Amid the loss of jobs and economic calamity surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, the government has a bit of good news: Stimulus checks will soon be hitting your back account.
As part of the $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill, most Americans will receive a $1,200 direct check (most families will receive $2,400), which for many could arrive as soon as next week.
In order to make sure you receive your stimulus payment quickly, the IRS needs to have the direct deposit account information from your bank account on file. Otherwise, checks will be sent by mail, which won’t start going out until the week of May 4 and could take up to 20 weeks to finish, according to House Committee on Ways and Means chairman Rep. Richard Neal (D., Mass.).
Here’s everything you need to know about the stimulus checks, and how to receive yours quickly:
How much money will I receive from the coronavirus stimulus?
Individuals who earn $75,000 or less are slated to receive $1,200, and couples making $150,000 or less will be paid $2,400. The payments decrease for those who earn more, up to $99,000 for individuals and $198,000 for couples. Families will also receive an additional $500 for each child, though the bill gives nothing for children older than 16.
Roughly 80% of Americans are eligible to receive a stimulus payment, according to the IRS.
When will the coronavirus checks start going out?
The first stimulus payments began showing up in bank accounts over the weekend, the IRS announced on Saturday.
Approximately 80 million Americans will receive their stimulus checks through direct deposit by Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said at Monday’s White House briefing.
Payments made through direct deposits are expected to take as long as three weeks.
The IRS already has my direct deposit information. Do I have to do anything else?
No. According to the Treasury Department, as long as you have filed your 2018 or 2019 tax return and included your bank information to pay taxes or receive a refund, your stimulus check will be automatically deposited into you account.
How do I receive stimulus checks if I don’t file a tax return?
The Treasury Department has created a web portal where Americans who did not file a tax return in 2018 or 2019 can submit basic personal information to the IRS. If you have a bank account, you can also enter that information so the government can deposit your payment directly. Otherwise, you could be forced to wait until September before receiving a check through the mail.
What if I receive Social Security? Do I have to enter any new information?
No. Social Security recipients who did not file a tax return in 2018 or 2019 do not need take any action, according to the Treasury Department. The IRS will use the information on the Form SSA-1099 and Form RRB-1099 to generate the direct payments, which you will receive the same way they send your Social Security payments.
How do I give the IRS my direct deposit information if I already filed my taxes?
Taxpayers who filed returns in 2018 or 2019, but did not provide any banking information, can submit direct deposit information using the IRS’s “Get My Payment” web portal, which went live on Wednesday.
Otherwise, you will receive your stimulus check by mail (complete with Trump’s signature), which could take several months.
How can I track my stimulus payment?
The Philadelphia Inquirer is one of more than 20 news organizations producing Broke in Philly, a collaborative reporting project on solutions to poverty and the city’s push toward economic justice. See all of our reporting at brokeinphilly.org.