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On Monday, the IRS said taxpayers who have not yet received their money -- up to $1,200 for individuals earning less than $99,000 -- can call the agency at 1-800-919-9835 to get answers on some of the most commonly asked questions about the economic impact payments.
If the caller has additional questions about the check, they can stay on the line to speak directly with a representative. The IRS said it added 3,500 workers to assist Americans who are confused about the cash.
"IRS telephone assistance and other services will remain limited, and answers for most of the common questions related to Economic Impact Payments are available on IRS.gov," the agency said. "The IRS anticipates bringing back additional assistors as state and local advisories permit."
So far, the IRS has delivered 140 million much-awaited payments worth an estimated $200 billion.
The IRS said that about 4 million Americans should receive their payments through a prepaid debit card soon. The cards are being mailed to some individuals who did not provide their direct deposit information, including low-income households without bank accounts who generally do not receive a tax refund via direct deposit.
The payments were established in the CARES Act, which President Trump signed into law at the end of March. At the heart of the economic-relief package was checks of $1,200 for individuals who earn less than $75,000 annually ($2,400 checks for couples who earn less than $150,0000) and $500 for every child under the age of 17. The payments are tapered for higher earners and phase out completely for individuals who earn more than $99,000.
The cash is intended to blunt the financial pain for Americans caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which brought the economy grinding to a halt. In two months, more than 33 million Americans filed for unemployment, the Labor Department said Thursday. The record-shattering number is a stunning sign of the depth of the economic calamity inflicted by the virus outbreak.
The speed at which the money is distributed depends on people’s tax-filing method and whether the government had their banking information. Electronic payments can be disbursed quicker than cash checks, which must be printed and mailed separately.