In the eleventh hour of negotiations for the green light, Congress is another round of stimulus checks for American households. If they do, cash payments can reach many Americans within a few weeks.
Yes, the hope of new pandemic help has been shattered before, but this time it really seems to be different. Lawmakers are trying to tie the stimulus package to a federal spending bill to be passed by midnight Sunday to avoid a government shutdown.
If Capitol Hill executives manage to reach an agreement to adopt the new pandemic support bill, direct payments of up to $ 600 per month could be made. individual begin this month.
“For most Americans, these payments will disappear very quickly and on a similar timeline as the first round of stimulus checks,” said Chantel Boyens, a former Office of Management and Budget official.
But like the first round of cash payments, the timeline for distribution may be faster for some Americans.
First in line are likely to be individuals who already have their direct payment information on file with the IRS.
Within two weeks of the entry into force of the CARES Act in March, more than 81 million payments were disbursed, totaling more than $ 147 billion, all through electronic transfers to recipients’ bank accounts, according to the Government Accountability Office.
“I was amazed last spring at how quickly the Treasury Department was able to roll out the economic consequences,” said Janet Holtzblatt, senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center.
Finance Minister Steven Mnuchin has already promised a similarly aggressive timeline, saying he could start processing checks as soon as the legislation is passed.
“I can get 50 million payments out really fast. Many of them go into people’s direct accounts,” Mnuchin said previously said in August.
It includes those who have signed up to receive a refund by direct payment when they file their 2018 and / or 2019 taxes, and it can also extend to 14 million people who have previously recorded their information via two new online tools that the IRS built in the spring to collect banking and contact information.
The Treasury Department did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment on whether previously captured bank details would be reused if there were to be another round of stimulus checks.
“It could speed up the process significantly,” Boyens said. “But I’m not sure if the Treasury Department will decide if this information is reliable enough to do so.”
If the qualifications for compensation remain the same as they were for the CARES Act, many people receiving Social Security or Supplemental Insurance Income (SSI) benefits will be eligible for full rebates.
However, how quickly the money is received depends to a large extent on whether the recipient already uses direct deposit for their monthly benefit payment. If they do, the stimulus money is likely to be their account is automatically credited.
If social benefits are sent by mail, however, a longer one waiting time is expected.
For those who are eligible for a stimulus payment but have not shared their bank account information with the IRS, they can expect to receive a paper check or a prepaid debit card.
The Ministry of Finance has the capacity to deliver five to seven million paper checks one week, in addition to checking for other federal programs.
During the first round of stimulus distribution, paper checks were sent out in waves, starts in mid-April. The IRS and the Treasury Department prioritized the broadcast of checks to the country’s lowest incomes, starting with individuals earning less than $ 20,000 a year.
The debit cards came later. They were sent by post from kl in the middle of May.
Even as another stimulus payment approaches approval, the IRS is still trying to reach out to people who were eligible for the first $ 1,200 stimulus check. Millions still may not have received their money.
“It’s a significant gap,” Boyens said.
ONE examination published in July by the Urban Institute showed that wealthy and white households received emergency payments faster than both black and Hispanic families, as well as low-income households.
IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig testified in front of a House subcommittee in October that the agency has been particularly focused on getting payments out to people who are homeless, who do not normally have a return obligation, or who otherwise live their lives outside normal lines of communication.
“We have worked with our partners to distribute EIP [Economic Impact Payment] outreach material in 35 languages in these communities, “Rettig continued.” We have asked for help from hundreds of local community groups and religious organizations. “
Holtzblatt says it is crucial to close this access hole.
“With another round of payments, the IRS has more information about the non-files that overcame these barriers and should be able to get payments out to them faster,” Holtzblatt said. “But it remains a challenge to reach the remaining non-registers and ensure that they receive both rounds of payment.”
Disclosure: NBCUniversal and Comcast Ventures are investors in Acorn.