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IRS updates economic impact payments & what taxpayers should watch mail for this week

The Internal Revenue Service announced Monday that the next batch of Economic Impact Payments will be issued to taxpayers this week, with many of these coming by paper check or prepaid debit card.

For taxpayers receiving direct deposit, this batch of payments began processing on Friday and will have an official pay date of March 24, with some people seeing these in their accounts earlier, potentially as provisional or pending deposits.

A large number of this latest batch of payments will also be mailed, so taxpayers who do not receive a direct deposit by March 24 should watch the mail carefully in the coming weeks for a paper check or a prepaid debit card, known as an Economic Impact Payment Card, or EIP Card.

No action is needed by most people to obtain this round of Economic Impact Payments (EIPs). People can check the Get My Payment tool on IRS.gov on to see if the their payment has been scheduled.

“The IRS continues to send the third round of stimulus payments in record time,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “Since this new set of payments will include more mailed payments, we urge people to carefully watch their mail for a check or debit card in the coming weeks.”

Following enactment of the American Rescue Plan Act on March 11, the IRS moved quickly to start delivering the third round of Economic Impact Payments. The IRS initiated the first batch of the $1,400 stimulus payments, mostly by direct deposit, on March 12.

Watch the mail for paper checks, EIP Cards

Taxpayers should note that the form of payment for the third EIP may be different than earlier stimulus payments.

More people are receiving direct deposits, while those receiving them in the mail may get either a paper check or an EIP Card – which may be different than how they received their previous stimulus payments. IRS and the Treasury Department urge eligible people who have not received a direct deposit to watch their mail carefully during this period.

Paper checks will arrive by mail in a white envelope from the U.S. Department of the Treasury. For those taxpayers who received their tax refund by mail, this paper check will look similar, but will be labeled as an “Economic Impact Payment” in the memo field.

The EIP Card will also come in a white envelope prominently displaying the seal of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

The card has the Visa name on the front and the issuing bank, MetaBank, N.A. on the back. Information included with the card will explain that this is an Economic Impact Payment.

Each mailing will include instructions on how to securely activate and use the card. It is important to note that none of the EIP cards issued for any of the three rounds is reloadable; recipients will receive a separate card and will not be able to reload funds onto an existing card. EIP Cards are safe, convenient, and secure. EIP Card recipients can make purchases online or in stores anywhere Visa Debit Cards are accepted.

They can get cash from domestic in-network ATMs, transfer funds to a personal bank account, and obtain a replacement EIP Card if needed without incurring any fees.

They can also check their card balance online, through a mobile app, or by phone without incurring fees.
The EIP Card provides consumer protections against fraud, loss, and other errors. The EIP Card is sponsored by the Bureau of the Fiscal Service and is issued by Treasury’s financial agent, MetaBank, N.A. The IRS does not determine who receives a prepaid debit card.

More information about these cards is available at EIPcard.com.