In under two weeks, the IRS and US Treasury will attempt to process tens of millions ofbefore reaching a Jan. 15 cutoff. It’s true, this deadline is actually written into the . Meanwhile, the payments will continue until then through , and .
So far the IRS has acted quickly, but with such a tight deadline, there’s a good chance that not everyone whowill get their check right away. (Here’s how to .) Other your . Where you slot into the payment schedule can give you an idea if you’ll among the first to get a , or . (Here’s why some people .)
We’ll explain what we know below. By the way, the last-minute push toJan. 1, but President-elect Joe Biden has already committed to a . Read on for more information about which IRS payment group you may be in. This story was recently updated.
People with direct deposit already set up have the advantage
People who have theiron file with the IRS are in the first group to receive a stimulus check. An electronic transfer of funds is faster and more efficient than mailing a check, which means the IRS can process many more people faster. Some have already received their money through direct deposit, beginning on Dec 29.
As of Jan. 2, the IRS has not made it possible to sign up for direct deposit if you didn’t have it already, or, but we expect to see the online tool activate in the coming week. Here are ways you can help , including what we know now about .
Social Security beneficiaries fall into two categories
With the first stimulus payment, many people who receive Social Security disbursements who also had direct deposit information on file with the federal government received checks in the first week, though not always the first day.
The IRS had a separate informational section for people. Normally, people in these groups receive their federal benefits through a Direct Express card, though people in this group received their stimulus payment through a non-Direct Express bank .
Paper checks are already on their way, but know this
The IRS began sending the first paper checks in the mail on Wednesday, Dec. 30 (here’s how you can). That’s much faster than the first time around, but there are still two major limitations you need to know.
The US Treasury can process between 5 million and 7 million paper stimulus checks a week in addition to checks for other federal programs, according to a Government Accountability Office report from June, which means some people will have to wait.
Then there’s this catch. Language in the stimulus bill institutes a cutoff of Jan. 15 for the IRS to send out payments. So anyone who doesn’t receive theirs by Jan. 15 will have to. That gives people who .
The timing then becomes a matter of how soon you submit your taxes for 2020 and how quickly the IRS would be able to process your return. Those two scenarios are influenced by a variety of factors. For example, people who file their returns in February would likely receive their stimulus check money — in the form of a— months before people who wait until the April 15 deadline or file an extension.
The first batch of EIP cards is arriving much quicker this time around
are prepaid Visa cards the IRS may send you instead of a paper check — the envelope will look unmarked, so be careful not to toss out your mail without carefully checking first (this ). The IRS has said it will start sending EIP cards this week, a change from the one-month delay in sending this type of payment the first time. The same rules apply as paper checks. If you don’t get yours by Jan. 15, you’ll need to file a between Jan. 16 and April 15 as part of tax season.
People who have more complex situations may wait the longest
For the first check, this category includes people who received a check after June, still haven’t received their full stimulus payment or who. It isn’t clear what would happen if there was a problem during the process and the was further delayed. It’s likely the IRS would set a different, later deadline to address clerical errors, like missing stimulus money, and other scenarios.
What to do if you don’t receive the full amount from any stimulus check
It isn’t always clear how much money the IRS might owe you in the event of an error. We suggest starting with ouror the and this introduction to . If the numbers seem lower than they should be, you might want to investigate further.
See if any of these situations could apply to you: Are you, or ? Are you a tax (including and people who )?
If you’re aand didn’t receive a check as expected, you may also need to read up on the rules. And a court ruling has made it possible for millions of to get a check, even after the IRS changed its interpretation to exclude this group.