Economic Stimulus Payment Q&As: Direct Deposit


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Following are answers to questions regarding the economic stimulus payments. Scroll down the list for questions on direct deposit payments or choose from one of the following categories:

  1. Eligibility
  2. When Will I Get the Payment?
  3. Did I Get the Right Amount?
  4. Amended Returns
  5. Change of Address
  6. Taxpayer Identification Numbers
  7. Direct Deposit
  8. Armed Forces
  9. Business
  10. Offsets, Taxpayers Outside the U.S. and Other Questions

Direct Deposit

Q. Can I have my stimulus payment direct deposited?

A. Stimulus payments will be direct deposited for taxpayers who select that option when filing their 2007 tax returns. Taxpayers who already filed and requested direct deposit won't need to do anything else to receive the stimulus payment. Taxpayers who did not request direct deposit for their 2007 refund will receive a paper check by mail. The IRS reminds taxpayers who haven't filed their 2007 returns yet that direct deposit is the fastest way to get both regular refunds and stimulus payments.

Q. If I'm not expecting a refund, should I still fill out the direct deposit line on my return so I can get my stimulus payment directly deposited?

A. Yes. Even if you aren't due a refund on your tax return, filling out the bank routing information will allow for your stimulus payment to be directly deposited.

Q. If I use direct deposit for my tax return refund and my bank account information later changes, what will happen when my stimulus payment goes out?

A. Typically, the direct deposit will be rejected. After the IRS receives a rejection notice, the payment will be converted to a paper check and mailed to you.

Q. If a taxpayer has provided incorrect direct deposit information on his or her tax return, is there any way to get that fixed?

A. A taxpayer can call to notify the IRS of incorrect direct deposit information, but because of the timing of the refund, it may be difficult to stop the payment. The payment will be issued by paper check in instances where a payment is returned to the IRS by the bank.

Q. If a taxpayer provides incorrect direct deposit information and his or her refund is returned to the IRS, will the IRS also attempt to directly deposit the stimulus payment into the "bad" account?

A. Once a payment is returned to the IRS, a paper check will be issued both for the original refund and for the stimulus payment.

Q. Is there something I can do to prevent my stimulus payment from being automatically deposited into the account that I identified for the direct deposit of my regular refund?

A. Generally, if you designated direct deposit on a tax return, then the stimulus payment will go to the account number you designated. If the account number is no longer active, the IRS will send you a paper check. Under some circumstances you can prevent the payment from being automatically deposited by contacting the IRS.

Q. If my direct deposit goes to fund an Individual Retirement Account, what will happen if the maximum amount has been funded?

A. If you do not want your stimulus payment to go into the account listed on your tax return, you should contact your bank or financial institution to discuss possible options involving the account to either prevent the deposit from occurring or making sure the payment is routed to a non-IRA account.

Q. If I apply my refund to my 2008 taxes, what happens to my stimulus payment?

A. You will still receive a stimulus payment. It will not be applied to your 2008 taxes.

Q. I chose direct debit to pay my tax bill. Will my stimulus payment be direct deposited to the same account?

A. No, the account information used for an incoming direct debit payment to the IRS cannot be used as the account information for the direct deposit of the stimulus payment. People who choose direct debit to pay a balance due will receive their stimulus payments by paper check through the mail.

Q. I plan to choose direct debit to pay my tax bill. I know my economic stimulus payment will not automatically be direct deposited based upon the direct debit information I've provided to pay my tax bill, but can I also enter direct deposit information to receive my stimulus payment by direct deposit?

A. Some tax preparation software will allow this, some will not. You will have to make this determination based on your own review of the tax preparation software you use. If the tax software allows you to enter direct debit (electronic funds withdrawal) as well as direct deposit information, doing so will allow your economic stimulus payment to be direct deposited.

Q. I used direct deposit to split my refund between several accounts when I filed my tax return. What will happen to my stimulus payment? Will it go to just one of the accounts?

A. If you elected to split your refund between several accounts, you will not receive your stimulus payment by direct deposit. Instead, you will receive a paper check.

Q. I want to choose direct deposit for my 2007 tax refund. Where do I find the “routing” number required by the IRS?

A. For a checking account, you can find the nine-digit routing number on the face of your check to the left of your account number. For other types of accounts you should obtain the routing number from the account provider. Make sure you double-check both the routing and account numbers when putting in your direct deposit request. Keep in mind that whichever account you choose for the direct deposit of your tax refund is the account into which the IRS will deposit your stimulus payment.

Q. Will the IRS allow me to provide it with direct deposit information, if I didn’t include that information on my original tax return?

A. Depending on the timing, you may be able to call the IRS to stop a direct deposit. But you cannot correct direct deposit information or request a direct deposit after a return has been filed.