Near the end of March, the federal government passed the CARES Act. The bill provided an array of various stimulus measures. One of the most talked about were the $1,200 per person stimulus payments. At the time, the bill requested these payments be sent out as soon as possible, but it was unclear when these payments could be expected. Now, a few weeks after the bill passed, some individuals have started to receive their payments. However, if you're one of the many who have yet to receive their payment, there is a new IRS tool to track your payment and potentially update your information if needed.
Where do you check the status of your payment?
The IRS has a special page for those who would like to track their payment. In order to do this, you will need to provide some information about yourself and your most recently filed 2018 or 2019 tax return. By default, the payments are being sent to the method your refund was last sent on your most recent tax return. For many this will be the direct deposit information provided on that return. If you instead received a refund check, the check will be mailed to the address on that tax return. If you receive Social Security via direct deposit but received your tax refund via check, your relief payment will also be sent by check, not direct deposit.
To receive your payment as quickly as possible, the IRS is processing direct deposit requests the fastest. They mention on the homepage that if you would like to update your information from a mailed check to direct deposit you need to fill out the same form to track your payment first. Once completed it will allow you to enter your bank information.
If they have already sent your payment, when the form is completed, it will confirm the account the money was sent to. To prevent fraud, if they already have a direct deposit account on file, they will not allow it to be changed. If your bank has changed, the payment will first be sent to the old bank, and once rejected, a new bank can be added through the website.
If you split your refund between multiple banks, they will send it to the first bank provided on your return. You cannot designate which of these banks the payment gets sent to. If your bank has changed, and you do not provide new information after the rejection, the IRS will instead mail a check to the most recent address they have on file.
If you owed taxes on your 2019 return, your payment will not be deposited to the bank account where the payment was made from. In this case the payment method will default to a check to the address reported on your 2019 return. Like other instances where a check is being issued, you can update your information to a bank account as long as the check has not been processed yet.
What if you normally don't file a tax return?
If you normally don't file a tax return because your income is low enough, or for other reasons, there is a separate page to submit your information if you are eligible for a payment. If you are eligible it is important you do this so that the IRS has the necessary information to issue a payment to you. They require the following details in order to apply:
Full name, current mailing address and an email address
Date of birth and valid Social Security number
Bank account number, type and routing number, if you have one
Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN) you received from the IRS earlier this year, if you have one
Driver’s license or state-issued ID, if you have one
For each qualifying child: name, Social Security number or Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number and their relationship to you or your spouse
For the many who unexpectedly found themselves out of work, or without a steady paycheck, these payments cannot come soon enough. In addition to these stimulus payments, if you were working, state governments have unemployment benefits and the federal government also increased these benefits with the CARES Act. If you're eligible for unemployment benefits in New Hampshire or Massachusetts you can follow their links. For assistance with your overall financial planning you can reach out to our team.