Americans will be able to receive their stimulus checks via direct deposit even if they did not choose this option for their last tax return, thanks to a new tool being created by the IRS. Taxpayers won’t have to file new returns. The direct deposit setup tool will be available on the IRS website in the days to come.
APRIL 15 UPDATE: The IRS direct deposit portal, called Get My Payment, is now available. You can learn more about it here.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin confirmed this new option in an interview on CBS‘ Face the Nation on Sunday, March 29. “We will create a web-based system for people where [if] we don’t have their direct deposit [information], they can upload it so that they can get the money immediately as opposed to checks in the mail,” he said.
This is particularly important given the new information provided by the government regarding the varying timelines for the delivery of stimulus checks to millions of Americans.
Specifically, checks are expected to be issued within three weeks — but that doesn’t mean all eligible Americans will get them in the next month. Rather, those who don’t have direct deposit set up and plan to wait for their checks in the mail might have to wait upwards of four months.
For that reason, you should set up direct deposit with the IRS if you’re able.
Here’s what you need to know:
The IRS Has Confirmed the Creation of a Web-Based Portal for Direct Deposit Setup
If you don’t have direct deposit details set up with the IRS, you’ll be able to do it before checks are issued to mailing addresses. The web portal to create a direct deposit account with the IRS is not yet available online, so the best thing is to continue to check in on the IRS coronavirus page and follow relevant Twitter accounts like the IRS and Secretary Mnuchin.
In the meantime, you also have the option to change your mailing address with the IRS if you do want to receive the check by mail. With that said, it’s not guaranteed that your new mailing address will be processed by the time the IRS issues stimulus checks. One immediate solution is to create a forwarding address with the USPS so that any mail addressed to you at an older address will be forwarded to your current address.
You do have to pay for mail forwarding. A premium mail forwarding package with the USPS costs around $20 a week, though the standard mail forwarding package costs much less. The difference between these packages has to do with how your mail is sent (i.e. in bulk or piecemeal) and how quickly you can expect to receive it.
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, the IRS will process that address as your current one.
Submit a Written Statement
Send the IRS a signed written statement that 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