This article was last updated on April 14
Under President Biden’s $1.9 trillion federal coronavirus relief package, known as the American Rescue Plan (ARP) a third round of stimulus checks (a.k.a. economic impact payments) was fully funded. The amounts will be $1400 per adult and $1400 per qualifying dependent (and this time adult dependents are included). Payment for these checks have started being disbursed in batches per the schedule below and it is expected 95% of eligible recipients will get paid by the end of April 2021..
If you’re eligible to receive the stimulus payment and getting it via direct deposit (the fastest way), it will be automatically deposited into the same account used in your most recent, 2019 or 2020, IRS processed tax return. The payment will appear in your account summary as “IRS TREAS 310 XXTAXEIP3” or something similar. Those who don’t have bank details on file with the IRS and prefer paper check will get the stimulus checks mailed to them in 2 to 4 weeks. You can always check the IRS Get My Payment (GMP) tool for the latest status of your payment.
|Stimulus Check Activity||Activity Dates|
|Bill Signed Into Law||March 11th, 2021|
|Direct Deposit Stimulus (EIP) Payments Start||From March 13th (in batches)|
|Mailed Paper Checks and Debit EIP Cards||Started March 19th (in batches)|
|Social Security, SSI, SSDI Recipients||Started March 22nd (in batches)|
|Veterans’ Payments||Estimated start from mid-April|
|Batch 1 Start Date*||March 12th|
|Batch 2 Start Date||March 19th|
|Batch 3 Start Date||March 26th|
|Batch 4 Start Date||April 2nd|
|Batch 5 Start Date||April 9th|
* Actual payment date may be a few days (~5) from Start date
Expect Delays, especially if you had previous payment issues
Like the previous round of stimulus/economic impact payments, there will likely be payment issues given the expanded eligibility and dependent groups now able to get this payment (e.g. college aged kids and elderly dependents). Also if you had issues in the past, and I know many are still waiting for the prior payments or had to claim them as a recovery rebate credit, expect some delays with this round of payments.
Latest IRS payment status
The IRS have announced that they have sent out over 159 million EIP/Stimulus check payments worth around $375 billion. Payments are primarily being sent by direct deposit based on 2019 or 2020 tax return data, or information the IRS has sourced for non-filers. The status for these payments is available on the GMP tool.
The IRS also said that they are now processing all payments, including for non-filers and for recipients getting paid by paper check or prepaid debit card. Those who are getting their stimulus payment in the mail should start seeing their money now. Pay close attention to their mail delivery so you don’t inadvertently throw out the IRS envelope.
Plus up Payments (a third+ stimulus check) for those with updated information
The third batch of IRS payments (see table above) includes the first of ongoing supplemental payments for people who earlier in March received payments based on their 2019 tax returns but are eligible for a new or larger payment based on their recently processed 2020 tax returns (see refund schedule). These “plus-up” payments could include a situation where a person’s income dropped in 2020 compared to 2019, or a person had a new child or dependent on their 2020 tax return, and other situations. Over 1 million of these “plus-up” payments, with a total value of more than $2 billion have been paid to date.
Stimulus Payments for Non-Filers and Dependent and Payment Information Updates
For Non-filers who haven’t filed a recent tax return, the IRS will work with relevant agencies (e.g. SSA for Social Security recipients) to get the latest payment and dependent data. There is also talk of a new non-filer tool the IRS would roll out to allow payment and dependent detail updates for this payment. This would also allow updates to flow through for the other expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC) and Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) stimulus payments in the ARP package. Or else the IRS will use payment and dependent details based on previous stimulus payments.
Where are stimulus checks for Veterans, Social Security Recipients, SSI and SSDI
The IRS is now processing third stimulus check payments for this group of recipients and their dependents, following a few weeks of delays. This was mainly attributed to in getting updated payment and dependent data from other federal agencies (e.g. SSA). The majority of SSI and SSDI recipients should have now started seeing stimulus (EIP) payments hitting bank accounts, with mailed checks and debit cards arriving in the coming weeks. But it would not surprise me if their newly eligible dependent payments take even longer to get paid out.
For those Social Security and other federal beneficiaries (SSDI, SSDI and RRB) who didn’t file a 2020 or 2019 tax return and didn’t use the Non-Filers tool last year, payments will start as part of batch 3 and 4 processing (see table above). It is expected this group will see direct deposit payments by April 7th, and mailed checks and debit cards a week or two later. The IRS recently confirmed that more than 19 million payments, with a total value of more than $26 billion, went to these beneficiaries in the latest payment batches.
