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With direct deposit, your stimulus check will be sent faster, but there is a catch



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Stimulus check money is on its way now that it’s legally signed.

Angela Lang / CNET

Just days after President Donald Trump signed the law the bill that includes one second stimulus control of maximum $ 600 per person, the IRS has started sending the first payments straight to bank accounts by direct deposit and started sending paper checks. If you have made a direct deposit with the IRS, you will get your second stimulus control faster than if you don’t. The IRS currently has no way to provide your bank information if the federal government does not already have it. (Here’s how to save your total staff and who may not qualify for another payment.)

Those who do not have a direct deposit will receive their payment via a paper check or EIP card by post, and depending on how quickly the IRS can process all payments, your incentive money could arrive in weeks or months.

Keep reading for everything we currently know about receiving your check directly from your bank via direct deposit. We recently updated this story.

If you don’t make a direct deposit, you can wait a long time

Since the initial check, the benefits of providing your bank details to the IRS for a direct deposit have been clear. About 80 million people received their stimulus payment within the first week, of the estimated 170 million who received an initial stimulus payment. So there is a definite advantage of having a direct deposit with the IRS.

But while there can be an advantage if you have signed up, there is also a huge disadvantage if you don’t. The language of the bill specifies a Jan. 15 closing for the IRS to send stimulus checks.

So what happens next? Anyone who doesn’t get a second stimulus check sorted by that date should take the extra step of claiming it as a Chargeback discount as part of the 2020 tax season, presumably with exceptions for humans not usually required to file taxes.


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That means the timing to get paid would vary wildly depending on when you can complete your taxes and how quickly the IRS would process your tax return. For example, people who apply in February can receive their second incentive money for months before those who apply in April. It is not clear whether applying for a tax extension would further slow things down.

The downside for people who have not set up a direct deposit or are doing it quickly is clear.

What happens if I don’t have a bank account?

According to the Urban Institute, people with bank accounts and direct deposits (who are disproportionately white) were more likely to get their first stimulus check in late May than people who identify as black, Hispanic, or were below the poverty line. This was directly linked to groups who were more likely to have bank accounts and who had submitted that information to the IRS to facilitate direct deposit tax returns.

Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and several other major banks are now offering more affordable check-free bank accounts as part of a program to make it easier for people to get bank accounts.

read more: Sorry, not everyone gets a second incentive payment

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You may need to set up a direct deposit with the IRS if you haven’t already.

Sarah Tew / CNET

How the IRS obtains your bank information for incentive payments

For the first round of payments, the IRS used direct deposit information from one of the following places:

  • Your last tax return filed if you received a direct deposit refund in 2018 or 2019.
  • The bank details that you have provided via the Get My Payment online tool.
  • The bank details you provided via the Non-Filers tool: enter payment details here.

The IRS said it is updating its Get My Payment portal so you can check the status of your first and second payments, but the service said nothing about using the second check tool to provide bank information. We’ve asked the IRS for clarification. The IRS said the tool should be available with updated information in a few days.

What bank account information does the IRS need to set up a direct deposit?

While the IRS hasn’t said whether you can provide bank details for the second check through the Get My Payment tool, if so, you’ll want to have your bank account type and routing and account numbers handy. There are several ways to find this bank information. We’ve asked the IRS for clarification.

Banking website: Your bank’s website may show your routing and account numbers. Log in to the account you want to use and find the numbers you need.

Banking app: If your bank has an app, it can show you your account and routing numbers. In the app, tap the account you want to use to see the account and routing numbers.

Printed check: At the bottom of your check, you will likely see three sets of numbers: The first nine-digit string is your routing number. The second set of 8 to 12 digits is your account number. The third set is the one you don’t need for direct deposit as it is the individual check number.

Check out this IRS page for more help finding your routing and account numbers.

Can I correct or change my bank information with the IRS?

In the initial checks, you can use the Get My Payment and Non-Filers tools to provide the IRS with your bank details. However, the IRS has said it doesn’t allow people to change the direct deposit information for an incentive payment it has registered. This is a protection against fraud.

The IRS said if your bank information has been changed or incorrect or if the bank account has been closed, the bank will decline the deposit and the federal agency will mail the payment to the address it registered. For assistance, you can try calling the IRS phone number at 800-829-1040. For specific questions about incentive payments, call the IRS Helpline number here: 800-919-9835.

If you’ve moved, you can provide the IRS with your new postal address.

Is there a deadline for submitting my bank details to the IRS?

For the initial check, the IRS set a deadline of May 13 to provide the agency with your bank details – this was about a month after the initial direct deposits were made. If you missed the deadline, you received your payment by mail as a paper check or as a prepaid debit card. The IRS has not said whether you can provide bank details for the second check, or whether there is a deadline.

For more information about the checks, here how quickly the IRS can send your payment, how calculate how much money you could get in a second stimulus check and everything you need to know stimulus qualifications now.


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