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Stimulus check update: Here’s what happens if you missed the direct deposit deadline

Published May 18th, 2020 12:11PM EDT
Stimulus check update
Image: ERIK S LESSER/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
  • The IRS is still in the process of sending out waves of coronavirus stimulus checks which were funded by a $2.2 trillion emergency relief bill Congress passed at the end of March.
  • Last week, the IRS set a deadline for taxpayers to submit their direct deposit banking details. If you missed that deadline, here’s what happens next.
  • Visit BGR’s homepage for more stories.

The disbursement of coronavirus stimulus checks by the IRS is still rolling along, with the effort set to deliver checks of up to $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for married couples (with an extra $500 for each eligible child) to help blunt some of the economic pain of the pandemic that’s ravaged the US.

If you still haven’t received your direct payment yet — and, unfortunately, millions of Americans are in that boat, which sort of defeats the purpose of stimulus payments, but we digress — there’s an important update to be aware of in terms of when and how you’ll eventually receive that payment. At this point, there’s a strong chance you’ll have to wait on your check to arrive in the mail as opposed to electronic delivery via a direct deposit into your bank account.

This past Wednesday was the deadline for taxpayers to make sure the IRS had their direct deposit information on file so they could hopefully receive their payments faster. Not everyone has their bank information saved with the tax agency, so the IRS put out a call for taxpayers to manually input their banking details at the coronavirus-related “Get My Payment” web tool the IRS set up.

If you still haven’t done so, as we said, you’ve now missed the deadline, so here’s what happens next:

The IRS is sending out paper checks via regular mail through the fall, with the checks going out in batches until the process is done (estimated to be around September or so). You can visit the IRS’ “Get My Payment” page to check the status of your coronavirus payment, something you don’t need to do more than once a day as that’s how often the page is updated, usually at night — and you can actually get locked out of checking that page for 24 hours if you check it too much.

Meanwhile, just because the direct deposit deadline has passed, that doesn’t mean payments will stop being sent out electronically. Again, payments are going out in waves, so if you have given the tax agency your bank details and you still haven’t gotten a direct deposit, you’re probably just one of the unlucky ones who weren’t in the early waves of the process. The fact that so many people are still waiting for money, however, is certainly an indictment of this process, since the whole reason Congress passed the $2.2 trillion emergency coronavirus relief bill at the end of March in the first place was to provide quick help to Americans losing jobs at a frightening pace thanks to the coronavirus outbreak — and at a level that harkens back to Great Depression-era levels of unemployment.

In fact, that’s why the House of Representatives in recent days passed an even bigger stimulus bill that, among other things, includes funding for a whole new wave of coronavirus stimulus checks.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.