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Stimulus check payment: what are the IRS alternatives?

As negotiations for the new bailout continue, the Inland Revenue Service is considering alternatives for distributing the second Economic Impact Payment.

Cheques del Departamento del Tesoro de Estados Unidos.
William Thomas CainGETTY IMAGES

Democrats and Republicans failed to reach a bipartisan agreement to launch a new economic relief package, however, as the negotiations continue, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is considering alternative methods for the distribution of the second round of Economic Impact Payments (EIPs). It’s worth noting that these stimulus checks, although having support across party lines, are still subject to that crucial agreement being made and President Donald Trump adding his signature to it.

In order to expedite the payments in the, almost certain, second round, several reports have stated that the IRS could substitute the sending of printed checks with prepaid debit cards (EIP cards). These cards were already used during the first round, as part of the CARES Act provisions, and were sent to around four million Americans, proving to be an efficient means.

First stimulus check: who received the EIP card as payment?

According to the official IRS website, the citizens who benefited from the distribution of the EIP card during the first round of stimulus checks were those who did not have available bank information.

Having account details allowed the IRS to transfer the money via direct deposits. Those issued a card were also at the lower end of the income scale.

Second stimulus check: who will receive the EIP card?

In order to expedite payments, those US citizens who already have their EIP card will only have to wait for the IRS to reload the corresponding payment from the second stimulus check onto it. Then it can be used as before.

However, for those people that do not already have one, and who do not have appropriate bank details for a direct transfer, they are likely to receive an EIP debit card instead of the printed check they may have had in the first round.

Mark Meadows, White House Chief of Staff, has stated that the talks have remain stalled due to a reluctance to compromise.
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Mark Meadows, White House Chief of Staff, has stated that the talks have remain stalled due to a reluctance to compromise.Stefani Reynolds / POOLEFE

To find out if the payment will come to you via the card, you can check its status through the invaluable IRS tool, Get my Payment. Also, if you are eligible for the EIP card, the IRS will send a letter to the postal address previously registered with the government agency 15 days after the payment is made, informing you about the money, the payment method and what to do if you did not receive it.

Of course, we are still awaiting concrete news on a deal being reached for this to happen, and for the long-touted second stimulus check to become a reality. In the event that this agreement arrives during the first two weeks of September, it is estimated that the payment of the second check will begin to be distributed at the end of the month or by the beginning of October.