The IRS also recently announced it is continuing to review data received for Veterans Affairs (VA) benefit recipients and expects to disburse stimulus check payments by mid-April. The GMP tool is not showing a payment for this group of recipients.
Mailed Paper Checks or Debit Cards
The form of payment for the third stimulus may be different than the first or second one. Some people who received a paper check last time might receive a prepaid debit card this time, and some people who received a prepaid debit card last time may receive a paper check. The IRS has emphasized the payments are automatic, and they should not contact their financial institutions or the IRS with payment timing questions, unless after the first round (normal) processing is complete.
Also note, third stimulus check payments will not be added to an existing debit card that was mailed for the first or second round of stimulus payments. Under the legislation a new card must be issued.
Can I claim this in my 2020 Tax Return if I Have not Filed yet?
While the IRS has yet to issue final guidance on this, it is unlikely you will be able to claim this in your 2020 tax return because this will be considered an advance refundable credit for your 2021 taxes – filed next year.
Can my third stimulus check be garnished?
Like the last stimulus check payment the third stimulus check cannot be offset to pay various past-due federal debts or back taxes. This does not apply to child support payments that are in arrears. If you’re behind on child support your stimulus check can be fully or partially garnished either won’t get a stimulus check or will receive a reduced one.
Will I Be Able to Call the IRS with Issues?
You will need to wait for the IRS to finish normal processing of the recovery rebate payments (4 to 6 weeks, including mailed checks). Until then you will have to rely on the Get My Payment (GMP) IRS tool to track the status of your payment. And given the IRS will be closing out 2020-2021 tax season and refund processing, I expect will be very challenging to get through to an IRS agent to speak about your missing or delayed payment.
How come my payment is showing up early or in provisional status?
While March 17th was the official IRS date for these payments, a majority of eligible recipients saw the direct deposit payments as pending or as provisional payments in their accounts before the official payment date. However a lot of folks are reporting they received their full adult payment, but not their eligible dependent payments.
I will continue updating this article as more information comes to hand and you can stay connected via the subscription options below. Also please review the many comments at the end of this article for tips and FAQs around the stimulus payments.
[Updated with latest payment status] With approval of the COVID-19 (Stimulus) Relief bill, Congress has funded another $600 stimulus check for adults ($1200 for a couple) and $600 for Child Dependents. Payment for these checks per the IRS is starts on December 30th and will start hitting millions of American’s accounts before the New Year. If you’re eligible to receive the stimulus payment via electronic direct deposit it will be automatically deposited directly into the same account used when you filed your 2019 tax return and/or the account number used in the previous stimulus payment program. The payment will appear in your account summary as “IRS TREAS 310 XXTAXEIP2” or something similar. You can also check the IRS site for the latest status of your payment.
[IRS update – Jan 15th] The IRS has nearly completed depositing the second stimulus check payments that were sent out by direct deposit. They are now processing stimulus payments that were known to have errors (like incorrect bank accounts) or had widespread issues. As a result millions of taxpayers will receive their second Economic Impact Payments by debit card. These prepaid debit cards are faster and more secure than checks, and can easily converted to cash. People can check the status of both their first and second payments by using the IRS’ Get My Payment tool, which will show the mailing date for these debit cards.IRS News Release
The form of payment for the second mailed EIP may be different than the first mailed EIP. Some people who received a paper check last time might receive a prepaid debit card this time, and some people who received a prepaid debit card last time may receive a paper check. The IRS has emphasized the payments are automatic, and they should not contact their financial institutions or the IRS with payment timing questions.
All Stimulus Checks Must be Paid by January 15th, 2021
Based on the language in the approved legislation all stimulus payments must be made by January 15th, 2021. While the IRS has extended payment dates for exception situations/groups (e.g for non-filers or late child dependent payments) per the first stimulus payment, they have advised that if you don’t receive your second stimulus payment by January 15th then the most efficient way to get your money would be to claim it when you file your federal tax returns in 2021 as a IRS’ Recovery Rebate Credit. Major software packages like Turbo Tax, HR Block and Tax Act will all have an option for this with your 2020-2021 tax filing which you can do now. You’ll also be able to use your 2020 tax return to claim any money the IRS still owes you from the first round of stimulus checks.
