Stimulus update: Millions of checks deposited Wednesday; what to do if you don’t get yours

A majority of Americans will be seeing a stimulus check in their bank accounts on Wednesday, courtesy of the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 recovery bill signed into law last week.

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The Internal Revenue Service chose Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. ET as the day and time that it will deposit the payments into the bank accounts that millions of Americans use when dealing with the agency.

The IRS notified financial institutions to expect roughly 90 million direct deposits on Wednesday in the first wave of the distribution of the American Rescue Plan stimulus payments, The Washington Post reported. Around 150,000 paper checks with a pay date of March 19 were sent out as well.

The Independent Community Bankers of America told members Tuesday that, “Additional batches of payments will be sent in the coming weeks with the vast majority sent by direct deposit. Payments will also be sent through the mail as a check or debit card,” the Post reported.

The payments are determined by the eligibility restrictions in the American Rescue Plan.

Here is what you can expect if you qualify for a direct payment:

$1,400 for qualifying adults

$2,800 for qualifying couples who file a joint tax return

$1,400 for each dependent child under the age of 17

$1,400 for each qualifying adult dependent

If you’re a single filer, your payment is reduced if your adjusted gross income (AGI) is above $75,000. For married couples filing jointly, the payment is reduced when your AGI goes above $150,000. If you file as head of household, the reductions begin at $112,500.

The payments phase out completely when you hit:

$80,000 AGI for single taxpayers

$160,000 AGI for married filing jointly

$120,000 AGI for heads of household

The first payments will be sent out on Wednesday. According to the American Rescue Plan, the IRS has until Dec. 31 to get all the payments out. For most people, though, the payments will likely be received within the next two weeks or so.

For those who do not receive the stimulus payments in that time period, a number of issues could be slowing down the process.

Here, from the IRS website, are a few situations that could cause payments to come later:

If you filed a paper tax return

If you filed a paper tax return for 2019 or 2020, you are likely to see a delay in your stimulus payment.

The IRS has a backlog of returns to get through due to COVID-19 closures and workforce reductions during the pandemic.

If you have not filed your 2020 return, the IRS suggests you do so electronically if possible. That way they will process it more quickly and send your check out faster.

If you haven’t yet filed a 2019 or 2020 tax return

If you have not yet filed a 2020 tax return (the deadline is April 15) then the IRS will use your 2019 tax return to determine your eligibility for the stimulus check.

If you did not file a 2019 or 2020 tax return, because you did not have to, the IRS in a conference call last week, urged people to file a 2020 tax return to ensure they get all the payments and tax credits that they are owed.

If you have moved

If you have moved since you received the first or second stimulus payment, you could see a delay in getting your second check. You can notify the IRS of your move by filling out an 8822 form.

Or you can call the IRS at 1-800-919-9835.

If you closed your bank account

If you closed the bank account by which the IRS had been sending you income tax refunds, you could see a delay in getting your payment.

If the stimulus payment is issued to a closed account, the bank must return it to the IRS, which in turn will reissue the payment as a paper check and mail it to the address on file.

If you get government payments like Social Security, SSI and SSDI

According to the IRS, “Social Security and other federal beneficiaries will generally receive this third payment the same way as their regular benefits. A payment date for this group will be announced shortly.”

The Social Security Q&A webpage for the third stimulus payment is under construction.

The IRS will automatically send the third stimulus payment “to people who didn’t file a return but receive Social Security retirement, survivor or disability benefits (SSDI), Railroad Retirement benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Veterans Affairs benefits.”