No need to wonder when you'll receive your economic impact payment. The IRS has launched a Get My Payment tool that lets taxpayers monitor when and how their money will arrive.
That comes as the first round of economic impact payments show up in taxpayers bank accounts, giving Americans struggling in the coronavirus pandemic a needed infusion of cash.
The Treasury Department estimates that 80 million people will receive their money this week, with the first payments going to those whose direct deposit information the government has on file. If you're receiving a paper check, you should expect to wait a bit longer. The first batch of checks is expected to go out by mail on May 4, according to the latest congressional estimate, and subsequent batches will continue to go out until around August.
If you want to find out when you should expect your payment, here's what you need to know.
As part of the IRS Get My Payment tool, you can submit your banking information for direct deposit if the agency doesn't already have it on file. That may expedite your payment.
Some Get My Payment users have reported difficulty accessing the portal. The IRS did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Grow about the early glitches, but Luis Garcia, an agency spokesperson, told CNBC Make It that the system was probably overloaded with requests.
"What happened is instead of having an error message or a message saying the system is very busy, it just says your information isn't in here, that was the default," Garcia told Make It.
"Just be patient, check back later," he said. "If you filed last year's or this year's taxes we have your information."
Otherwise, if you receive a "Payment Status Not Available" message, it could also mean that you haven't filed a 2018 or 2019 return, or that the IRS hasn't finished processing it yet, according to the agency's FAQ.
Social Security recipients should expect to receive their stimulus payments in the same manner that they receive their monthly pension payments. If you currently receive a paper check, you can switch over to direct deposit on the Social Security Administration's website and the IRS will use that information to deposit your stimulus.
If you weren't required to file a tax return for 2018 or 2019, you can still send your banking information to the IRS for direct deposit — the agency has a separate portal for you.
If the IRS has your bank information, the agency should be able to disburse your payment relatively quickly. The IRS has this information on file for at least 75% of taxpayers in 99 of America's 100 largest metro areas.
For everyone else, the work required to process paper checks — printing, confirming mailing addresses, and possibly adding a presidential signature — extends the timeline a little bit. Lower-income households are likely to see their payments first.
"Direct deposit payments should go out independent of the paper checks," Mark Mazur, the Robert C. Pozen director of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center and a former assistant secretary for tax policy in the Obama administration, previously told Grow. "If you live in a place that has lots of paper checks, you're still going to get your direct deposits with everybody else's direct deposit."
Regardless of whether you receive a direct deposit or a paper check, the IRS says it will send every household a confirmation letter to the latest physical address it has on file approximately 15 days after the payment is made.
If you have outstanding debts and you haven't seen your payment in your bank statement, there's a chance the bank or a debt collector has seized that money to pay your outstanding debts. The CARES Act, which laid out the terms of the stimulus, does not exempt individual payments from all kinds of private debt collection.
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