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Americans are starting to receive the much-awaited stimulus check by direct deposit Monday, as the Internal Revenue Service sent out the first round of aid for citizens impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, according to a senior Treasury Department official.
By Wednesday, the IRS is expected to have deposited between $50 million to $60 million worth of checks, the official said.
The distributions are part of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act signed into law by President Trump at the end of March.
At the heart of the largest relief plan in recent memory is $1,200 checks for individuals who earn less than $75,000 annually, $2,400 for couples who earn less than $150,000 and $500 for every child. The payments are tapered for higher-earners and phase out completely for individuals who earn more than $99,000, or couples who earn more than $198,000.
The cash is intended to alleviate financial burdens for Americans caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which has paralyzed the U.S. economy. In three weeks alone, more than 16 million Americans filed for unemployment, the Labor Department said. The record-shattering number is a stunning sign of the depth of the economic calamity inflicted by the virus outbreak.
The IRS said on Saturday that it had started to deposit the first stimulus checks into taxpayers' accounts.
The speed at which the money is distributed depends on people’s tax-filing method -- and whether the government has their banking information. Electronic payments can be disbursed quicker than cash checks, which must be printed and mailed separately.
An estimated 80 percent of tax filers will be able to easily receive the money because they already have shared account information with the IRS.
“If we have your information you’ll get it within two weeks,” Mnuchin said last week. “Social Security, you’ll get it very quickly after that. If we don’t have your information you’ll have a simple web portal, we’ll upload it. If we don’t have that, we’ll send you checks in the mail.”
If Americans did not file a 2019 or 2018 tax return, which will be used by the agency to calculate eligibility, the IRS has instructed them to file a “simple tax return,” with basic filing information like filing status, the number of dependents and bank information.
FOX Business' Edward Lawrence contributed to this report.