Third Stimulus Checks — We’re Answering Your Questions

The $1,400 stimulus checks are officially arriving this weekend! These are the first payments to arrive after President Joe Biden signed the $1.9 trillion bill on Thursday, sooner than expected. 

Although $1,400 stimulus checks have started going out to qualified recipients who signed up for direct deposit, people who start seeing the money in their bank accounts may not actually be able to access it until next week.

And while payments may start over the weekend, the White House has acknowledged that it will take weeks to send all the stimulus checks to over 100M people. A good place to start is tracking your new stimulus check online — but there are several factors that can affect when you will get your stimulus payment.

For instance, the IRS will have to process these third payments using either 2019 or 2020 taxes. Then there’s the matter of how long it takes to actually deliver your payment. If the IRS switches your payment group around, how does that affect delivery time? Could your check end up getting garnished?

Let us walk you through the latest information. 


When Will You Get The Stimulus Check?

The treasury and the IRS have confirmed that they started sending out the first round of payments. However, the official payment date is March 17, and some people may see the direct deposits as “pending” or as a “provisional payment” in their account. If this is you, don’t worry.

If you signed up for a physical check or EIP card, it may be weeks until you get it. The IRS has said that these payments will be processed after direct deposits. If there is any additional complexity, it could further delay your payment.

More than 48 banks and financial institutions have started receiving stimulus check payments through direct deposits.

These are the tentative dates for stimulus check delivery (subject to change):

First direct deposit sentMarch 12 (pending), March 17 (official)
First paper checks sentWeek of March 22 possible
First EIP cards sentWeek of March 29 possible
IRS deadline to finish sending checksDec. 31, 2021 (mandated by the bill)
Last date to receive a checkJanuary 2022 (if checks sent late December)
Claims for missing stimulus money open2021 tax season likely (in 2022)

Can You Track Your Payment Online?

Chances are you’re familiar with the IRS’ tool, Get My Payment. This will be activated on Monday, March 15, so you can check the status of a payment regardless of the delivery method you opted for. If there’s a problem with your payment, this tool will flag it for you, and you may need to address it.

Does Payment Group Affect Delivery Timelines?

Yes, it does. The IRS categorizes everyone into three payment groups, based on how money is sent:
Direct-deposit recipients: This group, on average, got their stimulus money in the first wave. For both stimulus payments however, there were issues where deposits were made to temporary accounts, which were in turn rejected by banks. Some people, therefore, ended up getting paper checks or EIP cards instead or had to wait for the issue to get resolved.

Paper checks: This payment is typically sent out second. It can take weeks to arrive by mail, but once it does, it can be deposited or cashed instantly.

EIP Cards: This is a prepaid debit card that needs to be activated online before use. These are issued last.

It takes time for the IRS to process 100M+ payments. A tiny error could cause a significant delay in you receiving either your full or partial payment.

Can Your Payment Group Get Switched?

Yes! If you got your payment via direct deposit twice before, it doesn’t mean you will get it that way again. This depends on delivery going smoothly and whether the IRS or Treasury faced any issues with your case.

Another set of people who can be considered a payment group include Social Security beneficiaries who received payments differently the first two times. If you’re part of the SSI or SSDI programs or have a more complex scenario, it could lead to potential issues or holdups in receiving your money.

When Is The New Payment Cutoff?

The IRS has until December 31 to complete sending out the third payments. On one hand, it’s nice that the IRS is not under pressure to send out all the checks. However, this also means that many people will find themselves waiting, for many different reasons.

Which Taxes Will The Stimulus Check Be Based On?

The stimulus checks will be based on whichever tax filing the IRS has processed most recently. If you filed your 2020 taxes early, and you know your tax return has been processed, your total will likely depend on 2020’s adjusted gross income (AGI). This can get complicated, especially if the difference between your 2019 and 2020 taxes gets you disqualified for a third stimulus check.

Can You Avoid a Delay?

You might be able to avoid a delay by doing the following. Sign up for direct deposit with the IRS when you submit your 2020 tax return, if you normally file taxes.

If you already have an account, ensure your provided details are correct. Also, try filing your taxes as early as possible this year.

If you have moved houses recently, inform both the IRS and USPS.

If there’s anything else you need to know about the third stimulus check, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Stimulus checks aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution, and there are many complications involved. The IRS is already burdened with a lot, and some people are still waiting on their second stimulus check payment. Our tax advisors can assess your unique situation and tell you more about your third stimulus check payment.

As we stated before, one way to potentially accelerate stimulus check payments is to file your taxes early this year. If you need help with this or still haven’t filed, book a FREE consultation with one of our tax experts here: 

If you’re facing a financial difficulty unrelated to taxes or stimulus checks, like debt, we can help with that too! Schedule a FREE consultation today or find out more here:

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