Starting next week, Americans can give IRS direct deposit information to get stimulus check faster

Tribune Content Agency

WASHINGTON — As soon as next week, Americans will be able to provide the Internal Revenue Service with direct deposit information so they can receive their stimulus checks of up to $1,200, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told House Democrats in a call Wednesday evening.

Soon after Congress passed the $2 trillion economic stimulus bill last month, the IRS said it was working on an online portal that would allow taxpayers, once verified, to find out the status of their checks and, if necessary, to provide their banking information for direct deposit. Initially, it wasn’t expected to be done until the end of April.

The payouts of up to $1,200 can be deposited directly within days once the IRS receives the needed bank information, Mnuchin has said.

Mnuchin spoke to House Democratic Caucus members in a closed conference call Wednesday. Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee also said the portal could be available the week of April 13 in a memo obtained by the Los Angeles Times.

The Treasury Department would not confirm the April 13 timeline Thursday.

According to the committee memo, the Treasury Department and the IRS initially estimated there would be 171 million rebate payments made through the economic stimulus bill and 101 million of these payments would have to be paid by paper check unless the IRS received direct deposit information for these payments before a paper check was mailed.

For those who already have direct deposit information on file with the IRS from their 2018 or 2019 return, the payments are expected to begin next week.

The new Where’s My Economic Impact Payment portal is expected to be similar to the Where’s My Refund portal that taxpayers can use to track the status of their federal tax refund.

There are two other options for providing the IRS with direct deposit information. File a 2019 tax return, or for those who don’t normally earn enough to file taxes, the IRS is creating a short tax form that asks just a handful of questions including name, Social Security number and dependents and deposit information.

The IRS could begin sending printed checks to those it does not have direct deposit information for by the end of April, according to the memo. The IRS can print up to 5 million checks a week, and it could take months to deliver mailed checks.


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