You'll Have to Wait for a Paper Stimulus Check If You Don't Already Have Direct Deposit

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  • New federal stimulus payments of up to $600 per person will go to taxpayers with direct deposit first.
  • If you haven't signed up with the IRS by direct deposit for tax refunds or during the first round of stimulus payments, you'll likely have to wait for a paper check.

After six months of political haggling, the federal government is about to send most Americans a second pandemic-related stimulus payment.

The quickest way to get that money? Direct deposit, says the IRS.

"Direct deposit is the safest and fastest way to receive a payment, including a tax refund," according to the webpage on Economic Impact Payments.

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Under the legislation approved by Congress late Monday and sent to President Donald Trump for his signature, adults who made under $75,000 a year in 2019 would get $600, as would each dependent child, with smaller amounts for those making up to $87,000.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told CNBC on Monday the first payments could be sent early next week. Those who have already set up direct deposit for tax refunds should be among the first to see the cash arrive in their accounts.

"If you received direct deposit of your refund based on your 2019 tax return, the IRS has sent your payment to the bank account provided on the most recent tax return," the IRS website said in regard to the first round of stimulus payments in May.

You will have to wait for a mailed paper check if the IRS does not have bank information for you, or if the bank account you had on file with the agency has been closed or the account information supplied is incorrect, among other reasons.

As of now, there is no way to set up direct deposit specifically for the next stimulus payments if you haven't already been receiving tax refunds that way or are not among the 14 million people who previously registered payment details via two online tools the IRS built this spring to collect banking and contact information from nonfilers.

If you have not yet received your first stimulus payment from May, you can check its status using the IRS "Get My Payment" tool at

For the status of the $600 payments and whether you'll get them by direct deposit, the IRS advises checking for further updates once the $908 million stimulus deal is officially signed into law and up and running.

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