How to get your stimulus check faster by direct deposit

December 21, 2020 : H&R Block

Editor’s Note: Looking for information about second stimulus payments? Check out our Coronavirus tax resource center for the latest information.

The article below was originally published on April 17, 2020. It covers information about the March 2020 CARES Act stimulus. This page will be updated once details from the new bill are available. 

At the end of March, Congress passed the CARES Act, one of the largest stimulus bills in U.S. history, to help the unprecedented number of people who are now out of work or facing other financial hardships due to the coronavirus pandemic. With the promise of money on the way, many Americans are asking how they can get their stimulus checks faster by direct deposit.

Here’s the good news: The IRS has made it easy for those anticipating a check in mail to get their stimulus payment by direct deposit. It takes just a few steps with the new IRS web tool called Get My Payment. What’s more, the tool will let you view your payment status and confirm your current delivery method — either direct deposit or check.

We understand how important this payment is for taxpayers. To help you get the information you need, we’ve outlined instructions for providing your bank information and what you can expect.

How to get your stimulus check direct deposited

Most taxpayers will be able to view their payment status using these steps. However, after May 13, you will not be able to provide your bank information.

  1. Go to to get to the official IRS site.*
  2. Click Get My Payment.
  3. Read the system usage alert message and click OK.
  4. Enter your personal information (Social Security number, date of birth and address from your tax return) and click CONTINUE.
  5. Find your stimulus payment status information. (If your status says “Payment Status Not Available,” read the next section for more information.)

*Take care to only use the official IRS site address to enter your personal information. Unfortunately, scammers still operate in times of crisis and may try to deceive you with fraudulent links.

What the Get My Payment tool will tell you

After you’ve entered your personal information, you’ll see one of these status messages.

  • Payment Status — Your status may show that:
    • The IRS has processed your payment. If this is the case, you’ll see your payment date and the delivery method. Or,
    • You’re eligible, but the IRS hasn’t processed your payment. In this case, your payment date is unknown at this time.
  • Payment Status Not Available – The IRS is unable to determine if you can receive a stimulus payment. This might be because you haven’t filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return. Or, if you recently filed, it might be that the IRS is still processing your return.

Didn’t get the answer you were looking for? For payment date updates, you’ll want to wait until the next day to check the site again. The IRS is only making updates once per day.

If you weren’t required to file taxes in 2018 or 2019, you can still do so. File soon with H&R Block Free Online to file a simple return to register your information and confirm eligibility and payment method with the IRS.

Stimulus check direct deposit payment status

Stimulus payment direct deposit – Payment Status example

Stimulus payment status and direct deposit FAQs

Q. Will the Get My Payment tool tell me how much I’ll receive?
A. You won’t find the amount of your stimulus payment as part of your payment status. To get an estimate of how much you might receive, check out our coronavirus stimulus check calculator.

Q. What if I want to use a different bank for my direct deposit?
A. If the Get My Payment tool shows your payment has been processed, you cannot change your bank account information.

Q. It looks like my payment is going on my Emerald Card. Can I change that?
A. According to the IRS, the Get My Payment tool does not allow people to change bank account information already on file with the IRS to help protect against potential fraud.

Q. What if I’ve closed my bank account since receiving my refund?
A. Your payment will be rejected, and the IRS will send your stimulus payment by U.S. mail to the address they have on file for you.

Q. The IRS Get My Payment site says my payment was returned to the IRS. How will I get it?
A. The payment was likely returned to IRS if it went to an inactive/closed account, so they’ll mail it to your most current address (looking at your tax returns and address on file). Check the Get My Payment tool again for status. You may need to check back as there have been some site issues.

Q. Why am I getting locked out of the Get My Payment tool?
A. It may be due to what information you’re providing. Generally, you need to use the information from your most recent return, either tax year 2018 or 2019. However, if the IRS hadn’t processed your 2019 return by early April, you should use your 2018 tax return information. Additionally, be sure your address matches what was on your return. If you’re married and filed a joint return, you can use the Social Security number and date of birth from either spouse.

Q. I see that my stimulus payment is being sent to my IRA. I’ve already maxed out my contributions. What can I do?
A. From what we know, you won’t be able to stop the payment to your IRA. However, you shouldn’t leave the money in your IRA if you’ve contributed the maximum amount. To avoid penalty taxes, you’ll need to contact your financial institution remove the payment. Read how to withdraw an excess IRA contribution to learn more.

Q. If I decide not to change my stimulus payment to direct deposit, how long could it take to receive a check?
A. The Treasury will issue paper checks starting in late April in batches of 5 million per week, starting with lowest income taxpayers. You can still use the Get My Payment tool to see whether your check has been processed for payment.

My stimulus money is set for direct deposit. What’s next?

At H&R Block, we want to do what we can during these times of uncertainty. As part of that commitment, we’ve gathered resources where you can find the latest on the stimulus bill and ways that may help you and your family’s finances.

Visit our coronavirus resources page for more information.

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