CNN-The Internal Revenue Service started sending out stimulus payments this week — but while 80 million people can expect the money to hit their bank accounts by Wednesday, others will be waiting long before the cash is in their hands.
The first payments will go to those who’ve already filed their 2018 or 2019 tax returns and authorized the Internal Revenue Service to make a direct deposit if they were due a refund. Within that group, the agency is starting with people with the lowest incomes. Social Security recipients will also automatically receive their payments, even if they haven’t filed a return.
There are tens of millions of people who don’t fall into those categories. Taxpayers who haven’t authorized a direct deposit could be waiting weeks for a check in the mail — though they can update their bank information using Treasury’s new web portal, which went live Wednesday.
Those who haven’t been required to file a return during the past two years may have to submit some information online before receiving the payment. Still, the Treasury Department has said that “a large majority of eligible Americans” will receive the payments, which were authorized under the $2.2 trillion congressional coronavirus relief plan in March, by April 24.
How do I check on the status of my payment?
You’ll need to enter your Social Security number, date of birth and mailing address in order to track your payment, the Treasury Department said. Some people who used the tool on Wednesday received a message that their payment status was not available. The Treasury Department suggested checking again because it only updates the tool once daily, usually overnight.
Am I eligible?
Eligibility is largely based on income, and it excludes individuals earning more than $99,000, head of household filers with one child who earn more than $146,500, and married couples without children earning more than $198,000.
Families earning a little more may still be eligible if they have children. The phase-out limit depends on how many children they have. For a typical family of four, the amount is completely phased out for those with incomes exceeding $218,000.
Those who can be claimed as a dependent for tax purposes, like many college students, are also ineligible for the payments, as well as undocumented immigrants who don’t have Social Security numbers.
But everyone else should receive some money. It won’t be taxed as income and won’t be offset by any back taxes owed. It also won’t affect refund payments for 2019.