Will it be before the end of 2020? – Community News
Stimulus Check

Will it be before the end of 2020?

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Finally, lawmakers are striking a two-pronged $900 billion deal for coronavirus relief that could give the hardest-hit Americans much-needed cash — albeit a smaller amount than many had hoped.

Congress has until 12:01 a.m. Saturday, December 19 to agree on the much-anticipated emergency aid package that would reportedly include out-of-pocket payments of $600 to $700 per person and improved unemployment benefits.

It’s not a foregone conclusion, but lawmakers this week were quoted as saying optimistically about the possibility of a resolution before the weekend.

If the deal goes through, politicians have said distribution of the stimulus checks could begin immediately, especially now that the IRS’s distribution tool has already been set up from the latest round of checks sent out in the spring. In August, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the IRS could “immediately” start processing checks and receive the first batch within a week (at a rate of 50 million per batch).

But given what we know about the latest round, exactly when the next stimulus check appears on your checking account depends on a number of factors.

If the IRS already has your direct deposit information on file, you’re probably in the first few groups to receive the money electronically. If you signed up for direct deposit with the IRS when you filed your 2018 and/or 2019 taxes — and your account information is the same — you’re probably first in line. With the CARES Act, recipients whose data was up-to-date received their payment within weeks.

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Social Security (SSI) and/or Disabled (SSDI) recipients may also be in one of the first waves, as their bank and contact details are likely to be current. With the first incentive payment, many Social Security people (who also had direct deposit information with the IRS) received payments in the first week, CNET reports. But given the upcoming holidays, the money is more likely to arrive in early 2021.

If your bank account is not registered with the IRS (meaning you received your last tax return in the mail and/or your information has changed since then), you will likely receive a paper check or prepaid Visa debit card, also known as an Economic Impact Payment (EIP) card.

Both paper checks and EIP cards can be sent at the rate of five to seven million per week, CNET reports. In its latest round, the IRS prioritized checks based on income, starting with Americans earning less than $20,000 a year and gradually moving to those with higher incomes.

If you still haven’t received your first incentive check, you can apply for the Recovery Rebate Credit next spring when filing your 2020 taxes. Essentially, the credit will serve to compensate you for the outstanding incentive money you owe. Learn more about the discount credit here and check the status of your check with the IRS.

In short: will there be a stimulus check before the new year?

Time is running out for everyone to receive a $600 check before New Year’s Eve. The earliest payments would go to those whose direct deposit information is already on file with the IRS, but the longer Congress holds, the less likely your check will arrive in 2020.

The safest bet is to budget as if the payment will arrive in January or, more conservatively, later in 2021.

By then, President-elect Biden may have additional economic aid plans, including student loan forgiveness, small business support, increased Social Security checks and more.

Do you find it uncomfortable to wait so long for a stimulus check?: Here’s what a financial planner says to do in the meantime.

Editor’s Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations in this article are those of the Select editors only, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.

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