumer credit services, is free for all Rochester people-and can offer safe and smart advice to use the extra money. 

Those looking to get involved can visit the city’s website here, or call (585) 252-7110

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