Over 170 million Americans are due an economic stimulus check from the government, but many have not yet received one. Like many, you may be wondering why your check hasn’t arrived.
Reasons Your Stimulus Check Has Not Arrived
Congress updated its timeline on when eligible recipients will receive their money. That has created some confusion about when and how these payments will clear.
There’s some good news, and some bad.
The Good News
The IRS is using direct deposit information from taxpayers. On April 15th the IRS began sending out stimulus checks – via direct deposit. More than 80 million payments went out that week. The government estimates the eventual total number of payments may be as high as 180 million.
The checks are slated to be $1,200 for individuals, $2,400 for couples and $500 for dependent children under 17. Those totals come with some exceptions.
The second wave of coronavirus stimulus payments will start hitting bank accounts this week. We do know that many people receiving direct social security payments will likely see those payments coming close to the dates of their normal government payments. For many, the good news it that means they should see a payment in the first week of May.
The Bad News
Unfortunately, retirees, veterans and pensioners expecting paper checks may have to wait up to 20 weeks for their checks. That’s because the first wave of stimulus payments were sent to people who had already provided their direct deposit information to the Internal Revenue Service with their 2018 or 2019 tax returns. Previously receiving a paper check for any IRS payment rather than direct deposit is a key reason some individuals have not yet received payment.
“Individuals who enter their direct deposit information into the portals by Thursday of a week reportedly will be paid the following week. Also, taxpayers expecting a tax refund for 2019 can provide their direct deposit information to the IRS by filing a 2019 federal income tax return if they have not already done so in lieu of using the Get My Payment portal.”
“At the end of April, adult Social Security retirement, survivor, and disability insurance beneficiaries who did not file tax returns in 2018 or 2019 will receive their rebates if they receive their Social Security benefits via direct deposit. (Nearly 99 percent of beneficiaries use direct deposit.) Treasury has announced that adult SSI recipients will receive their rebate by early May at the latest, in the same way as they receive their normal benefits. Weekly direct deposits and paper checks will continue until all individuals receive their rebates.”
IRS Online Portal Has Glitches
There are also glitches with the online portal the IRS set up. The online tool won’t allow taxpayers to complete the form under certain conditions. Users cannot process the information if they neither owed any money to the IRS nor received a refund for 2018 or 2019. Entering a zero doesn’t work in that field. There is no way of entering direct deposit information as it requires checking either “I received a refund” or “I owed money”. Apparently the IRS is aware of this issue and promises to correct the problem.
What If You Haven’t Filed a Tax Return?
There are more than 100 million Americans who haven’t recently filed returns — including retirees, pensioners and veterans. These people may have to wait up to five months to see a paper check based on the latest IRS estimates.
According to a memo from Congress, the IRS began mailing physical paper checks this past week to people who only have a mailing address on file without direct deposit payment information. These Americans will see paper checks arriving in the mail at a rate estimated at 5 million a week, the capacity of the IRS’s check printing capabilities. Unfortunately, this means many Americans who most likely need the money may have to wait the longest.
Based on these estimates, as checks trickle in through the mail, starting with those with the lowest incomes could take “up to 20 weeks” to complete. This means some taxpayers will not see their stimulus checks before September.
ADVICE: There’s Still Time to Provide Your Bank Information
The IRS established an online portal where people who did not file tax returns in either 2018 or 2019 can submit bank account information to get their stimulus money faster.
People who provide their payment information to the IRS using that online portal can expect to receive their stimulus check sooner. In fact, most should receive a stimulus check as soon as the following week. That’s according to the committee memo.
What If Your Payment is Lower Than Expected
For some filers, their 2019 adjusted gross income (AGI) may be lower than their 2018 income. It is possible that some taxpayers got a lower payment based on a higher income in 2018. If that’s the case, the IRS has a solution.
When you file your tax return for 2020 by next April, your rebate will be recalculated. At that time, you should be refunded any additional money owed to you. That’s because these stimulus payments are actually advance tax rebates.
The effort by the US Government to help citizens and taxpayers is a massive undertaking. Those who filed taxes in the past two years and provided their bank information have probably received their checks.
More than 100 million potential recipients are asking why their stimulus check hasn’t arrived yet. For these, some could be waiting until September.
If you need to provide your direct deposit information, you should use the online portal to get payment as quick as the following week.
Have you received your payment yet?
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