Stimulus checks: IRS says it issued 120M economic impact payments this month as millions of Americans continue to wait for theirs

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Friday, May 1, 2020
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Approximately 120 million stimulus checks were issued to Americans over the past 30 days, the Internal Revenue Service and Treasury Department confirmed Friday. This figure includes both paper checks and direct deposits.

Overall, the Treasury said it expects to send out about 170 million payments total, meaning tens of millions more taxpayers are still waiting for economic relief in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

The department said a large wave of payments were issued Wednesday. Those who successfully navigated the IRS's "Get My Payment" tool and provided their bank account information on or before April 22 should have received their direct deposits. Also, beneficiaries of retirement, disability or survivor Social Security who don't usually need to file tax returns were set to receive payments Wednesday. The payments would be received in the same form as their Social Security benefits -- either direct deposit, pre-paid debit card or paper check.

The first wave of paper checks was sent out on April 20, but the Treasury has not provided an update on how many were mailed over the past 10 days. The IRS is capable of printing and distributing about 5 million checks per week.

Still, many are reporting problems with receiving their money, from payments going into the wrong bank accounts to error messages on the "Get My Payment" portal.

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These stimulus checks are arriving in bank accounts and mailboxes as due dates for rent and mortgage payments loom and more than 30 million people around the U.S. have filed for unemployment benefits.

Federal data released this week show the U.S. economy contracted at a 4.8% annual rate last quarter as the pandemic put the nation into a recession. Economists expect January-March to be just a taste of the widespread pain being recorded for April-June. And while a record number of people have applied for unemployment insurance payments, there are many other out-of-work people who don't qualify or couldn't get through the states' overwhelmed systems.

The emergency payments come from a $1 trillion The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed last month. Any legal U.S. residents with a Social Security Number who makes less than $75,000 a year is eligible for a $1,200 payment, and parents get $500 for each eligible child. The payment steadily declines for those making more, phasing out at $99,000.

The money will be deposited into the bank account listed on your 2018 or 2019 tax return. If you didn't provide that information, a check will be mailed to you. Or, you can also enter your direct deposit information on the IRS website.

If you don't typically file a tax return, you can enter basic information on the IRS website to get the payment.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.