Third stimulus check – Here’s what could delay or lower your Covid payment as cash is sent out to hard-hit Americans

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A THIRD round of stimulus checks are starting to hit bank accounts after Joe Biden signed off the $1.9trillion Covid relief package.

But while the $1,400 payments being sent out to hard-hit Americans could be received by households in the next few days, some may be in for a longer wait and perhaps even less cash than expected.

Stimulus check payments could be delayed for some Americans

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Stimulus check payments could be delayed for some AmericansCredit: Getty Images - Getty

Joe Biden signed off the bill this week

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Joe Biden signed off the bill this weekCredit: AFP or licensors

With around 85 per cent of people set to get a check, those who have filed out their 2020 or 2019 tax returns and have a bank account on file are likely to quickly receive theirs through direct deposit.

Those who haven't filed out their tax returns for 2020 - the deadline for which is on April 15 - will have their 2019 forms used to determine how much they receive.

But this could see some people receive less cash than they are entitled to if their income dropped in 2020 but haven't filed in their 2020 tax returns.

Meanwhile, Americans who have moved or changed their bank account recently could see a delay in receiving their check.

The "Get My Payment" tool on the IRS website will reopen next week, which will update people on the status of their check.

It won't, however, allow users to update their bank details. If a payment has been issued to a closed or incorrect account, the IRS will have to resend it in a check to your house in the mail - adding to the wait.

The check received may also be the incorrect amount if you have new dependents the IRS isn't aware of.

If, for example, you had a baby last year but haven't completed your 2020 tax return, you will not receive the $1,400 dependents are entitled to.

Stimulus checks have started being sent out to hard-hit Americans

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Stimulus checks have started being sent out to hard-hit AmericansCredit: Getty Images - Getty

But once tax returns have been completed, the IRS will automatically issue a $1,400 check.

While some may face delays, delighted Americans took to Twitter to confirm that highly-anticipated stimulus cash had landed in their accounts just one day after the $1.9trillion Covid package was signed off by president Joe Biden.

The IRS confirmed in a statement on Friday that the agency would begin sending checks to eligible Americans by direct deposit this weekend.

"Following approval of the American Rescue Plan Act, the first batch of payments will be sent by direct deposit, which some recipients will start receiving as early as this weekend, and with more receiving this coming week," the statement said.

Prior to Biden signing the stimulus bill into law on Thursday afternoon, White House National Economic Council Director Brian Deese told CNN's New Day that the administration was dedicated to pushing the legislation through and getting money out to Americans in need as soon as possible.

"We are now laser-focused on the question of how to implement this bill quickly and effectively so that the resources get out to those Americans who need it - including those direct payments," he said.

The bill was signed just one day after it passed through the House at 220 to 211 votes on Wednesday.

Before giving the final sign-off on Thursday, Biden said, "this historic legislation is about a fighting chance" for Americans.

But Americans have been warned scammers could try to steal stimulus checks as they started to be sent out.

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The government has alerted those due to receive a $1,400 check that crooks may try to snag payments using methods including fraud, phishing and seizure.

Scammers may attempt to send out fraudulent checks with instructions to call a number in a bid to get hold of banking details.

Fraudsters may also use fake emails, text messages and phone calls containing keywords such as "Covid" and "stimulus" to try to gain sensitive information such as passwords.

Biden signs landmark $1.9trillion stimulus bill in the Oval Office as $1,400 checks set to go out to hard-hit Americans

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