Second Round of Stimulus Checks; Be Aware of Scams
The good news is that the second round of stimulus checks are on their way. The bad news is that scammers are taking advantage of the circumstances to prey on innocent people.
The IRS is warning that scammers are sending out text messages that should not be responded to. The text promises taxpayers a stimulus check in return for their personal information. It includes a link that goes to what appears to be an official web site where you can enter information like financial details and bank account information.
However, the IRS is not the one sending these messages. It is more likely the work of a scammer looking to use your personal information for identity fraud and theft.
If you receive such a text, take a screen shot and send it to the IRS via the email address firstname.lastname@example.org. Include the time and date when the text was received along with the phone number it came to and from. It is hopeful that this will help government agencies get to the bottom of the scam and find out who is responsible.
What You Need to Know About the Stimulus Check
The stimulus checks being sent out are the second round of checks approved by Congress under the CARES act. Individuals who made up to $75,000 in the 2019 tax year will be getting $600 each while couples that made up to $150,000 filing jointly will be receiving one $1200 check.
There will also be an additional $600 for every child under 17.
Payments will be coming through direct deposit and in the form of paper checks and ATM cards
If taxpayers do not receive a check, they will be able to claim the amount as a tax credit when they do their taxes in the spring.
How to Check on the Status of Your Stimulus Check
If you receive a text or email promising you will get your stimulus check in return for your personal information, ignore it and report it to the government. If you want to find out the status of your payment, the best thing to do is go to the GetMyPayment tool available at IRS.Gov/GetMyPayment. You will be able to check the status of your payment starting next week.
Do not call the agency directly. Agents will not have any information that isn’t available on the web site.
When Will I Be Getting My Stimulus Check?
Jan. 4 is the first day stimulus checks become available. Prior to that date, individuals may see payments posting as pending or provisional in their account. However, it may take several days for the payments to actually post.
Paper checks and ATM cards have also been sent out and will continue to be sent out through January. Mailed payments may require more processing time. Those who live abroad may also experience longer processing times.
People waiting for stimulus checks are advised to check their mail carefully. No action will need to be made on the behalf of taxpayers receiving checks. They should be coming to everyone. If you do not get a check, you may claim it on your taxes.
Factors that Can Impede Payments
Those with valid routing and account information on file are in good shape to get their checks quickly. If this information is incorrect, the IRS will not be able to update it.
However, due the errors that may be made on either end, money may be sent to accounts that are no longer active. If this is the case, checks will be sent back to the IRS and individuals will be able to claim the amount on their taxes via the Recovery Rebate Credit.
The Recovery Rebate can also be used to reclaim partial payments if the taxpayer did not receive the full amount they were owed in their stimulus checks.