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$600 stimulus checks are officially on the way. Here's who will get them first

Twenty/20

The $600 stimulus checks from the latest Covid relief bill are officially on their way to bank accounts, according to two tweets from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Tuesday evening.

Checks could have arrived as early as Tuesday evening for those who have direct deposit, according to Mnuchin. The IRS also confirmed that initial direct deposits began on Tuesday and will continue through next week.

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"Some Americans may see the direct deposit payments as pending or as provisional payments in their accounts before the official payment date of Jan. 4, 2021," the IRS wrote in a statement Tuesday.

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Your stimulus check will come this way if you set up direct deposit with the IRS for your 2019 tax return by providing them with your bank account information. If that information has changed, it will delay the receipt of your stimulus check, according to the IRS.

Direct deposits will start Tuesday evening and continue through next week, said Mnuchin.

Paper checks and debit cards

If you don't have direct deposit set up with the IRS, it will likely take longer for a stimulus check to arrive, as it will be mailed to you either in the form of a paper check or a debit card. In addition, if you do have direct deposit set up but don't receive your check this way by early January, keep a close eye on your mail, according to the IRS.

Paper and debit card checks will begin to be mailed to eligible recipients on Wednesday, according to Mnuchin and the IRS.

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For those getting either a paper check or debit card, payments will conclude in January, to the IRS said. Later this week, eligible Americans will be able to track the status of their check through the "Get My Payment" tool on the IRS site.

The $600 payments are automatic for eligible individuals, meaning that there is no required action to receive it, according to the IRS. Those eligible do not need to contact their financial institutions or the IRS with questions on the timing of the payments, according to a statement from the agency.

What if the amount changes or I don't get a check?

The latest Covid relief bill includes direct checks of $600 for eligible adults and $600 per dependent, meaning a family of four could receive $2,400. Individuals who earned less than $75,000 and those married filing jointly who earned less than $150,000 in 2019 are eligible for the full amount.

Those who made more are eligible for reduced stimulus checks. But, the checks phase out completely for individuals that earned $87,000 and couples that made $174,000 in 2019.

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The amount of the stimulus checks could change. Even as $600 checks are going out, Congress is still battling over increasing the economic impact payment amount to $2,000 for individuals.

If the $2,000 checks are passed, the IRS will top up checks that have already been issued as soon as possible, it said Tuesday.

If you are eligible to receive a check but don't for some reason, you can claim it on your 2020 tax return in 2021, according to the IRS.

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CHECK OUT: Suze Orman: Don't pay off debt with a second stimulus check — here's your 'first priority' via Grow with Acorns+CNBC.

Disclosure: NBCUniversal and Comcast Ventures are investors in Acorns.

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