Claiming Your Stimulus Check (EIP) in your 2020 tax return
Eligible individuals who did not receive an Economic Impact Payment this year – either the first or the second payment due to a myriad of possible reasons – will be able to claim it when they file their 2020 taxes in 2021. People will see the Economic Impact Payments (EIP) referred to as the Recovery Rebate Credit (RRC) on Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR since the EIPs are an advance payment of the RRC.
If you did not give the IRS your direct deposit account information through your federal tax return in the last two years, and have not provided the IRS with your information as a non-filer, you will likely receive a US Treasury check or debit card in some circumstances. The check will be mailed to the address on file at the IRS from the prior year tax return. It could take 5 to 6 weeks to get the check via mail.
First 2020 Stimulus Check Payment Schedule
The IRS has issued the majority of stimulus check (economic impact payments) that were due to be paid via direct deposit. They are now mailing checks to those who didn’t have or provide banking details, or where issues were identified when paying the stimulus check electronically. The following is the planned weekly stimulus check mailing schedule based on annual adjusted gross income, as first reported by The Washington Post. All dates represent the “week ending” (for example, the week ending April 24) and the IRS could change this schedule at any time.
- Less than $10,000: April 24
- $10,001 – $20,000: May 1
- $20,001 – $30,000: May 8
- $30,001 – $40,000: May 15
- $40,001 – $50,000: May 22
- $50,001 – $60,000: May 29
- $60,001 – $70,000: June 5
- $70,001 – $80,000: June 12
- $80,001 – $90,000: June 19
- $90,001 – $100,000: June 26
- $100,001 – $110,000: July 3
- $110,001 – $120,000: July 10
- $120,001 – $130,000: July 17
- $130,001- $140,000: July 24
- $140,001 – $150,000: July 31
- $150,001 – $160,000: August 7
- $160,001 – $170,000: August 14
- $170,001 – $180,000: August 21
- $180,001 – $190,000: August 28
- $190,001 – $198,000: September 4
- Remaining checks: September 11
The IRS has confirmed that the distribution of economic impact payments (stimulus checks) has begun. Payments for most working Americans are have been calculated and deposited or mailed via check based on 2018 or 2019 federal tax filing payment details. Check payments may take a week or two more. The IRS has also launching several tools to help people track their stimulus check payment and/or update direct deposit details. See FAQs and further updates below.
For those who have not yet filed their return for 2019, the IRS will use information from their 2018 tax filing to calculate the payment. The economic impact payment will be deposited directly into the same banking account reflected on the return filed. So if your 2018 information is out of date or your income situation changed in 2019, make sure you file, even if you have no taxes due (start filing for free with TurboTax).
SSDI beneficiaries will automatically get the $1,200 (or $2400 a couple) payment from April 17th based on their payment information with the Social Security administration, unlike other workers who have to have a recent tax filing to get the stimulus payment.
Where is my stimulus check payment? The IRS has launched new tools to allow eligible Americans to register and track their stimulus checks payments. The enter my payment info tool located on the IRS.gov website will also allow taxpayers who didn’t have to file tax return in 2018 or 2019 to update their banking information on their return to submit direct deposit information as to ensure they get their payments sooner.
Stimulus Check Payout Schedule
- Direct Deposit payments will generally be deposited 2 to 3 days after the IRS confirms income eligibility for the payout.
- Physical checks will take at least 6 to 8 weeks to be mailed out.
Social Security and Disability recipients who are eligible for the payment will get the stimulus checks/payments deposited the same way they currently get payments today. SSDI will automatically get a check based on the 1099 they get and do not need to do anything.
Can my stimulus check be garnished?
The CARES act has provisions to ensure the stimulus check payment cannot be garnished for overdue loans or back taxes (which is not the case for tax refunds), but this does not apply to child support payments that are in arrears. If you’re behind on child support your stimulus check can be fully or partially garnished either won’t get a stimulus check or will receive a reduced one.
Couples who file jointly and are eligible for the $2400 payment may also see smaller stimulus checks where one spouse has overdue child support from a previous relationship or marriage. Even if your spouse is solely responsible for the arrears or overdue payment, the shared stimulus check will likely be garnished.
Note there are some private debt collectors that are saying that stimulus payments can be intercepted to cover their overdue loan payments based on some vague wording the CARES act. However Congress and State legislatures are working to close this loophole.
Given over 120 million Americans could be eligible for the payment, it will take a while to process the stimulus checks. The IRS has reiterated that they will post the latest information on their website and that trying to call them (if you can get through) won’t get you anymore information.
I will however try and find more details and as always please share your thoughts or tips on this topic.