Here's What You Need to Remember: The quickest way to receive a stimulus check, though, is still via direct deposit—which requires one to have a bank account. According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), approximately seven million U.S. households do not have a bank account.
The Internal Revenue Service is continuing its ongoing effort to get $1,400 coronavirus stimulus checks and other tax credits into the hands of eligible Americans—whether or not they have a permanent address or an open bank account.
Know that to date, most of the stimulus payments have been sent out automatically—either via direct deposits, paper checks, or prepaid debit cards. Keep in mind that the disbursement of the child tax credit will begin July 15.
But without a home address or a bank account, many eligible individuals have reported that their payments have been delayed for weeks or even months. To combat this problem, the IRS last year developed and launched a non-filers tool for the first round of stimulus checks. That particular tool, though, is no longer active.
According to the tax agency, the best option for most individuals without the stimulus payments is to file a tax return—even if there was no income earned in 2020. The IRS has also reminded those affected that for this tax season, a Recovery Rebate Credit has been added to all returns.
“People can claim the Recovery Rebate Credit or other credits or get a third Economic Impact Payment even if they don't have a permanent address,” the IRS states.
“For example, someone experiencing homelessness may list the address of a friend, relative or trusted service provider, such as a shelter, drop-in day center or transitional housing program, on the return filed with the IRS. If they are unable to choose direct deposit, a check or debit card for the tax refund and the third Economic Impact Payment can then be mailed to this address,” it adds.
The quickest way to receive a stimulus check, though, is still via direct deposit—which requires one to have a bank account. According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), approximately seven million U.S. households do not have a bank account.
“Many financial institutions will help a person lacking an account to open a low-cost or no-cost bank account,” the IRS says.
“Individuals who open accounts will then have an account and routing number available if they file and request a direct deposit of the Economic Impact Payment,” it adds.
To offer even more assistance, the FDIC has launched a campaign that has already identified more than seventy banks and credit unions that are offering free or low-cost accounts.
The IRS added that people who already have a prepaid debit card may be able to have credits applied to the card.
“Many reloadable prepaid cards or mobile payment apps have account and routing numbers that can be provided to the IRS,” the agency says. “Individuals would need to check with the financial institution to ensure the card can be used and to obtain the routing number and account number, which may be different from the card number.”
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Minneapolis-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn. This article first appeared earlier this year.