The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) says it’s making progress distributing stimulus checks, and there’s still time for recipients to get their checks direct deposited.
As of Friday (May 8), the agency said it has distributed $217 billion in $1,200 and $2,400 payments to 127 million taxpayers. That’s up from $158 billion to 88 million Americans as of the previous update on April 24. That leaves about 33 million taxpayers still waiting.
“We are working hard to continue delivering these payments to Americans who need them,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig in a statement. “The vast majority of payments have been delivered in record time, and millions more are on the way every week.”
The payments, part of the $ 2.2 trillion CARES Act enacted in March, were automatic for 2018 or 2019 filers or retirees who receive Social Security retirement, survivor or disability benefits, Railroad Retirement benefits, as well as Supplemental Security Income and Veterans Affairs beneficiaries who didn't file a tax return in the last two years.
On Friday (May 8), the IRS said taxpayers have until Wednesday (May 13) to speed up the delivery of their check. It’s the last chance to obtain a direct deposit of their economic impact payment instead of a paper check. Taxpayers are asked to visit Get My Payment on IRS.gov by noon on May 13 to check their payment status and, when available, provide their direct deposit information.
Paper checks are expected to arrive from late May through June.
The IRS urges taxpayers to be on the lookout for scams related to the stimulus payments. People should beware of email, phone calls or texts related to the payments. The IRS does not send unsolicited electronic communications asking people to open attachments, visit a website or share personal or financial information.
PYMNTS’ recent data from digital bank Current on early stimulus receivers found that 45 percent of the funds have been spent mostly on food. Sixteen percent bought food directly, including from restaurants and takeout locations, while another 9 percent spent the funds at grocery stores.