Economic Impact Payments: The Fastest Way to Get Your Stimulus Check
It’s been two weeks since President Trump signed the unprecedented $2 trillion stimulus package into law. This marks the largest emergency aid package in U.S. history. Stimulus checks are projected to go out as early as this week, and they will continue to be distributed in waves for the coming months. What’s the fastest way to receive a stimulus check? How can you get your economic impact payment quickly? Here’s a quick guide to help you out.
Who Qualifies for an Economic Impact Payment from the IRS?
To receive a stimulus check from the IRS, you must meet the following criteria:
- Individual tax filers earning less than $75,000 in annual adjusted gross income.
- Married couples filing joint tax returns with an adjusted gross income below $150,000.
- Reduced economic impact payments are available for individuals and couples earning above those thresholds. However, individuals earning above $99,000 and couples earning above $198,000 are not eligible.
The stimulus values are $1,200 per individual and $2,400 per couple, plus an additional $500 per child. Payments drop by $5 per every $100 in adjusted gross income over $75,000 or $150,000.
Individuals who do not typically file a tax return can still qualify for a stimulus. In this case, the IRS will use data from Form SSA-1099 or Form RRB-1099 to distribute funds. At this time, those recipients are not eligible for any additional money for dependents.
How Will I Receive My Stimulus Payment?
Your stimulus payment will be released in the same method you requested for your tax refund. If you have a checking account for direct deposit on file for 2018 or 2019, your economic impact payment will go there. If you requested a paper check for your tax refund, it will be mailed to the address on file. If you would like to change your payment method, the IRS is opening a portal in the coming weeks to do so.
What Is the Fastest Way to Get Stimulus Money – Check or Direct Deposit?
A direct deposit will be the fastest way to get a stimulus check. The funds are distributed through digital channels, so there is no need to wait for shipping times. The IRS says, “In the coming weeks, Treasury plans to develop a web-based portal for individuals to provide their banking information to the IRS online so that individuals can receive payments immediately as opposed to checks in the mail.”
Tips to Speed up Your Stimulus Payment
Want to get your stimulus check fast? Here are some ways to speed up the process:
- If you do not have a way to receive a direct deposit, use this waiting period to sign up for a checking account. Then you can submit your banking information as soon as the portal is available.
- File your 2018 or 2019 tax return if you have not done so already. Submit the return electronically for quick processing.
- If you have new checking account information, update your direct deposit details as soon as possible. Keep an eye on your old account, if it is still open, just in case the funds go there.
- Request a temporary credit limit increase from your credit card provider. Many credit card companies have forbearance programs to help families through this difficult time. You could use the increased limit to hold you over until your stimulus check arrives. Just be mindful of the debt you incur and how much interest you may pay as a result.
- If you need to apply for a new credit card, Lowcards.com lets you compare cards by category, credit score, issuer, and more. Check out our Top Credit Cards for 2020 as a jumpstart to your search.
If you are currently receiving a paper check for wages you earn at work, you may also be able to get access to your paycheck funds early if you sign up for a prepaid card. Many prepaid cards make it possible to get your paycheck up to 2 days early through direct deposit on the card, which could be helpful in times like this where going to the bank to cash your check is less than ideal. Check with your employer to see if this is an option for you.