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IRS puts a deadline on direct deposit information for stimulus money



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The IRS says they have delivered the stimulus checks to many that qualify, however, banks beg to differ.

USA TODAY

Still waiting on your stimulus stash? The IRS has a new deadline to urge you to act soon if you’re considering entering direct deposit information online at “Get My Payment.”  

The Internal Revenue Service wants people to take action by noon Wednesday if they want a shot at receiving stimulus cash more quickly via direct deposit. Bank account information can be entered at “Get My Payment” at IRS.gov. 

And in other news, the IRS said automatic payments will be sent soon to those receiving Social Security retirement, disability benefits, Railroad Retirement benefits, Veterans Affairs benefits or Supplemental Security Income. No specific timetable was given Friday. 

If things go as expected, most eligible Supplemental Security Income or SSI and veterans will spot Economic Impact Payments via their Direct Express card no later than mid-May, according to a fact sheet dated May 5 from Direct Express, which is a prepaid card offered to those who do not have bank accounts.

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Many people already have received stimulus payments of up to $1,200 for singles and up to $2,400 for couples, plus $500 for dependent children ages 16 and younger. 

The Treasury Department and the IRS said Friday that about 130 million individuals nationwide received payments worth more than $200 billion in the program’s first four weeks. But more than 20 million payments remained to be sent out. 

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Unfortunately, the coronavirus relief effort has triggered a great deal of frustration and confusion for many people who are still waiting for stimulus cash after watching neighbors receive their money in the past four weeks or so.

Many older adults are furious. Some claim it’s highly unfair for those in need to be waiting weeks, while others who were working in the past few years received their money more immediately. 

Several seniors who have direct deposit of their Social Security benefits wonder why the federal government hasn’t been able to use that information to deposit their stimulus cash into their bank accounts yet. Many continue to wait.

Some seniors did get that money if they had provided bank account information earlier to receive direct deposit of a tax refund for 2018 or 2019 tax returns. But if you owed money or received a paper check for a tax refund, well, you could very well still be waiting. 

All eligible taxpayers who filed tax returns for 2019 or 2018 will receive the payments automatically, according to the IRS.

Payments also are automatic for those who receive Social Security retirement, survivor or disability benefits (SSDI), Railroad Retirement benefits, as well as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Veterans Affairs beneficiaries who didn’t file a tax return in the last two years.

The problem is all the money isn’t arriving at once or even close to the same time. The program’s payments will be spread out from roughly April 10 through June. Some will receive checks; others will get the money via direct deposit. 

Many will receive checks if the IRS doesn’t have direct deposit information associated with a tax refund for 2018 or 2019. If you owed taxes those years and paid, the IRS would still need direct deposit information. 

One way around this is to supply the IRS with direct deposit information via “Get My Payment.” 

To be sure, the “Get My Payment” tool has had its fair share of technical issues that generated a great deal of anger among many users. The IRS has updated that tool, which went online April 15, and some had success later in the game. 

To use the “Get My Payment” tool, you need information from your 2019 return, if filed, and your 2018 return. You’ll also need such things as your payment status and your bank account information. 

The IRS stated Friday that the number of paper stimulus checks flowing into mailboxes will increase sharply starting later this month. 

The noon Wednesday deadline is designed for those who want to avoid waiting weeks or months to get a check. 

The IRS wants people to visit “Get My Payment” by noon Wednesday to check on their payment status and, when available, provide direct deposit information online at IRS.gov. 

“For many taxpayers, the last chance to obtain a direct deposit of their Economic Impact Payment rather than receive a paper check is coming soon,” the IRS stated.

“Time is running out for a chance to get these payments several weeks earlier through direct deposit,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig in a statement.

After noon Wednesday, the IRS said it will begin preparing millions of files to send to Bureau of Fiscal Service to handle the paper checks that will begin arriving through late May and into June.

The “Get My Payment” tool does not solve all problems or apply to everyone. 

For example, the IRS has had to consider the possibility of identity theft. So it will not allow you to change direct deposit bank account information already on file with the IRS.

“If we issue a direct deposit and the bank information is invalid or the bank account has been closed, the bank will reject the deposit,” the IRS stated.

“We will then mail your payment as soon as possible to the address we have on file for you. ‘Get My Payment’ will be updated to reflect the date your payment will be mailed. Typically, once the payment is mailed, it will take up to 14 days to receive the payment, standard mailing time.”

Follow Susan Tompor on Twitter @tompor.

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