Stimulus Check Update: Here’s the Deadline for Second Checks – Community News
Stimulus Check

Stimulus Check Update: Here’s the Deadline for Second Checks

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If the IRS hasn’t sent out your second stimulus payment this Friday, you can wait a while for that $600 check.

The agency is racing against a Jan. 15 deadline to get the latest round of Economic Impact Payments — approved by Congress and the president in a late-December coronavirus relief package — to eligible Americans. Once the clock is up, your best plan may be to claim the Recovery Rebate credit when you make your 2020 taxes this spring.

The good news is, most have already gone out: According to a bulletin from the House Ways and Means Committee, the IRS sent out 113 million direct deposits, with an additional 34 million paper checks and debit cards due “over the next few weeks.” The bad news is that there were several issues in the process.

Perhaps the biggest stimulus control error was a confusion where the IRS sent direct deposits to closed bank accounts created by tax preparers such as H&R Block and TurboTax. These payments are now being reissued. But it’s not hard to find people on social media who still have not received their stimulus check.

If you’re one of them, here’s what you need to know.

The January 15 stimulus check deadline is usually for the IRS (not for you)

It has to do with the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021 — the massive spending bill that includes $900 billion in coronavirus relief.

The text includes a section on the stimulus checks timeline, also known as ‘recovery discounts’. It describes the deadline quite clearly and says that “except as provided in sub-clause (II), no refunds or credits will be made or allowed under this sub-section after January 15, 2021.” (In case you’re wondering, that sub-clause refers to how U.S. territories handle taxes.)

Actually, the government wanted the money in the pockets of the Americans quickly, so they came up with a deadline.

What to do if you have not yet received a stimulus check?

Do not panic. The payment may still appear; give it a few more weeks. Using the Get My Payment tool, look out for a white envelope with a Treasury Department seal in the mail.

The house bulletin states that “if you have not received an immediate deposit or a paper check or debit card by Jan. 15, 2021, you may contact your congressman for assistance in resolving the issue.” If tax time rolls around and you still haven’t gotten your second stimulus check, it notes, “you still have the option to claim the EIP on your return.”

What is the Recovery Discount Credit?

Technically, both the first and second stimulus checks are advances on a special pandemic-only tax credit called the Recovery Rebate Credit. If you’ve gotten the full amounts — $1,200 per adult last year and $600 this month, plus extra for dependents — you’re good to go. If you didn’t, or if you think you owe more, the IRS will correct that problem when you file your 2020 tax return.

To do this, you can claim the Recovery Rebate credit on your Form 1040 or 1040-SR. (There will also be a worksheet where you can find out exactly how much incentive money you qualify for.)

If you qualify, the IRS will deduct your stimulus from the amount you owe or add it to your refund.

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How long does the second stimulus check take if you have to claim it with your taxes?

That is the crucial question here, given the gravity of the current economic situation. The 2021 submission season has technically not started yet. Last year, the submission season for individuals started on January 27. In 2019 and 2018, it started on January 28 and 29, respectively.

But even if you file your 2020 taxes as soon as possible, you won’t get your money back immediately. While the IRS sends out almost all refunds in less than 21 days, it takes time to process. You are looking at February at the earliest.

FYI, people who file taxes electronically and choose to get their refunds via direct deposit tend to get them the fastest. The IRS recommends that you do both to get your stimulus payments quickly, too.

More of Money:

What to do if you have not yet received your second stimulus check?

Your second stimulus check may come in the mail even if your first direct deposit was

How to determine the ‘best’ way to use your stimulus control?