Get all the latest news on coronavirus and more delivered daily to your inbox. Sign up here.
More than 80 million Americans are expected to receive their much-awaited stimulus check by Wednesday as the first wave of payments are deposited into taxpayers’ accounts.
“If you do not receive them by Wednesday, you’ll be able to put in your direct deposit information, and within several days, we will automatically deposit the money into your account,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Monday. “We want to do as much of this electronically as we can.”
Some taxpayers have already reported receiving their money, while those who are still waiting will be able to track it online through a new portal set up this week by the Internal Revenue Service.
Those who haven’t received the check yet -- filers and non-filers alike -- can also apply online by submitting their direct deposit information if it’s not already on file with the agency. The “Get My Payment” tool will allow people to provide their bank information in order to get the cash. (Due to enormous volumes of people trying to check the website, there was a wait for the tool as of Wednesday morning.)
If Americans filed a 2019 or 2018 tax return, which will be used by the agency to calculate eligibility, but did not provide direct deposit information, Mnuchin said the tool can be used to input the necessary information. The payment should arrive in your account within several days.
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 blunt the financial pain for Americans caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which brought the economy grinding to a halt. In three weeks alone, more than 16 million Americans filed for unemployment, the Labor Department said last 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 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.”