The deposits will continue in the coming days, starting with the people who filed income tax returns for 2018 or 2019 and authorized direct deposit. Others – including people who have not filed returns, authorized direct deposits, or received social security – will likely have to wait weeks or months before seeing their money.
The distributions are part of the $ 2.2 trillion economic relief plan adopted by Congress in March.
Under the economic assistance program, individuals must pay up to $ 1,200 and couples will receive up to $ 2,400 – plus $ 500 per child. But payments are starting to gradually disappear for people whose adjusted gross income exceeds $ 75,000. The amount will then be reduced by $ 5 for each additional $ 100 of adjusted gross income, and those earning more than $ 99,000 will receive nothing. Income thresholds would be doubled for couples.
For those who have not filed for 2019 or 2018, the IRS urges them to do so quickly, including for those who do not normally need to file a tax return. This includes people who earned less than $ 12,200 in 2019 and couples who earned less than $ 24,400.
Meanwhile, the IRS plans to start issuing paper checks the week of May 4, according to the Democratic House memo.
Paper checks will be issued at a rate of about 5 million a week, the memo said. People with the lowest incomes, based on adjusted gross income, will receive their checks first.
In the past, it took longer to send checks than it did to make direct deposits. In 2008, when the government distributed similar stimulus funds, deposits were made over a three-week period, while paper checks were mailed over a 10-week period.
By law, the IRS has until the end of 2020 to transfer payments.
This story has been updated with more details on federal stimulus checks.
Katie Lobosco and Tami Luhby of CNN contributed to this report.