For millions of Americans, a coronavirus relief stimulus check via direct deposit is either on the way or in their bank accounts already. But others are having to wait weeks, perhaps even months, for a physical check. The payments are being sent out based on how you received your tax return in 2018 or 2019, so those with direct deposit information on file with the IRS get paid the fastest. For those who want to add their direct deposit information now, it is still not too late.
Because the federal government designed the CARES Act to deploy quickly, the Treasury Department tasked the IRS to use existing banking information from Americans' most recent tax return to send the $1,200 stimulus check out. However, not everyone would prefer to get their emergency relief bill in the same way that they got their last tax return — especially if they opted for a paper check. Thankfully, the IRS has made it possible to provide them with up-to-date direct deposit information. Here's how to do it.
The IRS website has all the information you need on your coronavirus relief payment, and it is still in the process of improving. For those that had direct deposit information on file from their 2018 or 2019 taxes, the payment likely went through on Wednesday. For others, the website now allows you to add in new electronic funds transfer credentials through a feature called "Get My Payment."
Get My Payment is an effort to automate the process while also getting stimulus checks into Americans' hands as fast as possible. It may take several days for your payment to arrive after using the site, since priority is being given to people who already had accounts on file. The IRS is also prioritizing people with the lowest incomes first when dolling out payments.
The process may sound daunting and technical, but it does not actually take that much obscure information to fill out. The IRS will simply need your bank's routing number — typically available on your bank's website — and your Social Security Number or Tax ID Number. It will also need your date of birth, street address and ZIP code.
The Get My Payment website may also be helpful for those with outdate direct deposit information on file with the IRS. If the account your last tax return is no longer active, check Get My Payment for instructions on updating it. Sadly, if your payment has already gone through to an account, you will have to handle transferring it yourself.