The Internal Revenue Service launched a new application for Americans to check the status of their COVID-19 Economic Impact Payment as the federal government rolled out its first round of coronavirus rescue package payments.
The application, called Get My Payment, launched April 15, the same day that the IRS started sending Americans their coronavirus relief payments. Users can enter their Social Security Number, date of birth and mailing address to track their payment, which caps at $1,200 per individual and $2,400 per married couple, largely depending on income levels.
Over 80 million Americans who have already filed their 2018 or 2019 tax returns and authorized the IRS to issue returns via direct deposit will be the first to receive their payments. The Treasury Department said that it will deposit payments starting with people with the lowest incomes. Social Security recipients can also automatically receive payments if they have established direct deposit authorization, even if those individuals haven’t filed a return.
The IRS will also allow people to provide their bank information in "Get My Payment" if they did not use direct deposit on their last tax return so that they can expedite their relief payments rather than waiting for a physical check to come in the mail — which could take weeks or months.
Users who want to update their information to receive electronic payments will need to provide their adjusted gross income from their most recent tax return submitted, the refund amount owed from their latest filed tax return, and bank account type, account and routing numbers.
“Get My Payment will offer people with a quick and easy way to find the status of their payment and, where possible, provide their bank account information if we don’t already have it,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in a news release. “Our IRS employees have been working non-stop on the Economic Impact Payments to help taxpayers in need. In addition to successfully generating payments to more than 80 million people, IRS teams throughout the country proudly worked long days and weekends to quickly deliver Get My Payment ahead of schedule.”
The IRS established a second online tool for non-filers to claim coronavirus relief payments. U.S. citizens or legal residents who have Social Security numbers, could not be claimed as a dependent of another taxpayer and had adjusted gross income under certain limits are eligible for non-filer payments.
The IRS aims to send all electronic checks by April 24.
In the meantime, the agency urged tax professionals and taxpayers to be cautious of data theft, as the IRS has seen an upswing in these incidents from cybercriminals trying to take advantage of COVID-19 and the Economic Impact Payments to create new scams.
“Identity thieves view the pandemic as a chance to exploit tax professionals as well as taxpayers,” Rettig said. “They are using every trick of their criminal trade to con people as well as steal valuable personal and financial information to help enable tax-related identity theft."