By now, you’ve probably heard about the government’s economic stimulus payments, or at least seen ads encouraging you to spend your windfall at a number of local businesses. You may even have already received your payment. However many people still have questions about the payments, and as to be expected with any matter involving money, there are scams and frauds to be watching out for.
A common question is “when will I receive my payment?” The simple answer : the IRS is making direct deposit payments and mailing paper checks on a schedule based on the last two digits of your social security number. Direct deposits are already transferring and should be completed to all recipients by May 16. Paper checks will begin mailing on May 16 according to the schedule posted here.
Another common question is “do I qualify to get a payment?” Here are some web sites where you can get the answer to this and other frequently asked questions:
- The IRS Economic Stimulus Payments Information Center
- Answer to the question “Is the economic stimulus payment taxable?” from FactCheck.org
- Q&A about Economic Stimulus Payments from AARP
The IRS is also warning people of scams related to the stimulus payments. Most known scams involve a telephone call or e-mail from a person claiming to work for IRS and requesting personal information, such as a bank account number or social security number to complete a transaction. These are identity theft scams known as “phishing” where the scammer will take the information and use it to steal money from the victim’s bank account or run up charges on credit accounts. You should never reveal this kind of personal information to an unknown person or through an unsolicited call or e-mail. The IRS has a webpage listing all known scams and giving instructions on what to do if you have received one of these scam calls or e-mails.