Check Your Bank Account: Pandemic Stimulus Money Starts to Flow

April 12, 2020 Updated: April 12, 2020

Across the United States, people are beginning to receive their cash payments through direct deposits—part of a $2.2 trillion stimulus package passed by Congress to offset the pandemic-triggered economic decline.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) “deposited the first Economic Impact Payments into taxpayers’ bank accounts today. We know many people are anxious to get their payments; we’ll continue issuing them as fast as we can,” the agency wrote on April 11. In response, a number of people wrote on Twitter that they had received the payments.

“For most people, no action is needed to get an economic impact payment,” the agency stated. “Parents will also receive $500 for each qualifying child under 17.”

Not everyone will receive money, since the payments are based on tax returns filed in 2019 or 2018, Social Security benefits, or railroad retirement benefit statements. Americans who earned less than $75,000 in 2019 are eligible for the full payment of $1,200 per person or $2,400 for married couples. Any “head of household” who made $112,500 or less can get the full payment, the agency says.

Meanwhile, the IRS is directing people who don’t normally file taxes to register via an online tool to make sure they get the money. Social Security recipients and railroad retirees will receive the payment automatically, the agency said.

In a release on April 10, the Treasury Department said the free app will help millions of people who don’t normally file a tax return and who may not have bank account information on file at the IRS. The app is expected to go live on April 17. It will let people provide direct deposit information to the IRS so their pandemic relief funds, officially called “economic impact payments,” can be deposited into their bank accounts directly, instead of them having to wait for a check in the mail.

“People who don’t have a return filing obligation can use this tool to give us basic information so they can receive their Economic Impact Payments as soon as possible,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig, in a statement. “The IRS and Free File Alliance have been working around the clock to deliver this new tool to help people.”

Top White House officials have said that most Americans should start getting their deposits this week.

Tom Ozimek contributed to this report.