The information in this article was last updated on October 6, 2020. This article relates to the tax laws enacted during the COVID-19 pandemic. These laws may have expired or reverted to their original state.
Stimulus payments – also known as Economic Impact Payments – are arriving, and Americans are wondering when they will see their funds. Here are some important FAQs about the timing and distribution of these payments, plus some helpful tools for tracking your stimulus check.
At a glance:
- **Important** To receive your payment by the end of the year, you must register at IRS.gov by November 21.
- The U.S. Treasury announced that tens of millions of Americans will receive their payments via direct deposit by April 15.
- Most people can expect their stimulus checks delivered sometime within the next two weeks.
- People who don’t file taxes may use this application from the IRS to submit their information and get a stimulus payment.
“Why did I just get a letter from the IRS?”
If you receive a letter from the IRS in September 2020, it may mean that you are eligible for a stimulus payment but you have not registered for one. The IRS is currently mailing letters to Americans who haven’t filed a return for either 2018 or 2019 and who could be eligible for a relief payment. Most people who receive a letter do not typically file taxes because they are not required to do so. For your information, and to protect you against potential scammers, here is what the IRS letter looks like.
If you do not need to file a tax return and you are eligible for a stimulus payment, register by October 15 by using the free Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here tool.
“When will I get my stimulus check?”
Use the Get My Payment tool from the IRS to check the status of your payment.
“How can I get my stimulus direct deposited?”
If the IRS doesn’t have your bank account information for direct deposit, you can use the Get My Payment tool to send that info directly to the Department of Treasury.
Note: If the IRS has already scheduled your payment for delivery before you set up direct deposit, you won’t be able to change the delivery method. Your check will arrive as scheduled, by mail.
“How will I know they’ve sent my money?”
About 15 days after the IRS sends your payment, they will mail a letter to your current address on file. That letter will notify you that 1) your stimulus payment was sent, and 2) how it was delivered. Everyone who gets a stimulus payment should expect to see a letter – even if your payment was delivered by direct deposit.
“What if I had my filing fees taken out of my refund (File & Go)?”
Your stimulus payment will be delivered the same way your refund was, either by direct deposit or by mail. If you chose to have your refund directly deposited into your bank account, you can see your banking information in your TaxSlayer account under Transaction History.
“What if I got my tax refund on a Green Dot card?”
In this case, your Economic Impact Payment will be deposited directly to your Green Dot card. Green Dot will not have any additional information about the timing of your stimulus payment. If you are signed up to receive alerts about your account, you’ll be notified when the deposit hits.
*Need to replace a lost Green Dot card? If you have a Green Dot account created you can log in to request a new card and check balances. You can also request a replacement through the Green Dot app, in Settings > Manage Card. For additional assistance, contact Green Dot at (866) 795-7597.
“How much will I get?”
The government will use your AGI and your tax filing status from your most recently filed return (2018 or 2019) to determine your exact payment. Eligible adults can receive up to $1,200 per individual (or $2,400 for married couples), plus an additional $500 per qualifying dependent. Find out how much you can expect:
Use TaxSlayer’s Stimulus Check Calculator
“Does my dependent qualify for the stimulus?”
Dependents under age 17* with a valid SSN may be eligible for $500, which will be added to your stimulus payment. To qualify, they have to meet the requirements for the Child Tax Credit, as follows:
The dependent(s) must be
- Claimed as a dependent on your tax return
- Age 16 or younger at the end of the tax year
- Related to you
- Dependent on you for financial support
- A U.S. citizen, a U.S. national or a U.S. resident alien
- Living with you for at least half of the year
*Dependents age 17 or older cannot qualify for the stimulus.
“I didn’t get a tax refund. How will my check arrive?”
Use the Get My Payment tool on the IRS website to check up on the status of your stimulus check. If they do not have bank information for you – for instance, if you owed taxes instead of receiving a refund – you will be asked to provide it.
For additional information about the Economic Impact Payments, tax deadlines and more, visit TaxSlayer’s COVID-19 and Tax Resources page.