Americans saw the first direct deposits hit their bank accounts over the weekend.
The first batch of $1,400 stimulus payments was processed Friday, with additional large batches of payments to be sent via direct deposits or through the mail as checks or debit cards in coming weeks, the officials said. NewsNation confirmed some Americans received the direct deposit stimulus payment as of late Friday evening.
“Even though the tax season is in full swing, IRS employees again worked around the clock to quickly deliver help to millions of Americans struggling to cope with this historic pandemic,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in a statement. “The payments will be delivered automatically to taxpayers even as the IRS continues delivering regular tax refunds.”
That means a family of four earning up to $150,000 will receive $5,600. Unlike the first two payments, which were limited to children under 17, this round of checks will also go to all qualifying dependents, including college students, adults with disabilities, parents and grandparents, the officials said.
They stressed that no action was required by taxpayers to receive the payments, which will be based on 2019 or 2020 tax returns, depending on which was the latest filed, or data supplied to the IRS last year by non-filers.
It is estimated that 85% of Americans will be eligible for the payments and the goal is to have millions of the payments disbursed in the next few weeks.
The IRS will also automatically send payments to those who typically do not file tax returns, but received Social Security and Railroad Retirement Board benefits, Supplemental Security Income or Veteran benefits in 2020, they said.
Taxpayers can log onto the Get My Payment tool on the IRS website to check the status of these payments.
Officials urged people to file their tax returns electronically to ease the process, noting they could also qualify for other relief, including child tax credits.
The Biden administration said stimulus payments and other measures will boost economic growth and help Americans hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, which is continuing to claim 1,400 lives in the United States each day.
Nearly 160 million U.S. households will receive some $400 billion in direct payments of $1,400 per person, helping individuals earning up to $75,000 annually and couples up to $150,000. Those earning more, but less than $80,000 per individual or $160,000 per couple, will receive reduced amounts. Those earning more than $80,000 individually or $160,000 per couple are not eligible for this round of stimulus payments.
The American Rescue Plan, which passed on party-line votes in both the House and Senate, contains the third round of economic-impact payments. The first round passed last spring provided up to $1,200 per individual, and a second round of payments in December provided up to $600 per individual.
Officials said they were coordinating with the Social Security Administration, other government agencies and financial institutions to avoid problems seen during the last round of stimulus payments, when checks went out to thousands of people who were deceased.
Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.