Second stimulus check: how many $600 direct payment have been sent?
Congress are discussing the fate of the $1,400 payments included in the American Rescue Plan, but not everyone has received their second stimulus check.
The IRS has confirmed that it has finished distribution of the $600 stimulus check payments included in the emergency covid-19 relief bill signed into law last December.
The tax authorities were required to distribute all payments by mid-January to allow them time to prepare for the upcoming tax season. However it is possible a small number of the Economic Impact Payment debit cards or the paper checks are still in transit.
NEW from me: Lawmakers have asked the IRS to do a lot this year, after a decade of starving its budget, and as a result it’s been dropping some balls — which almost always turns out badly for the low-income taxpayers who count on refunds and stimulus checks to make ends meet. 1/— Lydia DePillis (@lydiadepillis) February 16, 2021
The $600 payments were a part of the $900 billion emergency bill signed by former President Donald Trump in late December after he failed to find support for a large-scale stimulus package during his final weeks in office.
The IRS has reported that more than 147 payments were sent during the most recent round of stimulus checks, costing the federal government more than $142 billion to date.
Some are still waiting for their second stimulus check payment
The second round of payments was far smoother than the first, when tens of millions of Americans waited months for the money. For the second stimulus checks the IRS already had details on file for the vast majority of recipients and had a template to follow from the previous batch of payments. For this reason the ambitious deadline of 15 January was set to prevent clogging up the IRS ahead of tax season.
However there have been issues with the distribution and despite having officially sent out all “legally permitted” payments, many are still waiting to receive their second stimulus check from the IRS.
Big jump in retail sales in January: +5.3% over a year ago— Heather Long (@byHeatherLong) February 17, 2021
The $600 stimulus checks did fuel extra spending, just like what happened in May/June.
Many people I've spoken with say they used the money right away for food, rent, gas, etc. https://t.co/LLebrFF1OD
There have been countless reports of people who are eligible for the stimulus checks being missed out of the payment. In many cases when they tried to rectify the situation on the IRS’ Get My Payment tool they were met with the message: “Payment status not available”.
Now that the deadline has passed you will not be able to reapply for a direct deposit and physical check, but you can still get the value of the stimulus check in the form of a tax credit for your 2020 tax returns.
If this applies to you then you can find all the details of how to receive a Recovery Rebate Credit in our handy guide, allowing you to get the $600 stimulus check you are owed from the second round of payment.
Third stimulus checks should be on the way
Little over a month after the deadline for the second stimulus checks, Congress appears to be drawing close to passing a new round of stimulus checks. The American Rescue Plan proposed by President Joe Biden includes direct payments worth up to $1,400 per person.
As I’ve said throughout my whole career: The middle class built this country, and labor built the middle class. This afternoon, I met with labor leaders to discuss the American Rescue Plan and how we’ll rebuild our infrastructure—creating good-paying, union jobs in the process. pic.twitter.com/3dyv23GvLq— President Biden (@POTUS) February 18, 2021
Biden did not get the bipartisan support that he had hoped for but the Democrats have put in motion a Senate budgetary mechanism known as reconciliation to get the bill passed with just a simple majority in the Upper House.
For full details on the third round of direct payments, including the eligibility requirements and payment timeframe, check out our stimulus check explainer.
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