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Coronavirus stimulus checks: IRS launches online form to get money faster

Americans can now upload their bank information to get their cash quickly and check on its status.
Image: Checks run through the printer at the U.S. Treasury printing facility in Philadelphia in 2005.
Checks run through the printer at the U.S. Treasury printing facility in Philadelphia in 2005.William Thomas Cain / Getty Images file

WASHINGTON — The IRS released an online form Wednesday that allows people to upload their bank account information so they can get their coronavirus stimulus payments quickly.

The new portal allows the agency to transfer the payments of up to $1,200 per person faster than it would be able to using paper checks, which could take months to arrive for some people.

In an indication of the high demand, the new "Get My Payment" feature was already experiencing delays within an hour of the Treasury Department's circulating the website.

The new IRS website also allows people to check the status of their cash payments by entering their Social Security number, date of birth and mailing address.

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The Treasury Department said Monday that more than 80 million Americans will receive the stimulus payments in their bank accounts this week.

The paper checks will include President Donald Trump's name in the memo line, a Treasury Department spokeswoman said. The extraordinary move breaks with precedent when it comes to such payments and indicates that Trump wants Americans to associate him with the cash transfers — which were passed by Congress — as he gears up for re-election this fall.

The Washington Post reported Tuesday that the addition of Trump's name could delay the checks by a few days, but the Treasury spokeswoman insisted that the payments would still go out on time.

"Economic Impact Payment checks are scheduled to go out on time and exactly as planned — there is absolutely no delay whatsoever," she said, adding that "we expect the first checks to be in the mail early next week."

The cash transfers are available to recipients who make up to $99,000, or $198,000 for married couples. They max out at $1,200 per person, with an additional $500 for children under 17, and begin to reduce in amount after incomes of $75,000 per person or $150,000 for couples.

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Also on Wednesday, the Trump administration announced that Supplemental Security Income recipients would get their coronavirus payments automatically through direct deposit or paper checks. That's a shift from its earlier policy mandating that those recipients file tax returns to receive funds, which drew pushback from lawmakers and advocates who said it would create an unnecessary burden.

In a statement, the Treasury Department estimated that "SSI recipients will receive these automatic payments no later than early May."