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By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Seal of the Internal Revenue Service (Image source: Public domain)
Don't start spending your stimulus check just yet! Sure, you're still getting a check, but you will not be getting it next week if you don't have direct deposit set up with the Internal Revenue Service and you make more than $10,000 a year. They are rolling out the plan for issuing the checks, and regardless of the language in the package when it was passed, the IRS is not sending the entire country checks next week.
There will be some people who receive electronic payments as soon as late next week, yet $30 million in paper checks won't start being mailed out until April 24. The payments will have to be in paper checks rather than electronic, as the IRS does not have everyone's banking information. Some people won't get checks until September if they make the maximum amount of money allowed to still get a share of the $2.2 billion stimulus package.
Basically, the manner in which you normally file taxes will determine how and when you get the disbursement as well as how much money you make. About eight in 10 taxpayers have direct deposit for their tax refunds, and that will help them much as this point.
"If we have you [bank] information, you'll get it within two weeks," he said. "Social Security, you'll get it very quickly after that. If we don't have your information, you'll have a simple web portal, we'll upload it. If we don't have that, we'll send you checks in the mail."
He also noted, "In this environment we don't want to send checks, and we want to put money directly into [taxpayers'] accounts."
A spokeswoman for the Treasury Department, Patricia McLaughlin, said via email that "the overwhelming majority of eligible Americans" will receive stimulus payments within the next three weeks. She added that the Treasury expects 50 million to 70 million Americans to receive checks via direct deposit by April 15, the traditional tax day. This is slightly different than the IRS draft plan for the disbursements.
She said taxpayers who haven't provided direct deposit information on their 2018 or 2019 tax returns will be able to enter it in a portal the IRS is setting up to get their checks faster.
The IRS plan calls for distributing paper checks to the lowest-income earners first, those with individual incomes $10,000 or less, on April 24. Those who earn $20,000 or less will get checks in the mail by May 1. $30,000 or less will be on May 8, $40,000 on May 15, and it will continue in income increments of $10,000 each week. The IRS is figuring they will be mailing out 5 million checks each week.
Joint taxpayers getting paper checks will have them issued on September 4. All others will be sent on September 11. This will most likely be for people who the IRS does not have prior tax information for.
Electronic checks are supposed to be generated in April, according to the payment schedule. Banks will need to process the payments, but they could be deposited by April 14.
"If we know where to put the money, we're going to press the button and put it there next week," said an IRS official.
About 145 million Americans are eligible for stimulus checks. Whether or not they are eligible is dependent on their income. Most Americans should have their payments in one form or another by April 17.
Another 64 million Americans who receive Social Security and disability income will also be receiving checks. Most of these will be sent electronically. It was decided this week that even those who do not normally file a tax return will still get checks.
The majority of taxpayers will not have to file a separate claim with the IRS in order to receive the disbursement. The stimulus bill that was passed reads that the Treasury should look at the 2019 or 2018 tax returns to determine if people are eligible for a disbursement.
The Treasury had considered sending payments in larger brackets. Instead of grouping them by income amounts of $10,000, they had considered income amounts of $25,000. Ultimately, they decided to send the checks in smaller batches because the networks don't have the bandwidth for so many checks in one week, according to an IRS official.
But it makes it very confusing which week you'll be receiving it, depending on which official you're listening to and to then determine the rest by the crazy schedule that has been set.
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