Coronavirus stimulus payments have begun being distributed to Americans all across the country. Every adult will be receiving $1,200 and an additional $500 per dependent child as a part of the Economic Impact Payments authorized by the CARES Act. These payments are meant to “mitigate the financial damage caused by the global lockdowns” according to the IRS.
The IRS will be sending both paper checks and direct deposit payments. Direct deposit payments have already begun appearing in certain individuals accounts, while paper checks will be sent out at a rate of 5 million per week starting this week. The physical checks can take up to five months to get to everyone who’s receiving paper as opposed to an electronic payment.
If you don’t want to wait until August/September to receive your check, there’s a few things you can do right now, but you have to move quickly. First, you need to make sure that the IRS has your correct banking information. They typically get this information from your tax returns, so if you filed your 2018/2019 return with your current banking information you should be all set. However, if you have outdated banking information on your most recent return, you’ll need to send the IRS your current status.
You can update the information that the IRS has on file for you by visiting their website and inputting your bank details along with other basic financial information such as your income and dependents. If you don’t provide the IRS with these details, you won’t receive a stimulus check at all. The IRS needs to have all of your information processed and inputted into their official system before a check can even be signed.
The IRS has simplified their website to be much more user friendly in light of the coronavirus pandemic and all the economic confusion surrounding it. This way, you can easily check your checks status, as well as update any information regarding your finances and banking.
If you aren’t sure whether or not the IRS has your correct information or not, click on the “Get My Payment” tab on the website. If your payment shows up as “pending” or “processed” you won’t be able to change any of your banking information that’s on file, but a stimulus check should likely already be on its way to you. If not, you should have the option to provide the IRS with your updated information.
If you haven’t filed a tax return and don’t receive any Social Security Benefits, visit the website and click on the “Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here” tab to provide information on your dependents, income, and overall eligibility for the coronavirus stimulus check.
As previously mentioned, you should move fairly quickly now when checking your stimulus payment status. If the IRS has the wrong information on file, the bank that it does get sent to will reject the check, and if it’s paper, the IRS will be notified and so will you, but it will likely be a very long time before you receive that notification and your money. If the IRS doesn’t have your banking details, they will automatically mail the check to your last known address, so make sure that the address they have on file is correct.
During this time of confusion and panic, we all could use all the help we can get, especially financially. To make sure you’re not left waiting indefinitely for a check that may never come, make sure the IRS has all of your correct financial information on record so you and your loved ones can receive the payment you deserve.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at email@example.com.