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IRS stimulus check timeline: This is when yours could get mailed if you’re expecting a paper one

IRS stimulus check timeline: This is when yours could get mailed if you’re expecting a paper one
[Photo: Marat Musabirov/iStock]

If you haven’t already received your Economic Impact Payment via direct deposit and are expecting it to come in the mail instead, your stimulus check’s arrival date depends on two details: Your income level in your 2019 taxes (or, if you haven’t filed yet, your 2018 taxes), and whether or not you filed taxes jointly last year.

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The Washington Post reported an IRS draft plan stretching out check disbursement over nearly six months, prioritizing low-income Americans first:

  • April 24-June 26: Individual Filers. Checks for individuals with incomes of $10,000 or under will hit the mail this week, followed by individuals with incomes under $20,000 next week May 1, increasing by $10,000 per week until June 26, when checks for individuals with incomes under $99,000 will be sent out.
  • July 3-Sept 4: Joint Filers. Joint filers with dual incomes under $110,000 will begin receiving checks on July 3, followed by joint filers with dual incomes under $120,000 on July 10th, increasing by $10,000 per week until September 4, when joint filers with dual incomes under $198,000 receive checks.
  • September 11: Stragglers. All other eligible people, including those for whom the IRS did not previously have information, will receive their checks.

Reached for comment by Fast Company, Treasury Department spokeswoman Patricia McLaughlin took issue with the timeline’s accuracy, particularly the revelation that checks could take as long as September to show up. But she declined to provide an updated schedule for the payments.

Paper check disbursements have begun, the Treasury confirmed, but the timeline will ultimately depend on how much direct deposit information the IRS collects. (The more people who successfully sign up for direct deposit, the faster the process will take.) As of last week, four million Americans had added direct deposit information—a small percentage of those awaiting payments, and unlikely to significantly sway the schedule.

Meanwhile, Twitter accounts held by IRS spokespeople, including MacLaughlin, have repeatedly emphasized that stimulus payments are “On time & NO Delay”.

The extended payout schedule is likely necessary because, according to a widely circulated Ways and Means Committee document, a maximum of five million checks can be sent out per week, and up to 200 million Americans will receive the payments. Roughly 80 million Americans recently received payments by direct deposit.

Adults receiving Social Security, disability, or survivor benefits who did not file 2018 or 2019 tax returns are expected to receive their payments via direct deposit imminently, by May 1.

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