Here’s Who Should Submit Bank Info ASAP to Avoid Longer Stimulus Check Wait

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If you’re still waiting on your coronavirus check, the IRS wants your direct deposit information ASAP — otherwise you might be in for a longer wait.

The IRS announced Friday that it’s beginning to process millions of taxpayers’ information for paper checks that will go out in late May and throughout June.

If you haven’t gotten your payment and don’t want to get a paper check, the IRS says you should provide your bank account information using Get My Payment by noon Eastern time on Wednesday, May 13.

Yeah, we know: “Submit it using Get My Payment” hasn’t been helpful advice for many people. If you’re still having trouble with the feature, these hacks may help.

Who Still Needs to Submit Their Direct Deposit?

You may still need to provide your bank account information if:

  • Your 2019 tax return hasn’t been processed: The IRS is still operating remotely due to coronavirus, so if you filed a paper tax return, there’s a good chance it hasn’t been processed. If you’re counting on the IRS to get your banking info from your 2019 tax return and you didn’t file a 2018 return, use Get My Payment to submit the info unless you’ve gotten confirmation that your return has been accepted.
  • You owed the IRS money: The IRS will only use your bank account info to deposit your stimulus check if you got a refund. If you owed money (or didn’t owe anything), it won’t have your bank account information on file, and you should use Get My Payment.
  • You’ve gotten paper check refunds in the past: If you’ve gotten past refunds in the mail and you still haven’t submitted your bank account info, submit it via Get My Payment. 

Note that you can’t update your bank account using the feature if the IRS has an account on file for you. If you’ve closed the bank account the IRS has on file, your bank will reject the deposit. The good news here is that they’ll process a paper check for you within 14 days.

If your payment has already been scheduled, it’s too late to get it sent via direct deposit.

If you receive Social Security, Railroad Retirement, SSI, SSDI and/or VA benefits, you don’t need to take action. For those people, the IRS is processing payments using the information it gets from the appropriate agency. The majority of these payments are expected to go out mid-May and will be paid in the same way you receive your benefit.

What Information Does the IRS Need for Direct Deposit?

The IRS needs your bank account and routing numbers to process your direct deposit payment. Here’s how to find that information:

  • The simplest solution: Log into your bank account online. 
  • Find your nine-digit routing number on the bottom left side of a check. Your bank account number will be just to the right of the routing number. 
  • Look on your bank statements for the account number, though you may need to call customer service to get your routing number.
  • If you have your account number but still need your routing number, try Googling the name of your bank and the words “routing number.” The number may differ by state.

Robin Hartill is a certified financial planner and a senior editor at The Penny Hoarder. She writes the Dear Penny personal finance advice column. Send your tricky money questions to her at [email protected].