Watch your mail this week, as another batch of stimulus money is being sent out soon.
The Internal Revenue Service announced Monday that paper checks and prepaid Visa debit cards, issued by MetaBank, will be sent by mail this week and afterward to many taxpayers who have not yet received the third round of Economic Impact Payments.
So if you didn’t get the latest payments of up to $1,400 each, it’s possible that you still can see the money arrive relatively soon. Monday’s news of another rollout marks the second batch of payments.
More payments will be issued in the upcoming weeks.
Unfortunately, taxpayers who saw their money by direct deposit in one stimulus effort sometimes end up with a check or a prepaid debit card in another stimulus program.
So you need to watch both your bank account — and your mailbox — to see how the money might show up.
Some taxpayers will see stimulus money show up in their bank accounts Wednesday.
The next batch of direct deposit payments will have an official pay date of March 24. Some people already began seeing the money listed as a provisional or pending deposit in their accounts. An earlier round of direct deposit payments hit March 17.
“The vast majority of taxpayers receiving EIPs will receive it by direct deposit,” according to the IRS statement.
The IRS and the Bureau of the Fiscal Service stated that both leveraged data in their systems to convert many payments to direct deposits that otherwise would have been sent as paper checks or debit cards. That process, IRS officials said, has “accelerated the disbursement of these payments by weeks.”
Even so, everyone is not receiving their stimulus money in the exact same way. And all the money isn’t being issued on one day or even during the same week.
What is a prepaid stimulus card?
The prepaid cards — which have been sent out to select taxpayers in the past two stimulus rollouts — often tend to create a bit of confusion.
Some consumers fear that they’re looking at a possible scam when what looks like a credit card to some just shows up in the mail out of the blue.
Again, unfortunately, some consumers even threw out their plastic debit cards because they didn’t imagine that their stimulus money was on the plastic blue cards.
People who are confused by the cards should go to EIPcard.com for more information.
The EIP Card, the prepaid debit card, will come in a white envelope prominently displaying the seal of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
“The card has the Visa name on the front and the issuing bank, MetaBank, N.A., on the back,” the IRS said.
Taxpayers should look for information that is included with the card to explain that this is an Economic Impact Payment.
“Each mailing will include instructions on how to securely activate and use the card,” the IRS said.
The IRS stressed that you’d receive a separate card if you’re getting another round of stimulus money via a prepaid card. If you received a prepaid card in the last stimulus program, no new stimulus money is being loaded onto that card now.
You’d be able to use the card to shop online or at stores where Visa Debit Cards are accepted. But read the rules to avoid any possible fees, particularly if you plan to withdraw cash from an ATM. It is best to use an in-network ATM, including some at CVS and Rite Aid stores in Michigan.
The IRS noted: “The EIP Card is sponsored by the Bureau of the Fiscal Service and is issued by Treasury’s financial agent, MetaBank, N.A. The IRS does not determine who receives a prepaid debit card.”
What will the paper checks look like?
Paper checks will arrive by mail in an envelope from the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
The IRS stated: “For those taxpayers who received their tax refund by mail, this paper check will look similar, but will be labeled as an ‘Economic Impact Payment.’ “
The third stimulus — which is the most generous for many — is part of the American Rescue Plan, which was signed into law March 11 by President Joe Biden.
An eligible family of three might end up looking at a stimulus payout of up to $4,200 this time around, while the payout could jump to up to $5,600 for a family of four.
The payouts are up to $1,400 for each person who qualifies.
Some people are being shut out of this third stimulus round based on their income.
A single person with up to $75,000 in adjusted gross income could qualify for the full payment. But we’re talking about far less money after that and no stimulus money would be sent to those who are at $80,000 or more in income.
The full payment will come to those making up to $112,500 who file as head of household or up to $150,000 for married couples filing jointly.
No stimulus money is available from this round for those making $120,000 or more who file as head of household and $160,000 or more for married couples filing jointly.