COVID-19 Stimulus Checks: Why Some People Won’t Get Money Until September

Press Briefing Room

Getty U.S. President Donald Trump leaves the press briefing room at the White House on March 15, 2020, in Washington, D.C.

While 175 million Americans are set to receive their coronavirus stimulus checks this week or next, others will not receive them until September. Those who will have to wait until September for their checks include the following:

  • If the IRS has no prior tax information on you
  • If you’re filing with the IRS for the first time
  • Joint taxpayers earning $198,000 total (maximum allowed for eligibility)

At a White House press briefing on Thursday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said, “If we if have your [bank] information you’ll get it within two weeks. Social Security, you’ll get it very quickly after that. If we don’t have your information you’ll have a simple web portal, we’ll upload it. If we don’t have that, we’ll send you checks in the mail.”

According to the Washington Post, 8 in 10 taxpayers have signed up for direct deposit for their past tax refunds, meaning that 50 to 70 million Americans are expected to receive the $1,200 (or $2,400 for married couples filing joint returns) through direct deposit by April 15.

An IRS official shared with the Washington Post, “If we know where to put the money, we’re going to press the button and put it there next week.”

Stimulus Checks Will Be Issued Starting With People With the Lowest Income

Approximately 145 million Americans are eligible to receive stimulus checks.

The checks will be issued in reverse adjusted gross income order, meaning those with the lowest income are expected to receive the money first.

As Bloomberg points out, the IRS is planning to send 100 million checks at a rate of 5 million per week, which could take up to 20 weeks. That means the final round will not go out until September.

By May 1, checks for those who make $20,000 or less will be in the mail. By May 8, checks for those who earn $30,000 or less will be in the mail. The pattern will continue each week, with checks being sent out in increments of $10,000 in earnings.

Joint taxpayers who earn $198,000 — the maximum allowed under the stimulus plan — won’t have their checks issued until September 4, per the Washington Post.

All others — namely, those with no prior tax information with the IRS — will be sent out on September 11.

You Can Update Your Direct Deposit Information With the IRS Web Portal

If the IRS does not have prior tax information on you or you are filing for the first time, you may be able to receive your check more quickly by signing up with direct deposit on the IRS web portal.

On March 29, Mnuchin shared, “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.”

The portal is not available online as of April 7. It is expected to go live in late April or early May, according to CBS News. The IRS coronavirus page offers updated information about the portal and its availability.

Mnuchin encouraged taxpayers to file their returns as soon as possible if they have not already done so. “In this environment we don’t want people to get checks,” Mnuchin said during Thursday’s press briefing. “We want to put money directly in their account.”

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