Coronavirus (COVID-19) Stimulus Checks for Individuals
NEW: The IRS is distributing $600 Economic Impact stimulus payments for qualifying individuals, as part of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021. You do not need to do anything to receive your payment.
Check the status of your Economic Impact payment from the IRS using the Get My Payment application.
Read frequently asked questions about who qualifies, how and where you’ll receive your payment, and more.
- The IRS began issuing direct deposits and mailing paper stimulus checks on December 30, 2020 and will continue through January 2021.
- You may instead receive your payment on a prepaid debit card. Watch your mail for an Economic Impact Payment Card (EIP Card).
Information on the Previous CARES Act Stimulus Checks, April 2020
This information applies only to CARES Act payments, distributed during the spring of 2020.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued one-time stimulus checks for most individuals who qualified for them. These payments were authorized under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act signed on March 27, 2020.
Learn About Stimulus Payments Sent Via Prepaid Card
The Treasury Department announced on May 18 that almost four million stimulus payments will go out as prepaid Visa debit cards. Watch this Economic Impact Payment Prepaid Cards video to learn about activating and using the card.
Payments Made to People Who Have Died Must Be Returned
If a stimulus check arrives for someone who has died, you must return it to the IRS.
Nursing Homes and Care Facilities Cannot Claim Residents’ Stimulus Payments
According to the IRS, your stimulus check belongs to you, even if:
Check Payment Status or Provide Direct Deposit Information to the IRS
Go to the IRS page Get My Payment to check your payment’s status. For more information on what the payment status codes mean, see the IRS stimulus payment information center.
In some cases, you can also enter your direct deposit information in the Get My Payment tool. For help, see the questions and answers about entering banking information into the tool. You can also check the "Update your bank account or mailing address" section on the Economic Impact Payments page.
Most People Don’t Need to Do Anything to Get Their Stimulus Check
You will not have to do anything to receive your payment by direct deposit or check if:
Income Eligibility for Coronavirus Stimulus Checks
Individuals, including Social Security recipients, earning $75,000 or less will receive a $1,200 payment.
Married couples filing joint returns with incomes of $150,000 or less will receive a $2,400 payment.
People with incomes higher than those levels will receive partial payments. Individuals earning more than $99,000 and couples earning more than $198,000 will not receive any payment, unless they have children.
Parents of qualifying children will get a one-time payment of $500 per child.
Previous CARES Act Non Tax-Filers Who Didn't Provide Stimulus Payment Information to the IRS by October 15 May Be Able to Receive Payment in 2021
Some people who weren’t required to file a tax return had to provide basic information to the IRS to get their CARES Act check. These included very low-income workers and some veterans. If you were in this category and you submitted your information by October 15, 2020, you should receive your payment by the end of the year.
If You Missed the October 15 Deadline, You May Be Eligible For the Payment in 2021
If you didn't get a payment in 2020, or if you received less than the full amount you were entitled to, such as $500 for each qualifying child, you may be able to get the difference in 2021. See the IRS information for filing for the CARES Act stimulus payment in 2021.
Check Your Federal Tax Refund Status
If you have filed your federal income taxes and expect to receive a refund, you can track its status. Have your Social Security number, filing status, and the exact whole dollar amount of your refund ready. You can also check the status of your one-time coronavirus stimulus check.
How to Check Your Refund Status
Use the Where's My Refund tool or the IRS2Go mobile app to check your refund online. This is the fastest and easiest way to track your refund. The systems are updated once every 24 hours.
You can call the IRS to check on the status of your refund. However, IRS live phone assistance is extremely limited at this time. Wait times to speak with a representative can be long. But you can avoid the wait by using the automated phone system. Follow the message prompts when you call.
When to Expect Your Refund
Refunds are generally issued within 21 days of when you electronically filed your tax return or 42 days of when you filed paper returns. If it’s been longer, find out why your refund may be delayed or may not be the amount you expected.
How to Check the Status of Your Coronavirus Stimulus Check
If you're trying to find out the status of your coronavirus stimulus payment, go to the IRS's Get My Payment page. You can learn whether your payment has been issued, and if it's coming by direct deposit or mailed check.
Learn more about the stimulus payments, including whether you qualify for one and what, if anything, you may have to do to get yours.
Find out if Your Tax Return Was Submitted
You can file your tax return by mail, through an e-filing website or software, or by using the services of a tax preparer. Whether you owe taxes or you’re expecting a refund, you can find out your tax return’s status by:
If you file your taxes by mail, using USPS Certified Mail or other services at your local post office will allow you to track your tax return and get a confirmation when the IRS has received it.
What Information Should I Have to Get My Tax Return Status?
If you call the IRS, you should have the following information ready when you ask about your tax return’s status:
Social Security number and birth date
Filing status: Are you single, married, or a head of household?
Any prior communications from the IRS
What Is the Status of My State Tax Return?
To see if your state tax return was received, you can check with your state’s revenue or taxation website. There, you can find out whether your refund is being processed or get further contact information to confirm that your return was received.
Is Your Tax Refund Lower Than You Expected?
If you owe money to a federal or state agency, the federal government may use part or all your federal tax refund to repay the debt. This is called a tax refund offset.
How the Treasury Offset Program Works
Here's how the Treasury Offset Program (TOP) works:
- The Bureau of Fiscal Services (BFS) will check if your name and taxpayer information are in its delinquent debtor database.
- If there is a match, BFS will notify you that it is deducting the amount you owe from your tax refund.
- BFS will send the outstanding amount to the government agency to which you owed the money.
If you owe more money than the payment you were going to receive, then BFS will send the entire amount to the other government agency. If you owe less, BFS will send the agency the amount you owed, and then send you the remaining balance.
Here's an example: you were going to receive a $1,500 federal tax refund. But you are delinquent on a student loan and have $1,000 outstanding. BFS will deduct $1,000 from your tax refund and send it to the correct government agency. It will also send you a notice of its action, along with the remaining $500 that was due to you as a tax refund.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can help you understand more about tax refund offsets.
If a Deduction Was Made in Error
If you believe that a deduction was an error, contact the agency that said you owed money. Call the Treasury Offset Program at 1-800-304-3107 to locate the agency you need to contact.
Undelivered and Unclaimed Federal Tax Refund Checks
Every year, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has millions of dollars in tax refunds that go undelivered or unclaimed.
Undelivered Federal Tax Refund Checks
Refund checks are mailed to your last known address. If you move without notifying the IRS or the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), your refund check may be returned to the IRS.
If you were expecting a federal tax refund and did not receive it, check the IRS' Where’s My Refund page. You'll need to enter your Social Security number, filing status, and the exact whole dollar amount of your refund. You may be prompted to change your address online.
You can also call the IRS to check on the status of your refund. Wait times to speak with a representative can be long. But, you can avoid waiting by using the automated phone system. Follow the message prompts when you call.
If you move, submit a Change of Address - Form 8822 to the IRS; you should also submit a Change of Address to the USPS.
Unclaimed Federal Tax Refunds
If you are eligible for a federal tax refund and don’t file a return, then your refund will go unclaimed. Even if you aren't required to file a return, it might benefit you to file if:
You may not have filed a tax return because your wages were below the filing requirement. But you can still file a return within three years of the filing deadline to get your refund.
State Refund Checks
For information about your state tax refund check, contact your state revenue department.
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January 11, 2021