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Published: August 26, 2020   |   Last Updated: December 5, 2020

You May Receive an Interest Payment From the IRS

This week the Treasury Department and the IRS announced they will send interest payments to about 13.9 million individual taxpayers who timely filed their 2019 federal income tax returns and are receiving refunds.

Will I receive an interest payment?

You will receive an interest payment if:

  • You filed a 2019 individual tax return by this year’s July 15 deadline; and
  • You received a refund in the past three months or will receive a refund when your return is processed.

The IRS will send most of these interest payments separately from your tax refund.

You will not receive an interest payment if:

  • Your 2019 individual tax refund was issued before the original April 15 deadline; or
  • You filed a business tax return claiming a refund. These refunds are not eligible.

How much interest will I receive?

These refunds average about $18, but amounts may vary depending on the date and amount of your refund. See Coronavirus Tax Relief: 2019 tax refund interest and Interest for Individuals for more details.

How will I receive this payment?

  • If you received your refund by direct deposit, you should receive the interest payment the same way.
  • If you don’t receive a direct deposit, you will receive a check.
    • The check will be noted as “INT Amount”.

Why am I getting this interest?

The IRS postponed this year’s return filing due date to July 15 because of COVID-19. By law, because this postponement was disaster-related, the IRS must pay you interest, calculated from the original April 15 filing deadline, if you filed your return by the extended due date.

What else do I need to know about this interest payment?

  • If you receive an interest payment, you must report the interest on your 2020 federal income tax return.
  • If you receive interest of at least $10, the IRS will send you a Form 1099-INT, Interest Income, in January 2021.

Individual taxpayers should watch for this payment to arrive in their bank accounts or by mail over the next few weeks. Most interest payments will be issued separately from your tax refund. Remember, you’ll know a paper check is an interest payment if it is marked “INT Amount”.

For more information, see 13.9 million Americans to receive IRS tax refund interest; taxable payments to average $18.

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