COVID-19 Stimulus Check: Can The IRS Direct Deposit It? Will They Mail it?

coronavirus stimulus check qualifications

Getty Will your coronavirus stimulus check be sent to you by direct deposit? Or by mail?

Where is your coronavirus stimulus check going to be delivered, if you get one? Can it be delivered via direct deposit into your bank account? What address does the IRS have on file?

Millions of Americans will be receiving checks in the mail (up to $1,200 per adult, and $500 for each child in the household), which is why many might be wondering how the government knows where to send those checks. The stimulus package including the provision for these stimulus checks reached a bipartisan agreement in the Senate on March 25, which means that the ball is officially rolling for those checks to be issued.

For now, only one payment is scheduled, though public leaders have indicated more could come in the following months, depending on how the pandemic unfolds in the United States.

The stimulus checks will be sent to people based off of 2018 or 2019 tax returns, whichever was filed last. For this reason, your check will be sent to the address that the IRS has on file in relation to your 2018  or 2019 tax form. If you checked the option for direct deposit on either of these tax returns, then your stimulus check will likely be sent to you by direct deposit, as has been done in the past.

It takes four to six weeks for a change of address request to officially process, according to the IRS. It’s fully possible the service will expedite these changes or offer a new way to choose where your stimulus check is sent in the days to come.

According to The New York Timesthe bill confirms that you should get a paper notice in the mail a few weeks after your payment was dispersed. This paper notice will tell you where the payment ended up, and in what form it was sent. From there, if you still can’t find your check, you might have to contact the IRS.

For now, here’s what you need to know about what your current options are regarding direct deposit options and how you can double-check or edit the address you have on file with the IRS so that you know your stimulus check will go to the right place:

Can the Government Give You Your Stimulus Check Via a Direct Deposit into Your Bank Account?

The government has not yet provided details regarding what options the American people will have regarding how they receive their stimulus checks. However, there’s precedent for a direct deposit option.

In 2008, during the recession, after George W. Bush authorized the sending of checks to a portion of the American people, some people received those checks in a direct deposit to their bank account. This portion of people got that option by authorizing a direct deposit option when filing their taxes electronically.

So in addition to checking your address on file with the IRS, you might consider filing your 2019 tax form electronically and signing off the option for a direct deposit.

Here’s more info from the IRS on how to add the direct deposit option so that your stimulus check can go straight into your bank account.

One benefit of having your stimulus check arrive via direct deposit is that you’ll likely receive the check more quickly than if you were to receive it via mail.

How to Check or Edit the Address You Have on File With the IRS

If you don’t think you will be able to use a direct deposit option for your stimulus check and you’re worried about what address the IRS has on file for you, don’t panic. It’s easy to update your information with the IRS. Here’s what you have to do: go to the IRS’ page for updating information and choose which of the following methods you want to use to update your address:

Fill Out an IRS Form

There are two forms you can fill out with the IRS to change your address: the Form 8822, Change of Address or Form 8822-B, Change of Address or Responsible Party – Business.

File an Updated Tax Return

If you have already filed your 2019 tax return with your new address, then the IRS will process that address as your current one.

Submit a Written Statement

Send the IRS a signed written statement which includes your full name, old address, new address, and social security number, ITIN, or EIN. Mail this signed statement to the address where you filed your last return.

Provide ‘Oral Notification’ Via Phone

The last option is to speak with an IRS representative over the phone. You’ll need to provide the following information to ensure your identity, in order to change your address:

  • full name
  • new address
  • old address
  • date of birth
  • social security number, ITIN or EIN

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