2020 Stimulus payment information

May 20, 2020 : H&R Block

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on March 31, 2020. 

Many Americans have been hit hard by the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. To help ease this financial burden, the government is making economic impact payments, also known as stimulus payments, available to more than 90% of adult Americans.*

How do you get a stimulus check/paymentcheck/payment?

While this is welcome news, the first question for many taxpayers is, “How much will I receive?” To find that answer, check out our stimulus check calculator. We’ll walk you through what you need to know.

The next questions on everyone’s mind are, “How do I get my stimulus payment? Should I be looking for something in the mail or will it be sent to one of my bank accounts? Which account? Will my stimulus payment be on my Emerald Card?”

Here, we outline the relevant stimulus payment information to help you understand how the IRS will send your stimulus payment and what you can expect. Please keep in mind, the IRS is still working through the funding process details. As we are committed to keeping you informed, we’ll update this page with additional answers as we receive them.

How do I get my stimulus payment?

If you’re wondering how you get a stimulus check/payment, here’s the good news: Most people don’t need to do anything to request the payment. The IRS will send your stimulus payment to the direct deposit information or mailing address they have on file.

Social Security/Railroad Retirement benefit recipients: If you didn’t file a 2019 or 2018 return and receive Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits, your stimulus payment can be based on that statement and you won’t need to file a return.

How do I get my stimulus payment if I didn’t file a 2018 or 2019 return?

Because not everyone is required to file taxes each year, we understand that you may not have filed a return in 2018 or 2019. However, the IRS has stated that your stimulus payment may be affected if you have not filed for either of those years.

If you don’t receive Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits, we recommend you file one of those returns as quickly as possible. We have several ways you can file and take advantage of H&R Block’s expertise.

When will I receive my stimulus payment?

There are various factors that may impact when you receive your payment, including how it will be paid.

For payments via direct deposit:

  • The first stimulus payments were sent out by the IRS the week of April 13, and the IRS will continue issuing payments on a weekly basis going forward.

For payments to be mailed:

  • Checks: The IRS issued checks from late April to mid-May, starting with households with the lowest Adjusted Gross Income. The IRS issued approximately five million checks each week.
  • Debit cards: The IRS began mailing prepaid debit cards mid-May instead of checks for some taxpayers who don’t have direct deposit information on file with the IRS. Along with the nearly four million cards, the IRS included instructions on how to activate the cards.

If you haven’t received your payment yet, you can check the IRS Get My Payment site to answer the question, “when will I receive my stimulus payment?”

Will I get my stimulus check on my Emerald Card?

If you received your refund on your Emerald Card in the past, you might wonder if that’s where your stimulus check will be sent.

The IRS is determining when and how stimulus payments are distributed, and H&R Block is processing payments as soon as they are received, including depositing any payments made to Emerald Cards. We have been contacting Emerald Card clients with any information we have about their stimulus payment, including reminding Emerald Card clients who no longer have their card that we are here to help and will reissue cards so they can use their stimulus payment.

The IRS has launched the Get My Payment site, where you can view when and how your payment is being sent to you. It is our understanding that some people may be able to provide updated direct deposit information using this tool.

Will I pay over-the-counter fees if my stimulus payment is paid to my Emerald Card?

No, we’ve waived the fee associated with withdrawing funds over-the-counter at a bank through May 31, 2020.

How can I provide my direct deposit information with the IRS for the stimulus payment and avoid a mailed check?

If you’ve received your refund by check previously or owed taxes when you last filed, you might have been able to update your direct deposit information with the IRS using their Get My Payment site. However, May 13 was the last day you could have provided bank information to receive your stimulus payment by direct deposit.

Need additional information about stimulus payment and related IRS updates?

Visit our Coronavirus Tax Impact page for the latest news and facts regarding the stimulus bill, extension dates and more.

*Source: Tax Policy Center

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