If you haven’t looked at your bank account this week, now might be a splendid time. The long wait for a second stimulus check from the U.S. government finally is over!
Billions of dollars are pouring into taxpayer bank accounts every day as the IRS and Treasury Department make quick work of delivering assistance from the COVID-19 Relief Act signed by President Donald Trump on Dec. 27.
Millions of taxpayers who qualify for the aid and have a bank account number on file with the IRS, already received direct deposits of $600 for individuals and $1,200 for married couples who file taxes jointly.
Parents with children 16 or younger will receive $600 for each qualifying child. Dependents who are 17 or older are not eligible for the child payment.
If your bank account information isn’t on file with the IRS, don’t worry. Paper checks started going out last week and could find their way into your mailbox as early as this week.
Some people will be mailed debit cards in lieu of direct deposit or paper checks. The IRS says the paper checks and debit cards will continue to go out through the end of January.
If you qualify, but haven’t received a direct payment, paper check or debit card, you can check on its status at Get May Payment on the IRS website.
How Much Is the Second Stimulus Check?
The second stimulus check amount is $600 for individuals and $1,200 for couples filing jointly.
Parents with children 16 and under will get an additional $600 per child.
What Happened to the $2,000 Payment?
There will be no $2,000 payment to taxpayers, at least not in the immediate future.
President Trump and Democrats in the House and Senate wanted to raise the direct payment to $2,000 payment, but couldn’t find enough support among Republicans to make it happen.
It’s possible, though not probable, that Congress could increase the amount of the check to $2,000 at some point, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is making it extremely difficult to get a vote on this matter.
McConnell said the proposed $2,000 payment “sends thousands of dollars to people who don’t need the help” and blocked efforts by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) to hold a vote on the bill, effectively killing it.
“Borrowing from our grandkids to do socialism for rich people is a terrible way to get help to families who actually need it,” McConnell said.
Instead, McConnell packaged the $2,000 proposal in an omnibus bill alongside repeal of Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, which protects social media companies from responsibility for the content on their platforms and appointing a federal commission to investigate election fraud.
That trio of ideas has little or no chance of passing the Senate and House.
Second Stimulus Deposit Date
Direct deposits already are being made in the bank accounts of those on file with the IRS.
The mailing process for paper checks and debit cards also has started. The IRS says that will continue through the end of January.
Timeline If Payments Increase to $2,000
If the newly-seated Congress somehow bows to pressure and agrees to raise the amount on checks, it won’t change the delivery timetable.
The IRS already is sending out the $600 in direct payments approved by Congress and signed by President Trump.
The IRS says if legislation passes raising the total to $2,000, the additional money will go out as quickly as possible.
Who Qualifies for the Second Stimulus Check?
The most important qualification for the second stimulus check is that you filed a tax return in 2019.
Individuals whose adjusted gross income on their most recent tax form was less than $75,000 and couples filing jointly whose adjusted gross income was less than $150,000, will receive the full amount of $600.
Payments start phasing out above $75,000, being reduced by $5 for every $100 of income. Payments go to zero when individuals reach $87,000 or married couples reach $174,000.
Lower-income people who normally don’t file tax returns, could miss out on a check if they don’t file a return.
For Payments by Direct Deposit
If you already signed up to receive IRS payments via direct deposit, there is no need to go back and register again. You’re in the system and can expect to receive it that way again, as long as your banking information hasn’t changed.
To track progress of your check, visit the IRS website Get My Payment.
For Payments by Mail
If you still conduct financial transactions via paper checks, you obviously are a patient consumer and you may need that.
The IRS put the first batch of checks in the mail Dec. 30 and expects to continue mailing out to qualified taxpayers through the end of January.
What If I Should Have Gotten the First Stimulus Check, but Didn’t
The IRS has established a page called “Recovery Rebate Credit” for taxpayers who qualified for the first stimulus check, but didn’t receive it or only received part of what they should have.
If you believe you qualified, but didn’t receive the stimulus check go to this page on the IRS website and find out information on how to get it.
What about a Third Stimulus Check?
That will be up to President-elect Joe Biden to decide and if the final amount of the second stimulus check is just $600, count on Bident to quickly propose a third stimulus check.
Asked if there would be another relief bill that included a third stimulus check, Biden responded: “That’s a negotiating issue, but it will, yes it will.”
Biden, who pushed for a $1,200 check as part of the COVID-19 Relief Act that President Donald Trump just signed, was not impressed when that number was cut in half on the final version of the bill.
“This bill is just the first step, a down payment, in addressing the crises, more than one that we’re in,” Biden said.
Bill “No Pay” Fay has lived a meager financial existence his entire life. He started writing/bragging about it in 2012, helping birth Debt.org into existence as the site’s original “Frugal Man.” Prior to that, he spent more than 30 years covering the high finance world of college and professional sports for major publications, including the Associated Press, New York Times and Sports Illustrated. His interest in sports has waned some, but he is as passionate as ever about not reaching for his wallet. Bill can be reached at [email protected].
- N.A. (2020, December 28) English/Espanol: I Support $2000 Payments to Americans in Need. Retrieved from https://www.rubio.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=F2E570A9-9BF7-445E-B859-C2D3EF4EFD82
- N.A. (2020, December 24) Chairman Neal Introduces The CASH Act To Provide $2,000 Payments To Americans In Need. Retrieved from https://waysandmeans.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/chairman-neal-introduces-cash-act-provide-2000-payments-americans-need
- N.A. (2020, December 28) Roll Call 252 / Bill Number: H.R. 9051. Retrieved from https://clerk.house.gov/Votes/2020252
- Carney, J. (2020, December 24) GOP senator warns $2k checks can’t pass, urges Trump to sign COVID deal. Retrieved from https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/531585-gop-senator-warns-2k-checks-cant-pass-urges-trump-to-sign-covid-deal