IRS launches web tool aimed at helping people get coronavirus rebates faster

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The IRS on Wednesday launched a web tool designed to help people get their coronavirus relief payments faster.

The new tool, called Get My Payment, allows taxpayers to give the agency their direct deposit information if they didn’t already provide it when filing their 2018 or 2019 returns. It also includes a function that lets people track the status of their forthcoming payment.

“We are pleased that more than 80 million Americans have already received their Economic Impact Payments by direct deposit in record time,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement Wednesday. “The free ‘Get My Payment App’ will allow Americans who do not have their direct deposit information on file with the IRS to input it, track the status, and get their money fast.”

A Treasury spokeswoman said that the tool doesn’t allow people to change bank information that the IRS already has on file, in order to help guard against potential fraud. The spokeswoman also said that the tool can’t be used to update bank account information once a payment is scheduled for delivery.

Coronavirus relief legislation that President Trump signed into law on March 27 includes one-time direct payments for most Americans of up to $1,200 per adult and $500 per child. The IRS has already started to issue payments to tens of millions of taxpayers who have previously provided the agency with their direct deposit information.

Treasury Department spokeswoman Monica Crowley said Wednesday that the department expects to start mailing paper checks early next week.

But it could take some time for Treasury to send out all of the checks. A House Democratic memo that circulated earlier this month said that it might take up to 20 weeks for all the paper checks to get out.

Lawmakers on Wednesday reported hearing from constituents who were having problems using the new IRS tool. 

The IRS said that as of mid-day Wednesday, more than 1.1 million taxpayers have successful used the webpage to provide the IRS with their banking information, and more than 6.2 million people were successfully able to receive the status of their payment. 

“IRS is actively monitoring site volume; if site volume gets too high, users are sent to an online ‘waiting room’ for a brief wait until space becomes available, much like private sector online sites,” the agency said in a statement.

The IRS added that some people may get a message that their payment status is not available, and that those people can check again on another day to see if there is an update. People could be receiving that message for several reasons, such as if they are not eligible for a rebate, have not filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return and are required to do so, or if they are a Social Security recipient, the agency said.

The IRS last week launched a separate web tool that allows individuals who aren’t typically required to file tax returns — a group that includes low-income people — to provide the IRS with their information so that they can receive their direct payments.

-Updated at 4:05 p.m.

Tags coronavirus checks coronavirus relief Donald Trump IRS Monica Crowley Steven Mnuchin Treasury Department
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