Money in the Bank: Americans Receive Payments from the Biden Relief Plan

The U.S. Treasury Department has so far issued 90 million economic impact payments totaling $242 billion as part of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion pandemic relief plan, according to reports from various government agencies.

Officials last Wednesday said most of these payments were by the IRS as direct deposits—which, began posting to people’s bank accounts over a week ago.

In South Florida, residents whose bank account information is in the IRS system began receiving their $1,400 deposits as early as last Saturday. Alice and Don Boswell of Miramar said they were “ecstatic with surprise” when they checked their bank account on Saturday afternoon and saw deposits for their family of five, including three children under age 18.

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But most people saw the deposit in their accounts on Wednesday morning. “I am impressed with how fast the Biden administration is paying out these stimulus funds,” said Leo Dyce of North Miami. “It was just last week Thursday that Biden signed the bill into law and people are already receiving the payments.”

But some people were disappointed at not seeing the deposits in their accounts on Wednesday, despite having provided their bank account information to the IRS with their 2019 and 2020 tax filings.

Lacie Tomlinson of Tamarac said her two sisters got their deposits, but she didn’t and when she visited the IRS website and checked the “Get My Payment” link that the IRS has provided so people can track the status of their stimulus payment, it indicated “Payment Status Not Available.”

The IRS has indicated that this response either means the payments are still being processed, or the IRS has not received or has not accessed the inquirer’s 2019 or 2020 tax filing.  

Some taxpayers who owe money to the IRS may not have submitted their bank deposit information with the IRS, not expecting a refund. People like will receive their stimulus payments in the form of a check mailed to their address.  

The reports say as of Wednesday, the U.S. Treasury has also mailed out about 150,000 checks worth about $442 million.

Processing of the payments began last Friday, the day after Biden signed the relief plan, which authorized direct payments of up to $1,400 to individuals who qualify.

According to the Treasury, the first batch of payments was made to eligible taxpayers who provided direct-deposit information on their 2019 or 2020 tax returns. People who don’t usually file a tax return but used a non-filers tool at IRS.gov to receive their COVID-19 relief payments last year will be included in this first batch. 

Additional batches of payments, officials say, will be sent out in the weeks ahead via direct deposit, or be mailed as a check or debit card. So, with a little patience, people like Lacie Tomlinson who did not see their deposits on Wednesday as several other South Floridians did, should see their deposits or receive a check very soon.

The payments will be automatic so most qualified individuals and families will need to take no action to receive theirs. The economic rationale behind the stimulus payments is that the recipients will spend the money within a short time on consumer goods. The accumulated expenditure, the rationale suggests, will enhance the revenue of businesses, generate employment and boost the economy.

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