Still Waiting for Your Stimulus Check? Don’t Mistake it for Junk Mail and Throw it Away!
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On March 27th, the President signed an economic stimulus package that offers $2 trillion in assistance to millions of American households affected by the coronavirus. See the related IRS News Release here.
Many Americans have already received their Economic Impact Payments via direct deposit. You may have seen it appear in your account labeled as “IRS TREAS 310 – TAX REF“. Others are receiving their payment as a paper check in the mail.
In fact, the Treasury Department recently announced that it would start mailing some Economic Impact Payments in the form of prepaid debit cards.
These debit cards will be mailed to nearly four million Americans in plain white envelopes from “Money Network Cardholder Services.” Some recipients have reported that these envelopes look similar to unwanted credit card offers and other junk mail, raising concerns that people may be accidentally throwing their stimulus payments (and potentially thousands of dollars) in the trash!
In addition to a pre-paid Visa card issued by MetaBank through the Treasury Department’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service, these envelopes contain a letter explaining that the card is an Economic Impact Payment. The letter also provides details on how recipients can activate and use their cards.
The Economic Impact Payment (EIP) Card can be used like regular debit cards in stores or for online transactions. To activate the cards, recipients must first verify their identity and set their PIN. More information regarding the use of EIP cards can be found here.
Still waiting? Now you can check your payment status online!
There’s an application on the IRS website that allows you to check your payment status, confirm your payment type (direct deposit, check, or debit card), and enter your bank account information for direct deposit if it’s not already on file with the IRS.
To get started, head on over here and click the blue “Get My Payment” button. This application is very popular, so you may have to be a little bit patient while it loads.
To use Get My Payment, you must first verify your identity by answering security questions like your Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Tax ID Number (ITIN), date of birth, street address, and zip code. If the information you enter does not match IRS records multiple times, you will be locked out of Get My Payment for 24 hours for security reasons.
After entering the required information, you should be able to view your payment status, including the date your payment is scheduled to be deposited and the bank account the IRS will use to make the transaction. Click here for more information.
Get My Payment cannot update bank account information after an Economic Impact Payment has been scheduled for delivery. To help protect against potential fraud, the tool also prevents people from changing bank account information already on file with the IRS.
What does it mean when Get My Payment says, “Payment Status Not Available”?
If you verified your identity and received “Payment Status Not Available,” this means the IRS cannot determine your eligibility for a payment at this time. This may occur for a variety of reasons, for example, if you didn’t file either a 2018 or 2019 tax return or you recently filed and the return has not been fully processed. See more here.
Here are some answers to questions you may have about the stimulus checks:
Who will receive a payment from the government?
Virtually any U.S. resident with a valid Social Security number is eligible. Veterans, workers eligible for unemployment, and most people receiving Social Security retirement and disability benefits will receive payments, too.
If you don’t usually file a tax return, submit your information here to get the Economic Impact Payment!
Note that young adults who still live at home will not get a check if they can be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s return. For example, this would include a child, student, or older dependent who can be claimed on a parent’s return.
How much money will I get?
Many adults will get $1,200 although this amount will vary by income level. Parents will also receive $500 for each qualifying child.
Single adults with an adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less will get the full $1,200. Married couples with no children earning $150,000 or less will receive a total of $2,400. Above these income thresholds, the payment amount will gradually decrease until it stops altogether. Click here for more information.
What do I need to do to collect my stimulus check?
In most cases, nothing! Taxpayers who have already filed their taxes for 2019 do not need to register or sign up in any way to receive a payment. This includes individuals who receive Social Security retirement, disability (SSDI), or survivor benefits, and individuals who receive Railroad Retirement benefits.
Even if you haven’t filed your taxes for 2019 yet, the IRS will use information gathered from your 2018 tax return. If the IRS already has your bank account information, it will transfer the money to you via direct deposit based on the federal income tax figures mentioned above.
If the IRS does not have your direct deposit information, you will receive a paper check or prepaid debit card in the mail. No matter how you receive your payment, you will also get a letter in the mail within a few weeks, letting you know how your money was disbursed.
What if I don’t file taxes?
If you’re not required to file a tax return, the IRS has a new “Non-Filers” application to ensure that qualifying individuals get their payments. This option is for anyone who wasn’t required to file a 2018 or 2019 federal income tax return, including low-income workers and certain veterans and individuals with disabilities.
To see if you’re eligible for this option or to enter your payment information, head on over here.
If the IRS does not have your electronic banking information on file and you’d like to receive your payment faster via direct deposit, you can use the new “Get My Payment” application on the IRS website to update your payment preferences. If your paper check or debit card hasn’t already been sent, you can provide your banking information to receive your payment electronically.
The IRS has created a website to provide updates as details regarding the Economic Impact Payments continue to emerge. Keep checking back for new information and answers to frequently asked questions, and keep an eye on your bank account or mailbox for your payment!
The Internal Revenue Service is also reminding everyone to be on the lookout for scammers trying to use these payments as a way to steal your money or personal information. Keep in mind that the IRS will never call, text, email, or contact you on social media to ask for any personal or bank account information.
Have you received your Stimulus Check yet?