CORONAVIRUS

Stimulus check US: Will IRS contact me? Do I need to contact IRS?

Millions of people in America are being sent Economic Impact Payments to help them cope with the financial effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Stimulus check US: Will IRS contact me & do I need to contact IRS?
CHIP SOMODEVILLA / AFP

As part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has been sending out $1,200 Economic Impact Payments to millions of eligible Americans since April, in a bid to help people in the US cope with the financial effects of the coronavirus crisis. As of 11 May, over $200 billion had been paid out in more than 100 million stimulus checks.

Particularly among those yet to receive their money, the initiative has prompted the following frequently-asked questions about contacting, and being contacted by, the IRS:

Will the IRS contact me about my stimulus payment?

The IRS says it “will not call, email, or text you” about your stimulus payment, and “will not contact you to request personal or bank account information”. Indeed, with coronavirus-related scams rife, the body warns people to be vigilant of any attempts to request personal information relating to the Economic Impact Payments.

However, the IRS says it will send a letter to your last known address within 15 days of payment, in which the recipient will be given “information on how the payment was made and how to report any failure to receive the payment”.

Do I need to contact the IRS to receive my payment?

If you have filed a tax return for 2018 or 2019, you should not have to take any further action to get your payment. It will be sent by direct deposit to the account provided on the most recent return or, if you did not give your bank details in either declaration, by paper check to the address the IRS has on file for you.

To provide the IRS with your direct-deposit information, visit its online Get My Payment portal or, if you are not required to file a tax return, access the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here tool.

NB: If you do not have to submit a tax return but receive Social Security retirement, disability (SSDI) or survivor benefits, Railroad Retirement benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Veterans Affairs (C&P) benefits, you don't need to give your bank info. Your stimulus check will be automatically paid into the account where you get these benefits.

See also:

Deadline to enter Get My Payment info approaching

You’ll need to hurry if you're using Get My Payment: the IRS has now set a deadline of noon on Wednesday 13 May for people to enter their direct-deposit info in the portal and avoid a potentially longer wait to receive their check by post.

You’ll find more information on the IRS' Wednesday deadline here. It does not appear to apply to the Non-Filers tool.

Change of address

If you are to be sent your stimulus check by post and your address has changed since the last tax return you filed, you will need to contact the IRS to let them know. Alternatively, if you have not yet submitted your 2019 return, you should enter your new address when you file it, and the body will update its records.

See also:

Live coverage of the coronavirus crisis

You can stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the coronavirus pandemic by following our global live blog. We also have a dedicated rolling feed for the United States here.