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The Quickest Way to Get Your Stimulus Check

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With all the talk about stimulus checks since the passage of the CARES Act, you probably want to know when yours will come and what you can do to make the process go faster. For most people, the answer is simple: Make sure the IRS has your bank information so it can direct-deposit your payment within the next few weeks. The information below will help you know what, if anything, you need to do.

Key Takeaways

  • Most people will receive stimulus direct deposits or checks starting within the next three weeks.
  • The most important thing you need to do is make sure the IRS has your bank direct-deposit information.
  • You probably don’t need to do anything to get your payment unless you didn’t file a tax return in 2018 or 2019.
  • If you are not required to file, you will need to file a simple tax return that will be available on the IRS website.
  • If you are required to file taxes—but didn’t file them in 2018 or 2019—you will need to file before you receive payment.

I Don’t Know If I Am Eligible

If you have adjusted gross income (AGI) up to $75,000 ($112,500 for heads of household and $150,000 for couples filing jointly), you will receive the full amount, $1,200 for single or head of household filer and $2,400 for couples. Parents also receive $500 for each child under the age of 17. The amount you receive will be reduced by $5 for each $100 you earn above your threshold until it reaches zero.

I Have Already Filed My 2019 or 2018 Tax Return

The first place the IRS will look for your bank information is your 2019 tax return. If you haven’t filed yet, the agency will turn to your 2018 return. If either return has been filed and includes your bank information, you should automatically get your payment by direct deposit beginning within the next three weeks. There’s nothing else for you to do.

I Filed, but Did Not Include My Bank Information

The Department of Treasury plans to develop a website soon that you can use to provide your banking information online. Check the IRS Coronavirus Tax Relief website (below) for updates so you will know when the portal is available.

You qualify for an economic stimulus payment even if you don’t normally file taxes.

I Am Not Required to File a Tax Return

If you are someone who normally doesn’t have to file a return, due to low income or the fact you’re a low-income senior or on disability, you will need to file a simple tax return to receive your stimulus payment but will not owe taxes. The IRS Coronavirus Tax Relief website will provide information on how to file the simple form, which will ask for your filing status, number of dependents, and direct-deposit bank account information.

I Am Required, but Have Not Filed for 2018 or 2019

If you normally file and haven’t, you should file as soon as possible to receive your money. Don’t forget to include direct-deposit banking information on your return. Stimulus payments will be available through Dec. 31, 2020, in case you can’t file immediately due to concern about visiting a tax preparer.

I Don’t Have a Bank Account to Receive a Direct Deposit

If you don’t have a bank account—or the bank account you do have is not the same as it was when you filed your last tax return—the IRS will mail a check to the address listed on your tax return.

Where to Go for Up-to-Date Information

The best place to get up-to-date information on the stimulus program, including any changes or new requirements, is the IRS Coronavirus Tax Relief website.This website provides the latest information from the IRS regarding stimulus payments as well as other tax-related information you need to know.

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