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If your stimulus check hasn’t arrived yet, this might be why

Published Mar 23rd, 2021 2:21PM EDT
Stimulus check update
Image: Jason Raff/Adobe

For those of you who’ve been waiting for a stimulus check update, because you haven’t received your $1,400 payment from the government yet, here’s the good news.

After depositing more than 90 million payments in Americans’ bank accounts last week, in addition to mailing out another 150,000 stimulus checks, the IRS has announced that more stimulus checks are being sent out on Wednesday, March 24. As part of its announcement, the tax agency didn’t mention a number of how many of those payments are coming on Wednesday, but it did specify that many of them would be coming in the form of either a paper check or prepaid debit card. Also, it’s worth reiterating that IRS and US Treasury representatives earlier this month said the plan was to send out around 100 million payments within the first 10 days of disbursements beginning as part of the $1.9 trillion stimulus legislation that President Biden signed into law in recent weeks.

Some of the payments coming Wednesday will also be in the form of direct deposits to taxpayers’ bank accounts. Which is to say, don’t immediately worry if you don’t see a payment in your bank account tomorrow. That could just mean your payment is coming in a physical form and will take a few more days. The IRS’ “Get My Payment” tool, which can shed some light on when your payment is expected to arrive and what form it will take, can offer some clarity here, as well.

Meantime, it might also be helpful to know one reason why, at least for some of you, your check — generally for $1,400, although some people such as family members and married couples will get more than that — has not yet arrived. According to Michael Hunsche, the managing director of Hunsche CPA Group/Management and Tax Services, the problem is that the IRS is really set up to be a collection agency, not a payment agency. That’s what he told a local TV news station in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and he pinpointed one reason behind the delay being taxpayers who already filed their 2020 taxes before the IRS announced the delay of this year’s tax deadline — but who did so by paper, rather than electronically.

“They’re trying to issue stimulus payments in their busiest time of year, and you’ve got millions of people filing tax returns at the same time that they’re trying to get something that they were never set up to do in the first place,” Hunsche said. “It’s really just made the IRS more of a mess than they already are.”

According to the IRS, the first batch of the $1,400 stimulus payments was completed via direct deposit on March 12. Wednesday’s round marks the second tranche of payments, with the tax agency adding that additional payments are anticipated on a weekly basis going forward.

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.