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Coronavirus Stimulus Checks

Second stimulus check: when did IRS start to pay?

The payments could have already arrived or be hitting your account imminently. When is the official payment date and when to expect your check by.

Second stimulus check: when did IRS start to pay?
LEAH MILLIS REUTERS

After almost nine months of negotiation and some last-minute presidential hesitation Americans are beginning to receive the coronavirus stimulus payments. Although there is talk of a potentially larger payment once Joe Biden takes office on 20 January, with control of the Senate in the balance, so is a third stimulus check. For now, the $600 maximum checks per adult are in the process of being sent out. Here’s an indication of when the check might arrive, and how to figure out how much you’ll get.

The payments will be sent out automatically and the process should go smoother this time. The IRS will follow the same payment method the used in the first round of payments whether it was direct deposit, a printed check or an EIP debit card.

Second stimulus: when did IRS start sending checks?

According to a release by the IRS on 29 December, the paper checks were sent out as early as 30 December, but that in fact the official date that cash will be released was yesterday, 4 January. The Revenue Service also mentioned that the direct deposits appearing in people’s accounts before then may be labelled “pending”:

“The initial direct deposit payments may begin arriving as early as tonight for some and will continue into next week. Paper checks will begin to be mailed tomorrow, Wednesday, December 30.

“The IRS emphasizes that there is no action required by eligible individuals to receive this second payment. Some Americans may see the direct deposit payments as pending or as provisional payments in their accounts before the official payment date of January 4, 2021.”

“The IRS reminds taxpayers that the payments are automatic, and they should not contact their financial institutions or the IRS with payment timing questions.”

IRS has deadline of 15 January

Included in the $900bn bipartisan bill, that was approved by Congress and signed into law by president Trump, is a deadline of 15 January 2021 by which time the IRS and US Treasury must stop sending checks as part of this round of delivery.

If you don't receive your full second stimulus check by 15 January, you will need to claim all or part of the missing amount when you file your federal tax returns in 2021. You will also be able to claim any money the IRS still owes you from the first round of payments sent out earlier in 2020.

Second stimulus: how is the total amount calculated?

The IRS will look at several factors when calculating the amount for each payment, but in general it will depend on the adjusted gross income on their 2019 tax filing.

Single individuals and heads of households can expect to receive $600 if they earn up to $75,000, a married couple can expect $1200 if they jointly earn up to $150,000. If that individual or couple has a dependent child 16 years of age or younger, they will receive $600 per child.

Individuals or couples earning above those amounts will see the amount of their check reduce by $5 for every $100 over these levels. An individual earning over $87,000, or married couple earning more than $174,000 will not receive a second stimulus check.

If you want to calculate how much you could receive in the second round of stimulus payments you can use the Omni Calculator.

How to avoid stimulus check scams second time around.