Erie FREE Taxes Guidance on How to Receive the Stimulus Payment

Wednesday Apr 8th, 2020

How to Receive the Stimulus Payment

If you did not file a 2019, or 2018 income tax return and you do not receive Social Security benefits

You will need to file a simple tax return for 2019, even if you are not normally required to file. This will provide the IRS with your current bank account information so that your stimulus payment can be direct deposited. 

Currently, Erie FREE Taxes free tax preparation services continue to be suspended. However, United Way of Erie County provides a free online tax preparation tool,, that allows you complete your own federal (and state) income tax returns. You can prepare and submit your simple tax return for 2019 using this free tool. Follow the steps below.


  • Visit our Erie Free Taxes webpage
  • Under Free Online Filing, click on MyFreeTaxes
  • Create an account or login to your existing account
  • The 1st page you will see: Keeping you informed on stimulus payments, deadline changes, and more
  • Answer all questions until you reach the Here's your income
  • Since you don't have a W-2, choose Skip for now.
  • On the Here's your income screen, use the Add Income 
  • Under Interest, Dividends, and Capital Gain Distributions, use the Visit Topic button for 1099-INT Interest income
  • On the What's the financial institution on this 1099-INT screen, choose Other
  • In the Financial institution field, enter "Stimulus payment."
  • Click Next.
  • Use the Enter manually option, then click Next.
  • If you're filing a joint return with your spouse, choose Both when you're asked whose interest income this is.
  • In Box 1, enter $1. Then, click Next.
  • Complete the rest of the return by using the Next button repeatedly. You'll still have to answer questions about health care in the Taxes section of your return. We'll help you when you get there. 
  • When you get to the Which federal filing options would you like to see?screen, choose I have a $0 balance with the IRS.
  • Follow the steps to enter your banking info. You can also choose to receive any stimulus you qualify for by mail, however this might take much longer to arrive.