Stimulus checks: IRS updates tool to help track payments

IRS updates tool to help track stimulus payments

The Internal Revenue Service has issued 88.1 million Economic Impact Payments totaling $158 billion, and it is over halfway passing out checks to 150 million households, according to an update from the agency posted Sunday on the IRS website.

According to the IRS, the “Get My Payment” tool on the agency’s website has been updated allowing those who are eligible for a payment but who have not yet received one to find out where the payment is and what to do next.

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The agency’s news release said it had paid out $158 billion in so-called stimulus checks, or nearly 59% of the money earmarked for 150 billion U.S. households. The release urged those who have not received a payment to use the tool to track their check.

“We delivered Get My Payment with new capabilities that did not exist during any similar relief program, including the ability to receive direct deposit information that accelerates payments to millions of people,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig.

“These further enhancements will help even more taxpayers. We urge people who haven’t received a payment date yet to visit Get My Payment again for the latest information. IRS teams worked long hours to deliver Get My Payment in record time, and we will continue to make improvements to help Americans.”

The one-time payment of $1,200 for individuals, $2,400 for married couples and $500 for qualifying children is part of the CARES Act passed in March to offer relief to Americans as the COVID-19 pandemic led to a financial crisis.

If you have not received a check, 62 million people have yet to receive one, the IRS suggests you make sure you are eligible for one, then use Get My Payment to begin to track it down.

Who is eligible?

Those filing income tax returns as “single” with adjusted gross incomes up to $75,000 a year will be eligible for a $1,200 check. The payment amount drops by $5 for every $100 in income above $75,000.

Those who file as “married filing jointly” can receive a check for $2,400 check if their adjusted gross income was below $150,000. Married couples will get checks on a sliding scale up to $198,000. Married couples will also receive $500 for each child they claimed on their tax return.

If you filed as “head of household” you are eligible for a $1,200 check and $500 for each child you claimed if your adjusted gross income was $112,500 or less. You can receive a check on a sliding scale if you earn up to $136,500 annually. Those who file “head of household” are typically single parents).

If you receive a Social Security check and do not exceed the income limits above, you are eligible to receive the coronavirus relief check. If you receive a Social Security check and do not make enough money to require you to file a tax return, you will still receive a check as long as you received an SSA-1099 form. The form is sent annually and includes your Social Security benefits statement.

The check will be delivered to you via the usual way you get your Social Security payment. People who receive disability checks from Social Security are eligible for the special payment.

What about paper checks?

The IRS started mailing paper checks last week, beginning with the lowest-income recipients, the agency said. It will continue mailing those checks to individuals who do not have direct deposit information. That could take up to 20 weeks, the agency has said.

You can use the Get My Payment tool to see if a check has been scheduled to be sent to you.

How to use the tools on IRS.gov to get your stimulus payment.

This IRS chart will help you figure out if you are getting a check, what to do and how to track it.

Economic stimulus checks are prepared for printing at the Philadelphia Financial Center on May 8, 2008, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Economic stimulus checks are prepared for printing at the Philadelphia Financial Center on May 8, 2008, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Jeff Fusco/Getty Images)