IRS starts sending $1,400 direct payments


The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have started the process of sending out the $1,400 direct payments included in President Biden's coronavirus relief law, the agencies said Friday.

The Biden administration has said that people will start to see the payments in their bank accounts as early as this weekend. The IRS said Friday that some people may see the payments in their accounts as pending or provisional in the coming days, ahead of the official payment date of March 17.

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that some banking apps have said that they're already putting payments in people's accounts.

People will be able to start to check the status of their $1,400 stimulus payments on the IRS's website on Monday, the agency said Friday. Americans will be able to look up the status of their payments using the IRS's "Get My Payment" web tool.

The first batch of payments is being sent by direct deposit, and additional tranches will be distributed by direct deposit, paper check and debit cards in the coming weeks. Treasury and IRS officials said they expect people to start receiving paper checks and debit cards before the end of the month.

Treasury and the IRS will automatically be issuing payments to people based on their 2019 tax returns or their 2020 returns when those have already been processed. Additionally, people who aren't required to file tax returns and receive Social Security, railroad retirement benefits, Supplemental Security Income and veterans benefits will get payments automatically.

In cases where people initially get payments based on their 2019 returns but are entitled to bigger payments based on their 2020 returns, the IRS will automatically issue supplemental payments once the 2020 returns are processed, Treasury and IRS officials said.

This is the third round of direct payments that have been enacted since the start of the pandemic. Some taxpayers who used tax-prep services such as H&R Block and TurboTax to file their tax returns and paid for those services out of their refunds reported having challenges getting their payments during the first two rounds, because their payments were sent to bank accounts other than their own.

Treasury and IRS officials said they have taken steps in an effort to remedy this issue. Officials said that the IRS has worked with banks to make sure the agency has the correct account information for taxpayers, and that it has developed a process in which payments can be returned and reissued if they're initially sent to incorrect bank accounts.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) commended the Biden administration for quickly starting to issue the payments, while also reiterating that he thinks the tax-filing deadline needs to be extended.

"While I am impressed with this phenomenal turnaround, taxpayers will have questions for the IRS about their stimulus payments, on top of questions related to the filing season and other provisions in the American Rescue Plan," Neal said in a statement. "As the pandemic continues to impact IRS operations, the end of the filing season must be delayed.”

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