What we know about direct deposit to get your second stimulus check sooner – CNET

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More stimulus check money could arrive soon.


Angela Lang/CNET

Now that Congress has approved a second stimulus check, the fastest way you’ll receive it will likely be through direct deposit to your bank account. We know that people who’d already provided the IRS with their banking information — either through their tax returns or by signing up using a new tool created for the first stimulus check — were more likely to receive their check faster than people who got a paper check or EIP card in the mail.

The second stimulus check comes as part of a $900 billion stimulus bill that authorizes up to $600 for each eligible adult and child dependent. It could be delivered as early as next week. You can estimate your sum with our second stimulus check calculator.

Though we’re still waiting on President Donald Trump to sign the bill into law, you can get ready for the second stimulus check and ensure that you get your future payment as quickly as possible by providing the IRS with your direct deposit information. Here’s what to do if you haven’t already set up direct deposit with the IRS. (And here’s who might not qualify for another check.) This story is updated frequently with new information.

How did the IRS get my bank account information for the first check?

For the first round of payments, the IRS used direct deposit information from one of a few places:

  • Your most recently filed tax return if you received a refund by direct deposit in 2018 or 2019.
  • The bank information you provided through the Get My Payment online tool.
  • The bank information you provided through the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here tool.


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Will the IRS use the same information for the second stimulus check?

For the second stimulus check, the IRS will again use banking information provided through a federal tax return. An IRS spokesperson told CNET that banking information captured through the Get My Payment and Non-Filers tools was specific to the first check, so reusing information entered through those IRS tools would depend on what guidelines Congress sets out in another economic rescue bill for direct deposit payments.

Read more: Sorry, not everyone will get a second stimulus payment. What we know so far

What does the IRS need to set up direct deposit?

The IRS hasn’t opened up its Get My Payment tool to new direct deposit submissions yet, but when it’s time to provide your banking information, you’ll want to have on hand your bank account type and routing and account numbers. You have several ways to find this banking information.

Banking website: Your bank’s website may show your routing and account numbers. Log in to the account you want to use, and look around for the numbers you need.

Banking app: If your bank has an app, it may show you your account and routing numbers. In the app, tap the account you want to use to see the account and routing numbers.

Printed check: At the bottom of your check you most likely will see three sets of numbers: The first set of nine numbers is your routing number. The second set of 8 to 12 numbers is your account number. The third set is the one you don’t need for direct deposit, as it’s the number of the individual check.

Check this IRS page for more help with locating your routing and account numbers.

Can I still change or correct my banking information with the IRS?

While you could use the Get My Payment and Non-Filers tools to provide the IRS with your banking information, the IRS has said it does not allow people to change the direct deposit information for a stimulus payment it has on file. This is a safeguard against fraud. 

The IRS said if your banking information has changed or is incorrect or the bank account is closed, the bank will reject the deposit and the federal bureau will then mail the payment to the address it has on file. For help, you could attempt to call the IRS assistance phone number at 800-829-1040. For specific questions on stimulus payments, call here’s the number for the IRS help line: 800-919-9835.

If you’ve moved, you can provide the IRS with your new mailing address.

Will the IRS have a deadline for me to provide my banking information?

For the first check, the IRS set a May 13 deadline to provide the agency with your banking information — this was about a month after the first direct deposits were made. If you missed the deadline, you got your check in the payment either in the mail or as a prepaid debit card. We might expect a similar cutoff from the IRS, but we haven’t heard details yet.

For more on the checks, here’s how quickly the IRS could send your payment, how to calculate how much money you might get in a second stimulus check and everything you should know about stimulus qualifications now.