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First U.S. stimulus payments to hit bank accounts this weekend: officials

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Americans will see the first direct deposits from President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package hit their bank accounts this weekend, Treasury and Internal Revenue Service officials said on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden attends an event where he announced administration plans to double its order of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine, procuring an additional 100 million doses, in the South Court Auditorium at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 10, 2021. REUTERS/Tom Brenner/File Photo

A first tranche of $1,400 stimulus payments was processed Friday, with additional large batches of payments to be sent via direct deposits or through the mail as checks or debit cards in coming weeks, the officials said.

That means a family of four earning up to $150,000 will receive $5,600. Unlike the first two payments, which were limited to children under 17, this round of checks will also go to all qualifying dependents, including college students, adults with disabilities, parents and grandparents, the officials said.

They stressed that no action was required by taxpayers to receive the payments, which will be based on 2019 or 2020 tax returns, depending on which was the latest filed, or data supplied to the IRS last year by non-filers.

The IRS will also automatically send payments to those who typically do not file tax returns, but received Social Security and Railroad Retirement Board benefits, Supplemental Security Income or Veteran benefits in 2020, they said.

“The goals is to get these out at fast as possible,” said one of the officials.

Beginning Monday, taxpayers can log onto the Get My Payment here tool on the IRS website to check the status of these payments.

Officials urged people to file their tax returns electronically to ease the process, noting they could also qualify for other relief, including child tax credits.

The Biden administration said stimulus payments and other measures will boost economic growth and help Americans hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, which is continuing to claim 1,400 lives in the United States each day.

Nearly 160 million U.S. households will receive some $400 billion in direct payments of $1,400 per person, helping individuals earning up to $75,000 annually and couples up to $150,000. Those earning more, but less than $80,000 per individual or $160,000 per couple, will receive reduced amounts.

Officials said they were coordinating with the Social Security Administration, other government agencies and financial institutions to avoid problems seen during the last round of stimulus payments, when checks went out to thousands of people who were deceased.

“We have a number of controls in place to make sure that we check and look at how those payments are going out,” said one of the officials.

Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by David Gregorio

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