No $1,400 stimulus check yet? Here’s what you can do


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Those $1,400 stimulus checks are starting to hit bank accounts this weekend.

The IRS announced on Friday that the first batch is going out via direct deposit.

It is unclear exactly how many of the estimated 159 million payments are scheduled to be sent in this first deployment.

The IRS and Treasury Department are working to disburse as many of the $1,400 checks electronically as possible, according to officials. Additional payments will be sent via paper check or debit card in the mail.

Over the next few weeks, the vast majority of payments are expected to be deployed.

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The stimulus help can be as much as $1,400 per person, $2,800 per married couple, plus $1,400 per dependent. For a family of four, that would be $5,600.

“The payments will be delivered automatically to taxpayers even as the IRS continues delivering regular tax refunds,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in a statement.

If you receive no payment or a smaller deposit than you anticipated, you may fear you’re missing out. If that’s the case, here’s what you can do.

Head to the ‘Get My Payment’ site

Starting Monday, the IRS Get My Payment website will show the status of the third payments.

That site will be updated regularly as payments are processed.

Unfortunately, it is not equipped to let you submit new or different bank account information.

File your 2020 tax return

The $1,400 stimulus checks generally will be calculated on either 2019 or 2020 tax returns, whichever you most recently filed.

If the IRS has received and processed your 2020 filing, your third stimulus check will be based on that.

That’s important to know because if your income dropped in 2020 your stimulus check could be bigger as a result, provided you also meet the income requirements and other qualifications.

If the government sends your payment based on your 2019 return, they will evaluate whether the total should have been bigger and potentially top it off in a follow-on payment.

Filing your 2020 tax return promptly has several advantages.

First, you can update your direct deposit information, if necessary.

Second, filing as soon as possible may reveal that you were eligible for additional stimulus funds from the previous two rounds of payments.

Third, there may be other stimulus benefits for which you may qualify. That includes the earned income tax credit, child tax credit or other tax benefits.

Right now, there are no plans to reopen the non-filers tool that was available last year. Instead, those people are encouraged to submit a tax return in order to receive their money.

The IRS has more information on free filing tools on its website.

Be patient

It may just take time for your payment to arrive.

For most taxpayers, no action is needed to prompt a payment, according to the IRS.

The money will automatically be sent to qualifying individuals and families the government has on record.

That includes people who do not typically file tax returns who either used the non-filer tool last year or who submitted a special simplified tax return.

It also includes federal beneficiaries who receive Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, Railroad Retirement or Veterans Affairs benefits.

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