How to get your stimulus check faster by direct deposit

January 29, 2021 : H&R Block

Editor’s Note: The article below was originally published on April 17, 2020, and was updated in January 2021 to reflect the second stimulus payment.

Looking for updates how about the latest stimulus updates? Check out our Coronavirus tax resource center for details.  

In 2020, Congress passed two stimulus bills 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 a second round of money on the way, many Americans are asking how to get direct deposit for their stimulus checks.

Here’s the good news: The IRS shared that most people will get a direct deposit.

You can confirm where your second stimulus payment will be made with the  IRS Get My Payment tool. Read below for instructions on how to check the tool

Because of the speed at which the IRS issued the second round of stimulus payments, there isn’t an opportunity to provide or change your direct deposit information on file with IRS. However, you should know that all stimulus checks sent by mail will be issued by the end of January.

How to get your stimulus check information

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

Most taxpayers will be able to view their payment status using these steps.

Go to https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment to get to the official IRS site.*

  1. Click Get My Payment.
  2. Read the system usage alert message and click OK.
  3. Enter your personal information (Social Security number, date of birth and address from your tax return) and click CONTINUE.
  4. 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.
    • If the payment was sent to a temporary or closed account, this status may remain until IRS updates the tool by the first week of February. Once the tool updates, it will indicate the payment date and delivery method.
  • Payment Status Not Available – If you receive this, you were either not eligible for the payment, or you are eligible, but the IRS was unable to issue your payment.
    • If IRS reissues your payment in late January, the tool will indicate the payment date and delivery by the first week of February.

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.

IRS should have sent you a Notice 1444 indicating how much you were issued for the first round of stimulus checks, and you should receive a Notice 1444-B indicating how much you were issued for the second round. Hold on to these so you can refer to them when you file your return this year

Q. What if I want to use a different bank for my direct deposit?
A. Because the IRS intends for these payments to be made quickly, you cannot change your bank account information.

Q. What if I’ve closed my bank account since receiving my refund?
A. Your payment will be rejected, and your bank must return the payment to the IRS.

While the IRS is exploring options to correct these payments, if you have not received your full payment by the time you file your 2020 tax return, you may claim the Recovery Rebate Credit on your tax return.

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 2019 return.  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.

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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