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COVID-19

Still waiting for your stimulus money? The deadline for direct deposit information is Wednesday.

Meghan McCarty Carino May 12, 2020
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Some paper checks have already gone out, the IRS says, but others could take until June or July. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
COVID-19

Still waiting for your stimulus money? The deadline for direct deposit information is Wednesday.

Meghan McCarty Carino May 12, 2020
Heard on:
Some paper checks have already gone out, the IRS says, but others could take until June or July. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Wednesday at 12 p.m. ET is the deadline for taxpayers to provide their banking information to the IRS if they want to get their stimulus payments by direct deposit instead of a paper check.

The IRS has already disbursed 130 million payments totaling about $200 billion to taxpayers as of last week, which leaves about 20 million Americans still waiting.

Beverly Steward says it seems like everyone she knows has already seen that stimulus money hit their bank accounts. But when she logs on to the IRS portal to check on hers, “it says we have no information at this time.”

Steward, a therapy coordinator in Germantown, Maryland, has lost income due to the pandemic. She had enough savings to pay her bills this month, “but when June comes, if that stimulus does not come, I don’t know what I’m gonna do,” she said.

Steward just recently filed her taxes for the last couple years. So to be sure the IRS knows where to find her, she submitted her direct deposit information a couple different ways.

There are lots of reasons the IRS might not have a taxpayer’s bank data says Greg Geisler, a clinical professor of accounting at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. But the biggest reason?

“If they owed instead of getting a refund, the IRS does not have their bank account information,” Geisler said.

That’s the case for about 40 million Americans. Others might not have filed taxes at all, while some opt to get their tax refunds by mail.

The IRS says some stimulus checks have already gone out by snail mail, but others could take until June or July to arrive.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

So what’s up with “Zoom fatigue”?

It’s a real thing. The science backs it up — there’s new research from Stanford University. So why is it that the technology can be so draining? Jeremy Bailenson with Stanford’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab puts it this way: “It’s like being in an elevator where everyone in the elevator stopped and looked right at us for the entire elevator ride at close-up.” Bailenson said turning off self-view and shrinking down the video window can make interactions feel more natural and less emotionally taxing.

How are Americans spending their money these days?

Economists are predicting that pent-up demand for certain goods and services is going to burst out all over as more people get vaccinated. A lot of people had to drastically change their spending in the pandemic because they lost jobs or had their hours cut. But at the same time, most consumers “are still feeling secure or optimistic about their finances,” according to Candace Corlett, president of WSL Strategic Retail, which regularly surveys shoppers. A lot of people enjoy browsing in stores, especially after months of forced online shopping. And another area expecting a post-pandemic boost: travel.

What happened to all of the hazard pay essential workers were getting at the beginning of the pandemic?

Almost a year ago, when the pandemic began, essential workers were hailed as heroes. Back then, many companies gave hazard pay, an extra $2 or so per hour, for coming in to work. That quietly went away for most of them last summer. Without federal action, it’s mostly been up to local governments to create programs and mandates. They’ve helped compensate front-line workers, but they haven’t been perfect. “The solutions are small. They’re piecemeal,” said Molly Kinder at the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program. “You’re seeing these innovative pop-ups because we have failed overall to do something systematically.”

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