While about 80 million people in the U.S. have received stimulus payments this week, there are about 60 million more people who are still waiting on their checks. With about 90 percent of Americans eligible for the payments, which excludes only high-income people, the Internal Revenue Service has been working to distribute money to people that it was able to reach the fastest, as per CNN, making people who had direct deposit information already on file due to receiving a refund on their 2018 or 2019 federal tax returns the first to get paid.
The agency announced earlier this week that it will begin issuing paper checks starting Monday to people who haven't authorized a direct deposit in the past two years, but with the agency processing about 5 million checks a week, the process won't be instantaneous. There are a number of reasons you could be one of the people who haven't received your stimulus payment yet, including for people who did file their 2018 or 2019 taxes electronically. In order to have the money delivered automatically, the IRS must have issued you a refund in those years via direct deposit.
CNN received reports from many people who said the IRS sent money sent to a bank account they had since closed, in which case the money was transferred back to the IRS to be sent via a paper check in the mail. This is most often the case for people who didn't receive a refund in 2019 or who haven't filed yet. People who filed a paper return in 2019 have also been reporting delays in the receipt process.
Other people experiencing delays may want to speak to their tax preparers, as they sometimes set up a temporary account into which a tax refund is first deposited in normal circumstances. Eventually, the payment will arrive via paper check in the mail, but it might take longer, CNN reports. Another group of people affected by delays includes low-income people who are not required to file a tax return — generally people who do not make more than $12,200 in a year or married couples making less than $24,400.
Those individuals can file a form online with their basic information — names, date of births, and Social Security numbers — but no income information. After utilizing this tool, people will be asked to either input bank account information for a direct deposit or an address to receive a paper check.