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Millions have received electronic coronavirus stimulus payments. When will checks be mailed?

The IRS building in Washington, D.C.
The IRS building in Washington, D.C.
(J. David Ake / Associated Press)

After a first wave of stimulus payments topping out at $1,200 hit bank accounts mid-April, many were left wondering when — or if — their piece of the federal government’s $2-trillion coronavirus relief package would arrive.

More than 88 million people already received payments totaling $125 billion in the program’s first three weeks, according to an IRS statement Friday. A total of 150 million payments are expected to be made.

Beginning Friday, the IRS is slated to send out its first paper checks to millions more Americans for whom the government didn’t have direct deposit information, according to an IRS timeline reported by the Washington Post.

About 5 million checks will go out each week, according to the Post’s report, with taxpayers with the lowest adjusted gross annual income to receive them first. This week, taxpayers with income of $10,000 or less are being prioritized. Beginning May 1, checks are expected to go out to those earning less than $20,000, followed by income increases of $10,000 each week.

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The rollout of the program has not been without snags. Some checks were sent to incorrect bank accounts, and many received a cryptic “Payment status not available” message on the IRS website. Some payments were even sent to dead people.

IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig said in a statement that the IRS, Treasury and partner agencies “are working nonstop to get these payments out in record time to Americans who need them.”

Payments for people who filed a tax return in 2018 or 2019 are supposed to be automatic. Those who didn’t provide direct deposit information on their 2018 or 2019 tax returns can enter it on the IRS’s online portal to speed payment, IRS officials said.

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Now that the financial stimulus is approved, when will people receive money to help with bills, groceries and rent? Our explainer has the answers.


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