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Could you get a second stimulus check before Christmas? Yes, but there’s a cutoff date

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How shortly may the IRS ship your cash? We have now some potential dates.


Sarah Tew/CNET

if Congress decides to approve a second stimulus check as a part of another economic relief bill within the remaining days of its 2020 session, it must act shortly for people and households to obtain another direct payment earlier than the vacations.

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So that you can have a test in hand earlier than the tip of the yr, when would the IRS and Treasury must make payments to qualifying families? A brand new clue helped us work out what it will take to get you more cash in 2020. (And this is the way you might get less stimulus cash in the next check and who may not qualify in any respect.)

We additionally work out how quickly you may realistically count on a test if Congress waits to behave till after President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20. Do not forget that one other direct payment of up to $1,200 per person is only one a part of the stimulus equation Congress might want to work out. By Dec. 31, remaining coronavirus protections run out for tens of thousands and thousands Individuals. 

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If a second stimulus test is unnoticed of the invoice, nonetheless, here’s how you might be able to still benefit. And if no invoice passes in any respect by the point Biden turns into US president, listed here are the stimulus measures the incoming president could take.

See our chart beneath for some doable timelines for one more fee. As a facet observe, you may be capable of receive your second stimulus check sooner than the primary, if you happen to needed to wait final time. We replace this story usually.

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Learn extraHow big will your next stimulus check be? Calculate your estimate

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How soon could the IRS send a second stimulus payment?

These speculative dates show you when you might see a payment — if a bill becomes law before or after Inauguration Day on Jan. 20.

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House Majority Speaker Steny Hoyer said Friday that “The House may complete legislative business early the week of Dec. 7,” including work on a stimulus bill. While the package has been a moving target for months, it does give us another date to go on, and you’ll see that reflected in Scenario 1 below.

Read moreNobody can take your stimulus check away, right? Not quite

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One important note about the speed at which the first checks might arrive: In August, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said it would take about a week to process the first payments. “I can get out 50 million payments really quickly. A lot of it into people’s direct accounts,” he said. If a check doesn’t arrive until 2021, there will be a new Treasury secretary — President-elect Joe Biden has selected Janet Yellen, the previous chair of the US Federal Reserve, though she would need to be confirmed by the Senate.

Even if the checks were to go out faster the second time by following the existing IRS protocol from the first payment, that doesn’t necessarily mean your stimulus money would arrive a week after a bill went live.

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Possible dates a second stimulus check could go out

Scenario 1 Scenario 2 Scenario 3 Scenario 4
House passes final bill Dec. 9 Feb. 1 Mar. 1 Apr. 5
Senate passes final bill Dec. 10 Feb. 2 Mar. 2 Apr. 6
President signs Dec. 11 Feb. 3 Mar. 3 Apr. 7
First direct deposits issued Week of Dec. 14 Week of Feb. 8 Week of Mar. 8 Week of Apr. 12
First paper checks sent Week of Dec. 21 Week of Feb. 16 (Feb. 15 is President’s Day) Week of Mar. 15 Week of Apr. 19
First EIP cards sent Week of Jan. 18 Week of Mar. 15 Week of Apr. 12 Week of May 10

Why does the IRS stagger its payment schedule anyway?

There are a few reasons the IRS doesn’t send all the stimulus payments at once. One is the sheer volume of disbursements it has to process. With the first check, the IRS has said it could deliver 5 million to 7 million paper stimulus checks a week, starting with people whose adjusted gross income, or AGI is less than $20,000, and then moving to people whose AGIs are progressively larger, according to the Government Accountability Office.

Another reason payments come at different times for different people depends on the way they get the cash. By summer, the IRS had sent money to at least 160 million people, with people the federal government had direct deposit information for receiving their checks first. Physical checks and EIP payments followed, creating a de facto priority order that could result in some Americans receiving their checks days or even weeks before others. See below for more information on the different payment groups.

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Some people with more complicated personal situations are still waiting for their checks or even for catch-up payments. People in this group may not be able to get their stimulus allotment until the middle of 2021.

We expect the IRS will adopt roughly the same system for sending out a second stimulus check in 2020 or 2021 as it did with the first stimulus check, which was approved in March as part of the CARES Act.

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When it comes to stimulus checks, timing is critical.

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Sarah Tew/CNET

We identified 5 different stimulus check payment groups

Direct deposit recipients: People who already have their direct deposit information on file with the IRS or who provide that info when and if registration opens again should be first in line to receive a stimulus check. An electronic transfer of funds is faster and more efficient, which is why this group largely got their first payment faster.

Social Security beneficiaries: With the first stimulus payment, many Social Security beneficiaries who had direct deposit information on file with the federal government received checks in the first week, though not always the first day.

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People who get paper checks: The IRS began to mail checks about a week later to those without direct deposit data on file. 

EIP card recipients: Economic impact payment debit cards are prepaid Visa cards the IRS sent to about 4 million people starting in mid-May. If the IRS follows the same payment priority order, this group could begin to see their payment weeks after the first direct deposit transfers take place.

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People with more complex situations: This category includes people who received a check after June, are still waiting to receive their stimulus payment or who didn’t know they need to complete an extra step. Direct payments will continue through the end of 2020 for some individuals who weren’t part of the previous groups. Here’s what could be holding up the stimulus check delivery for some people and how to contact the IRS to report a missing, lost or stolen check.

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The IRS will continue to send the first checks in December

While the majority of people in line to receive a stimulus check got theirs by the end of July, up until late November, there were still millions of people who were eligible for stimulus money that hadn’t received it. That includes people who didn’t receive $500 allotted for their dependents, some who are involved in child support situations and nonfilers who may be owed a stimulus check (including older adults and people who receive SSI or SSDI). 

If you’re a US citizen abroad or live in a US territory and didn’t receive a check as expected, you may also need to investigate. And a new court ruling has made it possible for millions of people who are incarcerated to get a check, even after the IRS changed its rules to exclude this group.

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The Nov. 21 deadline to claim the payment in 2020 has passed, but you’ll be able to claim a catch-up payment or error adjustment during tax season 2021.

If you’re still waiting on the first round of payments, you can track the status of your stimulus check, learn how to report your no-show check to the IRS and find possible reasons why your stimulus check still hasn’t arrived. The IRS has said it will continue to send payments through Dec. 10, according to the Government Accountability Office.

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