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Saturday, August 15, 2020

How soon might the next stimulus check get to you? Here are some possible IRS payment dates

A second stimulus check is expected to pass, but the payment schedule is still unknown. We break down some likely scenarios.

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Sarah Tew/CNET

If you’re wondering when you might get a second stimulus payment and whether you’ll qualify to receive the proposed maximum amount of $1,200, you’ll need to wait until Washington lawmakers agree on the terms of the next economic relief package.

The trillion dollar question is: how long will qualifying people need to play the waiting game? The HEALS Act — or whatever the final bill is named — has to pass before we get a definitive answer and the IRS can begin coordinating a payment schedule. If lawmakers don’t reach an agreement by Aug. 7, the deadline imposed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell before the scheduled Senate recess, it could also push back when the checks get sent.

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“We anticipate that we will have a bill, but we’re not there yet,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Friday, in reference to the Aug. 7 target date.

Though Congress adjourned for the weekend on Friday, Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer met with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows on Saturday. Pelosi said the weekend meeting was “productive in terms of moving us forward,” but the two sides remain apart, CNBC reported.

What does this mean for when you might get another stimulus payment? We took a look at the timeline used to send out the first stimulus check and details about the current plan under negotiation to sketch out a possible answer based on what we know right now. Check back on this story for frequent updates.

When the next IRS stimulus checks could go out

The Senate’s last day in session before its August recess is Aug. 7, which means Congress has to agree on a final stimulus bill before then if it keeps to its planned schedule (which could change). After that, senators return to their home states until the next session picks up again Sept. 8. However, we do know that McConnell has the power to push back the recess and keep senators in Washington longer if needed.

We don’t know how long it’ll take from the time the bill is signed into law to the time the IRS sends checks, but we can glean hints based on the first CARES Act’s journey through the final approval process.

When could the second stimulus checks go out?

Date passed by Senate Date passed by House Date signed First checks sent
Original CARES Act March 25 March 26 March 27 April 15
Proposal date Negotiations begin Negotiation time before deadline Deadline to pass a bill
HEALS Act July 27 July 27 7 to 9 days Aug 7
If Senate passes If House passes If President signs First checks could be sent
Final negotiated bill Aug. 6 Aug. 7 Aug. 10 Week of Aug. 24
Sept. 8 Sept. 9 Sept. 10 or Sept. 11 Week of Sept. 28

How could the new stimulus check arrive quicker than last time?

We know that the HEALS Act will follow the stimulus check model of the CARES Act, with at least one significant difference in terms of who qualifies. Here’s how that could get you a check sooner:

  • HEALS Act guidelines stay mostly the same as those of the original CARES Act, which allows the IRS to follow its previous model.
  • The IRS already built its Get My Payment tool for the dual purposes of tracking your stimulus check payment and signing up for direct deposit
  • Implementing this tool — and working out glitches — for the first round of checks took time that the IRS is unlikely to need to process a second check.
money-bills-wallet-coins-dollars-1017

Congress is working on a new coronavirus stimulus bill that may put another $1,200 in your wallet.


Angela Lang/CNET

What could delay the IRS sending the next stimulus payments? 

If Congress and President Donald Trump can’t agree on the provisions in the new stimulus bill and miss the Aug. 7 deadline, it would be another month before the next session starts and the Senate and the House can reconvene and propose, debate and pass the bill, unless the House and Senate delay the start of their August recess. 

Both chambers of Congress and the president appear motivated to pass the bill before Aug. 7.

When’s the last date I could get the new stimulus check?

Once again, the schedule for the first stimulus checks can provide a potential roadmap, though there’s no official news until another rescue package is finalized.

The IRS will have sent about 200 million checks by the time it’s done distributing the first raft of payments. (The total US population is nearly 330 million people, according to the Census Bureau.) 

The majority of those were sent by the beginning of June, though the IRS said it will continue to disburse the final batches through the end of the year. If there are fewer people receiving a second stimulus check, it’s possible that it won’t take as long to send a second round of payments.

coronavirus-businesses-9856

US workers are experiencing a staggeringly high unemployment rate.


Angela Lang/CNET

Would this be the final stimulus check?

In May, McConnell said that this next coronavirus relief bill will also be the last. The course of COVID-19 infections will certainly play a role in future debates over the best way to strengthen the economy. Coronavirus infections began surging in June, with record numbers of infections rising in July.

However, the White House might try to squeeze in one more stimulus check before November. “There is likely going to be another round of stimulus come the fall,” said Kevin Cirilli, Bloomberg News’ lead Washington correspondent, on Monday. “The president sees this [current HEALS Act stimulus package] as not his last economic pitch ahead of the election.”

How can you get more help?

If you’re still waiting on the first round of coronavirus 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.

Here are even more resources about coronavirus hardship loans and unemployment insurance, what you can do if you’ve lost your job, what to know about evictions and late car payments, if you could receive two refund checks from the IRS and how to take control of your budget.

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