The good news is that some individuals have started to receive Economic Impact Payments over the last week.  The not so good news is that it may take several weeks, or months, for all eligible individuals to receive their payments. Plus, some individuals are not eligible to receive any payment.

Who is eligible for Economic Impact Payments?

Generally, anyone who has an adjusted gross income of less than $99,000 for single filers; $136,500 for heads of household; and $198,000 for those filing as married filing joint will see some type of payment, but not necessarily the full $1,200. If your adjusted gross income is more than $75,000 per person, the payment phases out at a rate of $5 for every $100 your adjusted gross income exceeds that amount.

Thus, single filers with adjusted gross incomes over $99,000 and those married filing joint over $198,000 will not receive any payments. Individuals who can be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s return; are a nonresident alien; or do not have a valid social security number are examples of others who will not receive a payment. Did you not receive the $500 you expected for your dependent? Only those dependents who have not turned age 17 in 2019 or an earlier year are eligible.

When should I expect to receive my Economic Impact Payment?

Payments started rolling out around April 15, 2020, for some individuals that provided the IRS with direct deposit information for their 2018 or 2019 refunds.  Over the next few weeks, others with direct deposit information will receive their payments. Paying your taxes via direct debit is not enough – the IRS will not use your direct debit information to issue your payment. Check payments will start to be mailed around the end of April and continue weekly throughout the summer depending upon your adjusted gross income. Those making less than $10,000 will see the first check payments, with additional amounts issued each week. Payments will continue throughout the summer, so you may need to be patient for a while.

Can I Check on My Payment or Provide Direct Deposit Information?

The IRS has provided a “Get My Payment” tool on their website to allow you to check on your payment and enter direct deposit information if the IRS does not already have it. This tool will ask for your social security number, date of birth, street address, and zip code. If all information you enter matches exactly to the information the IRS has on file for you, you will receive a status update on your payment, such as the date it will be made and if it will be direct deposited or not. If the IRS does not have your direct deposit information, you may have the opportunity to enter that information after checking your status right within this tool.  Please make sure you are on the office IRS website by using the correct .gov address.

“Get My Payment” Doesn’t Have Any Information on My Payment

Please be patient! The system may be overloaded in these initial weeks, so you may need to try again before you are successful. You may even get locked out for a day if you enter incorrect information too often. The IRS updates the information once a day, generally overnight, so checking once a day is sufficient to receive the most up-to-date information. Some reasons why you might not receive information:

  • The information you entered does not exactly match the IRS records. This can include spelling, spacing, even the apartment number or zip code.
  • You filed your 2019 tax return, but the IRS is currently processing it. If the IRS has a record of receiving your 2019 return, the system will not provide any information until your return is processed.
  • The IRS is currently still working on uploading taxpayer data from various sources into the system; your data may not have been upload yet. This includes individuals that receive social security payments via direct deposit and have not provided direct deposit information for their tax returns. Social security recipients will start seeing their payments processed sometime around April 23, 2020. Again this will be in waves, so you may need to be patient, as not all payments will be processed on the first day or in the first week.
  • You filed a 2018 or 2019 return and have tried to the use the “Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here” tool. This tool will cause confusion in the system if you have already filed, so please make sure you are using the correct tool.
  • You are not eligible to receive a payment.

What If I Don’t Receive an Economic Impact Payment?

The IRS is currently not accepting phone calls, so it is not possible to check on the status of Economic Impact Payments outside of the “Get My Payment” tool. When the IRS issues a payment, it will also send a notice in the mail within 15 days of the payment being made to tell you the amount of the payment and how it was made.  This notice will also contain information on what to do if you did not receive the payment or if it went to a bank account you no longer have.  Please follow the information in that notice.

A few final words…

Please be patient: The government rolled this out in a short amount of time and is working to get the payments to the right people, in the right place. This will not happen for everyone at the same time. It will take a few weeks for everyone to receive their payments. Using the “Get My Payment” tool is the best way to follow the progress of your payment. Payments will be available through the end of the year. If you did not get the right amount or did not receive a payment at all but are eligible, there will be a mechanism to obtain the payment when you file your 2020 tax return, as the current payments are simply an advance credit that will be available on the 2020 return.