IRS Issues Stimulus Check Update, Advice

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has reassured those awaiting stimulus check payments that they are on the way and urged them to check online rather than call should they require updates.

A second round for amounts up to $600 started being sent out last week, with direct deposits the first to begin arriving and paper checks also making their way to recipients.

"The direct deposit payments may take several days to post to individual accounts. Some Americans may have seen the direct deposit payments as pending or as provisional payments in their accounts before the scheduled payment date of January 4, 2021, which is the official date funds are available," a statement from the IRS read.

"Paper checks also began going out and will continue to be sent through January. Some people will be mailed debit cards in January, and the IRS urges people to carefully check their mail. Mailed payments will require more processing and mailing time. Those who reside abroad will have longer wait times for checks as disruptions to air travel and mail delivery in some countries will slow delivery."

It added that eligible individuals will automatically receive their second payments, without taking action to facilitate this.

"The IRS emphasizes that there is no action required by eligible individuals to receive this second payment," the statement added.

"The payments are automatic, and people should not contact their financial institutions or the IRS with payment timing questions."

To receive further updates, the IRS urged people to visit its website for the latest information.

"IRS phone assistors do not have additional information beyond what's available on IRS.gov," the statement said.

For those wanting to check the status of their payment, the IRS has also re-opened its Get My Payment portal. This is available at www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment and the tool can be viewed in both English and Spanish.

IRS gave some details on what people should do if they do not receive their payment as expected or it is less than anticipated.

"If an eligible taxpayer does not get a payment or it is less than expected, it may be claimed on the 2020 tax return as the Recovery Rebate Credit. Remember, Economic Impact Payments are an advance payment of what will be called the Recovery Rebate Credit on the 2020 Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR."

As $600 checks make their way out to those struggling financially amid the pandemic, the debate over further stimulus continues. Some lawmakers had pushed for the maximum amount to be boosted to $2,000, though such a move has been blocked in the Senate.

The potential for a third stimulus check in future has also been raised, though its fate may rest upon which party has control in the upper chamber of Congress. This will be dependent on the results in the U.S. Senate elections in Georgia.

person wearing mask new york city
A person wearing a mask walks past street art of the Statue of Liberty wearing a face mask and 2021 glasses in SoHo on December 30, 2020 in New York City. Stimulus payments have started to be sent out to people amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images