If you still haven’t received your stimulus check, you aren’t alone.
So far, only 90 million Americans have received their $1200 stimulus checks from the IRS. This figure comes from an April 24 report.
The first payments were made to those that the IRS already had direct deposit information on from their 2018 or 2019 tax returns.
Additional payment rounds will include anyone who provides direct deposit information to the government that wasn’t included in the first round of payments. Also, physical checks will be mailed to remaining eligible taxpayers in reverse “adjusted gross income” order. This means those with the lowest income will get their checks first.
The IRS is only mailing about 5 million checks per week. Because of this, it could take up to 20 weeks for everyone who is eligible to get their money.
That’s not quick enough for the tens of millions of Americans who are struggling to make ends meet.
If you are still waiting on your check, here are some reasons why your check could be delayed. Additionally, here’s what you might be able to do to get your check quicker.
You Make Too Much Money To Qualify
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) sets eligibility on who can receive payments. It also limits the $1,200 payments to individuals who make less than $75,000. It also limits $2,400 payments to married couples whose combined income is less than $150,000. Parents with children under the age 17 can also receive $500 per child.
If you are single and make over $99,000 annually, or are married and your combined income is over $198,000, you won’t receive a stimulus check.
The IRS Doesn’t Have Your Direct-Deposit Information
If you have filed your 2018 or 2019 taxes but didn’t provide your bank account information for direct deposit (if you owed money and mailed in a check, for example), you can submit your bank account information to set up direct deposit by visiting the Get My Payment website set up by the IRS.
The site also lets you see payment status, and gets updated every day.
For individuals that don’t earn enough income to file taxes, you can open a bank account and then submit your account information on an IRS site to claim your stimulus check.
You Took A Refund Advance Payment
If you filed your taxes with a nationwide tax preparer like H&R Block or Jackson Hewitt and opted to get your tax refund quickly paid to you by the tax preparer on a pre-paid debit card, your stimulus check could be delayed.
In some instances, the IRS is depositing the stimulus money back onto those pre-paid cards instead of into the taxpayer’s actual direct deposit account. In some cases, the IRS does this without notifying the taxpayer. There are also times when they do this without the taxpayer still having access to the card (if it was discarded after use, for example).
H&R Block issued a statement, saying “We have been contacting Emerald Card clients with any information we have about their stimulus payment, including reminding Emerald Card clients who no longer have their card that we are here to help and will reissue cards so they can use their stimulus payment.”
Debt Collectors Could Have Taken Your Money
The CARES Act doesn’t prevent private debt collectors from garnishing your payment. However, it is possible they could grab your payment.
Some states and municipalities are passing legislation making it illegal to garnish the money. These include Washington, D.C., Massachusetts, Texas, Ohio, Oregon, New York and Las Vegas.
If you are worried about your check being garnished, the simplest step is to cash it out.
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