CARES Act and Economic Impact Payments, Golden State Stimulus I and II –
Eligibility for International Students and Scholars
Since the start of COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, there have been multiple rounds of economic impact payments from the U.S. federal government and a number of states, including California. Generally, these "stimulus checks" were only intended for:
- U.S. citizens and permanent residents, or
- Individuals who are "Residents for U.S. Tax Purposes" AND who have a Social Security card valid for employment.
The IRS website provides eligibility information for the CARES Act and Economic Impact Payments. Residence for federal tax purposes is determined by the green card test and the substantial presence test for the calendar year. Eligible individuals and their dependents must have Social Security Numbers. If a dependent has an ITIN, the international student or scholar who filed a joint return will not receive a stimulus payment.
If an individual erroneously filed a tax return as a resident and erroneously received an Economic Impact Payment, they should prepare an amended federal tax return and return the payment by following the steps outlined in the IRS guidance.
Due to IRS delays, people who filed amended returns after the first stimulus check, may have received a second or third check. Any erroneous stimulus payment should be returned to the IRS. More information about the stimulus payment can be found on the IRS web page on Economic Impact Payments.
The California Franchise Tax Board website provides eligibility information for the Golden State Stimulus I and II. More information can be found on the Sprintax Blog, including instructions on how to return any erroneous stimulus payment.