IRS issuing stimulus checks via prepaid debit cards

The Treasury Department announced on Monday that it would deliver millions of remaining stimulus payments by prepaid debit card this week.

“Treasury and the IRS have been working with unprecedented speed to issue Economic Impact Payments to American families. Prepaid debit cards are secure, easy to use, and allow us to deliver Americans their money quickly,” Secretary Steve Mnuchin said in a statement. “Recipients can immediately activate and use the cards safely.”

Since mid-April, about 140 million Americans have received stimulus payments totaling $239 billion, mostly by direct deposit. If the IRS didn’t have a person’s bank information from previous tax returns or submissions to its new online tools, the agency mailed paper checks. Some federal benefits recipients also received their payments by Direct Express card.

There are about 10 million Americans who qualify for payments under the CARES Act but have yet to receive them. Treasury says about 4 million people will get the prepaid Visa debit cards, issued by MetaBank, this week.

“EIP Cards are being distributed to qualified individuals without bank information on file with the IRS, and whose tax return was processed by either the Andover or Austin IRS Service Center,” the Treasury statement reads.

The debit cards will be sent from “Money Network Cardholder Services,” according to a Frequently Asked Questions page. Enclosed will be instructions on how to activate the card. Only one card will be provided per family. The cards can be used to withdraw cash from an ATM, transfer funds to a bank account, or make purchases wherever Visa is accepted.

Recipients of the prepaid card will be able to register the card for online access and visit EIPCard.com to check their balance and transaction history.

Stimulus payments are largely based on adjusted gross income (AGI) reported on 2018 and 2019 tax returns. Anyone with a Social Security number who isn’t claimed on someone else’s tax return as a dependent — and earns below $99,000 as a single filer, $198,000 as a joint filer, and $136,500 as a head of household filer — is in line to receive a payment. Nonfilers and people who receive federal benefits also get payments.

Couples who file jointly could get up to $2,400 and individual filers can get up to $1,200, plus an extra $500 per child under age 17.

-Business Insider