IRS launches tool to help Americans track stimulus check

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WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service has launched a tool that will help Americans track their stimulus check.

The tool will allow you to get information on your payment status, payment type and if the IRS needs more information on you before they proceed.

To check your status, click here.

Am I eligible?

Eligibility is largely based on income, and it excludes individuals earning more than $99,000 and married couples (without children) earning more than $198,000. Those who can be claimed as a dependent for tax purposes, like many college students, are also ineligible for the payments, as well as undocumented immigrants who don’t have Social Security numbers.

But everyone else should receive some money.

How much will I get?

Individuals are due up to $1,200 and couples will receive up to $2,400 — plus $500 per child.

But payments start phasing out for individuals with adjusted gross incomes of more than $75,000 and married couples who earn more than $150,000. The amount will then be reduced by $5 for every additional $100 of adjusted gross income.

See how much you’re eligible for here.

How can I get my money faster?

The IRS is first sending money to those for whom it has bank account information on file. That might not be you if you haven’t received a tax refund over the past two years — or if you received a refund by a check in the mail, rather than by a direct deposit.

But the Get My Payment tool, which launched Wednesday, will also allow taxpayers to input their bank account information so that they can receive the money electronically rather than by a paper check — which could take weeks, or even months.

To do so, a taxpayer will need to submit their adjusted gross income from their most recent tax return, the refund or amount owed that year, as well as the account and routing numbers for their bank account.

However, taxpayers won’t be able to update their bank information once the payment is already scheduled for delivery, and it won’t allow you to update bank information already on file, the Treasury Department said.

What if I haven’t filed a tax return?

There are millions of low-income people who are not normally required to file tax returns that will have to take some action before receiving their stimulus money.

Generally, these are individuals who did not earn more than $12,200 last year or married couples who did not earn more than $24,400.

But they won’t have to file a whole new form, as earlier guidance from the IRS suggested. Instead, it created an online tool that asks for basic information including names, date of births, and Social Security numbers for the person filing and his or her dependents. They won’t have to provide any income information.

The new tool is “very straightforward, and likely much faster, than requiring non-filers to fill out and submit a tax form,” said Erica York, an economist at the Tax Foundation.

The challenge will be making sure those people are aware of the tool and helping those who don’t have access to the Internet at home, she said.

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