Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

You Only Have 2 More Days to Avoid a Major Stimulus Payment Delay

By Maurie Backman – May 11, 2020 at 7:36AM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Act fast -- if you don't, you could wind up waiting months for your money.

Over 100 million Americans have already been sent a stimulus payment that's meant to provide relief during the COVID-19 crisis. Those stimulus payments are worth up to $1,200 per adult, and up to $500 per child under the age of 17.

Eligibility for those payments hinges on the adjusted gross income (AGI) you reported on either your 2018 or 2019 tax return. Many Americans haven't yet filed a tax return for 2019, since the deadline to do so was pushed back to July 15 due to the pandemic. You're entitled to a full stimulus if your AGI for either year didn't exceed:

  • $75,000 as a single tax filer
  • $112,500 as a head of household
  • $150,000 as a married couple filing jointly

If your earnings exceeded these thresholds, you may still have some money coming to you. Stimulus payments are reduced by $5 per $100 your AGI is over your respective limit based on your tax-filing status, but if you're, say, a single tax-filer earning $77,000, you still have the bulk of that stimulus coming your way. And remember, you're entitled to money for a dependent child under 17, so even if your personal payment is wiped out by too high an AGI, you may still have some money coming to you.

Man typing on laptop


But if the IRS doesn't have direct deposit information for you on file, you could end up waiting a very long time to receive your stimulus payment -- as long as September, in fact. Therefore, if you haven't yet registered your bank account details with the IRS, now's the time to get moving.

Act fast to avoid stimulus delays

In April, the IRS unveiled a new tool that allows Americans to enter their bank account details to receive their stimulus money directly. For many people, this step isn't necessary because the IRS already has those details on file for a recent tax refund. But for those who didn't get a refund in 2018 or 2019, or who haven't filed a tax return for those years and don't plan to, the IRS tool is a great way to avoid the delays that come with waiting on a paper check.

Because the IRS can only send out so many checks per week, it's estimated that some Americans could wind up waiting until September to get their money -- unless they register bank account details via the new tool. But you only have until noon on Wed, May 13 to submit that information. If you don't, you'll have to sit tight and wait for a paper check to arrive in the mail.

Given the number of Americans who are struggling financially due to the ongoing crisis, it stands to reason that those entitled to a stimulus payment would, generally speaking, prefer to get that money sooner rather than later. If you fall into that camp, don't delay in sharing your bank account details with the IRS so you don't wind up waiting months for a sum of money you might really need right now.

The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 09/25/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.