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Coronavirus

Second stimulus check: why the IRS could send it sooner

The IRS sent roughly 160 million stimulus payments to Americans who qualified as part of the CARES Act, which was signed by President Trump in March amid the pandemic.

Estados UnidosUpdate:
Second stimulus check: why the IRS could send it sooner
SAMUEL CORUMEFE

One of the measures of the CARES Act was to send a round of stimulus payments worth up to $1,200 per individual and $500 for dependents age 16 and under. Since Congress failed to reach an agreement on 7 August about the stimulus relief package, the deadline has been pushed until a bill is drafted and approved.

According to the United States Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) could start sending the stimulus checks within a week of President Donald Trump signing a stimulus package into law.

“I could have them out immediately,” Mnuchin said regarding how fast the IRS could send the money to Americans who are struggling amid the outbreak. It is likely that the IRS would use the same calculations and tools that they used in the first round to stimulus payments.

Federal government can send checks faster

Many lessons were learned by the federal government when the CARES Act was signed back in March. The first round of checks was sent as early as 15 April and for millions it took months to receive the money because some didn’t have banking information.

Mnuchin said that the checks can be printed and sent the week after the president signs the stimulus legislation. This means that the federal government is ready to send the second round of payments as soon as a bill is passed, because it took the IRS two and a half weeks to send the first round of payments under the CARES Act bill.

The IRS directly deposited the money to those who had filed 2018 and 2019 tax returns. The next group was the Social Security beneficiaries who had direct deposit information on file with federal agencies. Paper checks were sent about a week later to those who didn't sign up for direct deposit.

The first Economic Impact Payment debit cards were sent in mid-May to about four million people who did not have banking information. So with that knowledge, the federal government is ready to send the second round of stimulus payments as soon as a bill is signed.

Related: Are the $400 US unemployment benefits taxable?

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