The IRS has set an imminent deadline for those who want their stimulus check by direct deposit. The agency has given Americans until Wednesday, May 13, to input their banking information on its website, or else they will get their Economic Impact Payment by mail. The paper checks are expected to take much longer to arrive.
The IRS has been handing out Economic Impact Payments — or stimulus checks — by the same means it handed out tax returns, mostly. However, the agency did open up a new online feature called Get My Payment for Americans who got their last tax return by mail, but want their stimulus check sooner. On Friday, the IRS announced that this option would soon be closing. Any eligible American who does not put in their banking info by 12 p.m. ET on Wednesday will have to wait until a paper check arrives in the mail.
More than half of eligible Americans have already gotten their stimulus check, according to the IRS. Millions went out by direct deposit all at once last month, for those whose information was already accurate. After that, many Americans reported issues with the Get My Payment site as they added their routing numbers and waited for confirmation of their payments.
Despite these issues, the IRS still says that Americans will likely get their checks faster if they use Get My Payment. IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig issued a statement to CNBC, saying that the difference may even be a matter of weeks.
"We want people to visit Get My Payment before the noon Wednesday deadline so they can provide their direct deposit information," he said. "Time is running out for a chance to get these payments several weeks earlier through direct deposit."
The IRS expects to continue mailing checks throughout May and June to try to reach every American. The agency is understaffed and is still trying to process 2020 taxes in addition to stimulus checks. Many Americans are frustrated with the slow process.
The Get My Payment site also allows Americans to check the status of their payment, and hopefully find out when their banking information has been processed. However, the IRS notes that the information on that site is only updated once per day. For users who are accustomed to fast-moving banking apps, it has been a big source of frustration. For updates on your Economic Impact Payment, visit the IRS' website. For the latest on the coronavirus pandemic itself, visit the websites of the CDC and the World Health Organization.