As part of a $1.9 trillion COVID relief package, many Americans are set to get a $1,400 stimulus payment.
Some people can expect to see the one-time direct payments in a matter of days, according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). But it may take several weeks for other Americans to get their money. Most taxpayers do not need to take any action to get the stimulus checks.
In this article, we’ll tell you six things you need to know about your stimulus check.
1. It Is Bigger Than the Previous Round of Checks
The third round of stimulus payments is $1,400, which is more than the previous amounts of $600 and $1,200.
If you have children under your roof, you could get more stimulus money — an additional $1,400 per qualifying dependent — based on your last tax filing.
2. There Are Income Limits
Your adjusted gross income (AGI) determines whether you get the full $1,400. In order to receive the full amount of the stimulus payment, your AGI can’t exceed:
- $75,000 for individual filers
- $112,500 for filing as head of household
- $150,000 for married filing jointly
Payments are reduced or phased out above those amounts.
Do you meet the income threshold? If you’re not sure, you can calculate what your stimulus payment will be here. You can also read more about the income limits from the IRS here.
3. You Can Track Your Payments
Both methods require you to enter some personal information, but that should take only a few minutes.
4. There Are Different Payment Methods
The IRS has taken a three-pronged approach to distribute stimulus payments. If you’re eligible, you’ll be paid one of these three ways:
- Direct deposit: If the IRS already has your payment information, the money may show up in your bank account.
- Paper checks: You may receive a paper check mailed to you via the U.S. Postal Service.
- Economic Impact Payment Cards (EIP cards): These prepaid debit cards are mailed to your most recent address on file.
The IRS may send your stimulus money faster if it already has your payment information. It will likely take a while longer for the IRS to process paper checks and get them in the mail to others.
5. The Economic Impact Payment Card (EIP Card) Functions Like a Debit Card
If you receive a plain white envelope, don’t throw it away. It might be an Economic Impact Payment Card (EIP Card) with your stimulus money.
The IRS says the cards will come “in a white envelope that prominently displays the U.S. Department of the Treasury seal. The EIP Card has the Visa name on the front of the Card and the issuing bank name, MetaBank®, N.A. on the back of the card.”
If you receive an EIP card, follow these steps to activate it:
- Call the phone number indicated on your card.
- Set your 4-digit PIN.
- Check your balance by calling 1-800-240-8100, or you can establish an account at card.moneynetwork.com.
According to eipcard.com, the card’s official website, your funds won’t ever expire even though the card has a “valid through” date. After that date, you’ll need to call customer service at 1-800-240-8100 to request the funds in check form.
6. You Might Be Eligible for the Recovery Rebate Credit
If you didn’t receive either of the first two rounds of your stimulus money, you can request a “Recovery Rebate Credit” when you file your taxes.
If you qualify, the amount you didn’t get will be applied to your 2020 tax return. So it will either add to your tax refund or reduce what you owe the IRS.
The Recovery Rebate Credit is only for those who didn’t receive one or both of the two earlier stimulus payments. The IRS says this doesn’t apply to the third round of checks.
If you’re eligible for a Recovery Rebate Credit, the IRS urges you to file your taxes electronically to cut down on the delay. Read more from the IRS.
If your stimulus payment has been delayed, the IRS is asking for your patience. The agency says its website is under heavy demand, and it has redirected some payments sent to the wrong accounts.
If you have gotten your stimulus money, here are four suggestions from Team Clark on things to do with your stimulus check.