Stimulus Updates and Resources

IRS: Wednesday is the 'official payment date' for $1,400 stimulus checks

"Some Americans may see the direct deposit payments as pending or as provisional payments," says the IRS.

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You may see more green then usual this St. Patrick's Day. Wednesday, March 17, is the "official payment date" for the third round of stimulus checks, according to an IRS statement released Friday.

The government began distributing some stimulus checks Friday, just one day after President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue plan into law on Thursday, March 11. More arrived over the weekend.

But not every recipient has been able to use that money immediately. "Some Americans may see the direct deposit payments as pending or as provisional payments in their accounts before the official payment date of March 17," the IRS said in its Friday statement.

Because the check issue date is March 17, banks including Chase and Wells Fargo released statements saying customers who received stimulus payments days in advance can expect the money to be made available to them on Wednesday.

If the payment is pending, the money isn't technically yours to use just yet. Wait for it to clear before paying a bill, making a purchase, or transferring cash, to avoid overdraft fees and other expensive consequences.

And if you're eligible for a stimulus check and are still waiting for it to arrive, here's how to track and claim the money you're owed.

IRS updates stimulus check tracking tool

Starting today, you'll be able to track the status of your stimulus check, worth up to $1,400 for individuals, using the tax agency's updated "Get My Payment" portal.

If you aren't able to track your payment or if you're missing stimulus check money from one of the previous rounds of stimulus, it may be because the IRS doesn't have your bank account information on file.

"The people most likely to have not received payments yet are those whose lives are most volatile, including people who are unbanked and may have become more transient as a result of the pandemic, and people who have not had contact with the IRS or SSA [Social Security Administration] for the past two years," says Elaine Maag, a principal research associate at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center.

If you received a previous stimulus check by mail as a check or debit card, you may receive your third round of stimulus the same way. Mailing out the money takes longer than direct deposit, and the IRS expects to have those payments out in "the coming weeks."

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Make sure you're eligible for a stimulus check

The income eligibility threshold on the third round of stimulus checks is tighter than the previous two rounds.

In order to qualify for the full $1,400 payment, individuals must have reported an adjusted gross income of no more than $75,000 on their 2019 or 2020 taxes. For heads of household the cap is $112,500, and $150,000 for married couples who file a joint tax return. If you meet those income requirements, you'll also be eligible to receive $1,400 per each qualifying dependent.

The stimulus payments are reduced for those with income above those thresholds. You will not be eligible for a third stimulus check at all if you're an individual with an adjusted gross income of $80,000 or more, a head of household with an income of $120,000, or a married couple earning $160,000 or more.

Use Grow's calculator below to determine how much stimulus money you could be eligible for.

Claim your stimulus payment when you file your taxes

If you are missing stimulus check money from either of the first two rounds and are eligible, "there's still a chance for payments to be made," says Maag. "People who have not received a payment or have received only a partial payment can claim their payment on their tax return, due April 15."

Filing your taxes for 2020 will give you an opportunity to claim your stimulus check in the form of a tax credit called the Recovery Rebate Credit. The same provision will allow you to claim your missing stimulus check money from the third round when you file your 2021 taxes.

If you received or are expecting to receive stimulus money based on your 2019 taxes, and are no longer eligible based on your 2020 income, there is no clawback provision in the law, so you won't have to pay it back.

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