People who haven’t yet received a stimulus payment from the federal government face a Wednesday deadline to get direct deposit – otherwise, they’ll have to wait for a paper check.
The Internal Revenue Service says individuals have until noon on Wednesday to submit bank account information for direct deposit. People who are owed money but whose bank account details aren’t on file will eventually get a check in the mail, but it could take weeks.
“Time is running out for a chance to get these payments several weeks earlier through direct deposit,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in a statement Friday.
More than 85% of people who are eligible for stimulus money have already gotten the cash. About 130 million payments were made as of last week. Many of those people didn’t have to update their bank account information because the IRS already had it on file from a 2018 or 2019 tax return.
Payments to those who had updated their bank account information by April 29 should have also received the money. But many people who had done so, as early as April 15, say that a glitch in the system has kept them waiting.
The government is preparing to ramp up the number of checks it’s sending through the mail. The next round of payments will begin arriving through late May and into June, the IRS said.
The agency is prioritizing getting checks to people with lower incomes first. Payments have already been issued to people who filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return and earned less than $30,000.
How to add bank account information
An online IRS tool called “Get My Payment” allows people to upload their bank account information if the agency didn’t already have it on file from a 2018 or 2019 tax return.
It will request some basic information, including your Social Security number as well as adjusted gross income as reported on your most recent tax return.
Once you add your bank account information, the tool should update with a scheduled payment date. If it’s entered before noon on Tuesday, a payment date should be available on Saturday. If it’s after noon on Tuesday, a user would have to wait until the following Saturday.
What if you don’t normally file taxes?
Social Security recipients, Supplemental Security Income recipients, as well as some low-income veterans receiving pension benefits who don’t usually file a tax return do not need to upload their bank account information. Their stimulus payment will be automatically sent to them however they normally receive those benefits.
But there are millions of other low-income people who are not normally required to file taxes. They aren’t facing the Wednesday deadline, but they do need to take action before receiving their money.
They must use a separate online tool for non-filers that asks for basic information including names, date of births and Social Security numbers for the person filing and his or her dependents. They won’t have to provide any income information.
Who’s not eligible?
Eligibility is largely based on income, and it excludes individuals earning more than $99,000, head of household filers with one child who earn more than $136,500, and married couples without children earning more than $198,000.
Families earning a little more may still be eligible if they have children. The phase-out limit depends on how many children they have. For a typical family of four, the amount is completely phased out for those with incomes exceeding $218,000.
Those who can be claimed as a dependent for tax purposes, like many college students, are also ineligible for the payments, as well as undocumented immigrants who don’t have Social Security numbers.
Payments are worth up to $1,200 for individuals, and $2,400 for couples – plus $500 per dependent.