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Money Donuts® Donut Hole 2: All About Stimulus Checks

Listen to Donut Hole 2: All About Stimulus Checks!

In this Donut Hole, James gives everyone a quick lowdown on what they should know about IRS stimulus checks. You'll also learn how to get answers to your stimulus check questions, and hear reminders on how to avoid stimulus check scams!

Hey, it's James here from Royal Credit Union's Money Donuts podcast. Today's Donut Hole, we're going to take a look at a hot topic, stimulus payments and how they affect you. We've had a lot of questions about stimulus payments lately at Royal. We just wanted to take a few minutes, quick Donut Hole and talk about some of these things that are coming up.

So, first of all, really common question is, do I need to do anything to get my payment? And the answer is in most cases, you're going to get your payment from the IRS automatically. The IRS has the direct deposit information, the account number and the routing number for the place where you got your income tax refund sent on file, and they will attempt to use that to deposit your check or your economic impact payment if you want to call it the official name, I guess. And so once we get the payments from the IRS, Royal deposits them to your account immediately. There's no pending period. There's no advanced notice either. So Royal doesn't have information about who's going to get their payments next. It's here and it's in your account and that's all we know.

So the best way to figure out if it's come yet is to look in online banking or check the mobile app. Take a look at that and see if it's in your account yet. And this is also a great time to think about setting up real-time alerts. As a reminder, those are alerts that you can have a text message or a push notification from the app sent to your phone when a deposit or a transaction happens on your account. So you would set that up for, you can set it up for any amount really. If you set it for a dollar, you'll get a notification for every transaction over a dollar, for example, but you could set that up and configure it so that you get that ding on your phone when it happens. That way, you're not waiting for it. You're not constantly checking for it. Super helpful.

And lastly, we just want to remind everyone to stay safe out there. Watch out for fraud and scams. So there's always bad actors looking to take advantage of people. And the economic impact payments have created a situation where unfortunately, the same thing is happening. So they're calling people, they're saying, "Hey, we need your information so that we can send you your payment. What's your account number?" Do not give out your information to those people. Just a quick reminder. Security and fraud is something that we take very seriously here at Royal Credit Union. And I think no matter how savvy you are, it's easy to get sidetracked and you're talking to someone that you think is real, maybe claiming to be from Royal. They may not be. So just keep a heads up on that.

And lastly, if you have any questions or you have a situation that you can't resolve, the best place to get help is the IRS. So the IRS has a Get My Payment portal that lets you check the status of your payments, see what account it went to, fills you in on all the details and the timing and everything. I don't believe it shows pending payments or things like that. But if you can figure out, sort of backtrack and say, where did the money go? Was I even supposed to get it yet? Is it stuck in between here and there? Or like what happened? Like for example, a situation can happen where if you filed your taxes with a third-party tax preparer and you let them accept your refund from the IRS so that they could take their fees out of it, they're going to have that third-party tax preparer's information on file as your direct deposit number. So the IRS is going to say, "Hey, try to deposit your funds back to that tax preparer."

Is the tax preparer going to forward the money onto your account? Maybe. I'm not sure. Royal doesn't have that third-party information. So we would not be able to track that down for you, unfortunately. And so the IRS would be your best resource there. And if nothing else, IRS has stated that you can claim it on your tax return for this year. Like if you don't get it for some reason, it'll be available on your taxes and you'll be able to claim it that way too, which isn't as timely, unfortunately, but it is an option sort of a fallback option if all else fails.

All right, that's all we have about stimulus payments this week. I'm looking forward to bringing you some new podcasts episodes soon. Catch you later.