With Congress on break until after Thanksgiving, time is running out for lawmakers to negotiate the details of a new economic rescue package before the end of the year. If Congress can’t pass new legislation that incorporates a second stimulus payment during the current lame-duck session, President-elect Joe Biden’s stimulus plan might more seriously enter the conversation after his Jan. 20 inauguration.
While talks over a second check have stretched on for months, there are still two pieces of good news. The first is that there’s strong support for another direct payment among top lawmakers and leaders. The second is that the IRS is in a position to get the checks out faster to qualified individuals in another payment round. (Here’s who might not qualify.)
We expect the IRS to issue stimulus payments by direct deposit, paper checks and EIP debit cards, once directed by the Treasury secretary. If you had to wait for your first check, you might be able get your second stimulus payment faster if you take care of certain things now. (Try CNET’s stimulus calculator for a payment estimate.)
Keep reading to learn some potential timelines for a second stimulus payment. And if the IRS owes you a partial or full payment from the first round in the spring, you have unfortunately missed the deadline to file a claim this year, but here’s how to claim it when you file your 2020 taxes in 2021 (and how to track payments). We recently updated this story with new information.
When the next stimulus check might go out
These speculative dates show you when you might see a check — if a bill becomes law before or after Inauguration Day on Jan. 20, and bearing in mind Dec. 11, the deadline for Congress to pass the next federal budget.
One important note about the speed at which the first checks might arrive. In August, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said it would take about a week to process the first payments. “I can get out 50 million payments really quickly. A lot of it into people’s direct accounts,” he said.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean your stimulus money would arrive a week after a bill went live.
Why can’t the IRS issue every stimulus payment at once?
To date, the IRS has sent money to at least 160 million people in three ways, starting with people the federal government has direct deposit information for. Some people with more complicated personal situations are still waiting for their checks or even for catch-up payments. This creates a de facto priority order that could result in some Americans receiving their checks days or even weeks before others.
The IRS has said it can deliver 5 million to 7 million paper stimulus checks a week, starting with people whose adjusted gross income, or AGI is less than $20,000, and then moving to people whose AGIs are progressively larger, according to the Government Accountability Office.
We expect the IRS will adopt roughly the same system for sending out a second stimulus check in 2020 or 2021 as it did with the first stimulus check, which was approved in March as part of the CARES Act.
Direct deposit recipients: People who already have theiron file with the IRS or who provide that info when and if registration opens again should be first in line to receive a stimulus check. An electronic transfer of funds is faster and more efficient, which is why this group largely got their first payment faster.
Social Security beneficiaries: With the first stimulus payment, many Social Security beneficiaries who had direct deposit information on file with the federal government received checks in the first week, though not always the first day.
People who get paper checks: The IRS began to mail checks about a week later to those without direct deposit data on file…….Read More>>