A second stimulus check is finally underway. After nearly a week of political guessing, President Trump has signed the massive COVID relief and government spending bill recently passed by Congress. The $900 billion bill, which includes a second round of stimulus checks ($600 base amount), unemployment benefits of $300 a week, refinancing for small business loans from the Paycheck Protection Program, money for COVID-19 vaccines and testing, extensive tax benefits and much more.
The legislation does not provide for the $2,000-per-second stimulus checks the president pushed for after Congress passed the bill. However, there may be more money on the way. In a statement released before the stimulus bill was signed, the president said “the House will vote on Dec. 28 to increase payments to individuals from $600 to $2,000” (this was previously planned). He also said “[t]The Senate will start the process for a vote that raises the checks to $2,000. Whether that will happen remains to be seen. However, if payments are not increased to $2,000, Americans will still receive the $600 incentive checks approved by the bill already signed by the president.
When is your second stimulus check coming?
Before the president said he didn’t want to sign the bill for COVID aid and government spending, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC the checks would go out before New Year’s Eve. However, nearly a week has passed since Congress passed the bill, so it’s unknown at this point if that schedule is still viable.
In any case, the Incentives Act sets a deadline for the delivery of second-round payments. The IRS will not be able to send second incentive checks after January 15, 2021. If no payment has been sent to you by then, you must claim the amount owed to you as a “clawback discount” credit on your 2020 federal income tax return (to be filed on April 15, 2021).
If the IRS already has your bank account information, either from a recent tax payment you made or a tax refund it sent you, expect to receive your second stimulus check sooner. That’s because the IRS can deposit the payment directly into your bank account. The IRS may also make a second stimulus payment to a Direct Express debit card account, a US debit card account, or other Treasury sponsored account. Otherwise, expect to get a paper check in the mail.