As you might imagine, there is a lot of misinformation floating around out there. So, I thought I would clear up the confusion.
This is a NON-TAXABLE gift from the federal government. You will not owe any taxes on it. You will not ever be asked to pay it back. It will not harm you financially. It is like an uncle sending you a birthday gift. It is yours! You don't have to sign up for anything. They find you because the IRS has all of your information. Assuming they have your banking information, it will be deposited directly into your bank account.
Yes, here comes the scams - Scammers will notify you that the IRS gave you to much money, and they want it back. They will even go as far as saying keep the $1200 and send us back the money. THE IRS WILL NOT EVER ASK FOR ANY OF THIS MONEY BACK.
To help taxpayers check the status of their payment, the IRS is rolling out a tracking tool called "Get My Payment" by April 17. The device will also let users update their direct deposit information with the IRS. This is especially helpful if you haven't filed a tax return in a few years.
Finally, make good use of this money. Unless you need it to pay bills, I would take this opportunity to create or add to an emergency fund.