How quickly could the IRS send your second stimulus check? The answer depends on whether White House and Democratic negotiators can come to an agreement on another economic stimulus package that includes a new round of payments for eligible recipients. Congressional leaders for both parties are calling for a return to negotiations.
“Regretfully, we have not been able to reach an agreement yet and I hope we will,” said Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday. “Because the coronavirus is not paying a whole lot of attention to the election and the American people need additional assistance now.”
Talks have been at a standstill for weeks and with the 2020 Republican National Convention running through Thursday, they aren’t likely to pick up this week.
In addition, both sides appear focused on other pressing issues, including the just-approved $25 billion rescue bill for the United States Postal Service. But here’s what we do know: Assuming a bill is passed and signed, the IRS can start issuing stimulus checks within a week of reaching a final deal, according to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The first batch of direct payments were sent out roughly three weeks after the CARES Act passed in March.
Keep reading for a look at the possible payment schedule for a second stimulus check and who could receive it first. We frequently update this story.
How soon could the IRS deliver a second stimulus check?
Though extremely unlikely, Republican and Democratic negotiators could resume discussions and reach an agreement in late August. The GOP will be occupied with the Republican National Convention, which begins today, Aug. 24, and runs through next Thursday. Negotiations are more likely to slide into September after the new congressional session officially begins. The Senate is adjourned until after Labor Day, which is Sept. 7.
Here are some possible dates that another stimulus bill could pass and the IRS could send the first checks. For reference, we also include the timeline for the now expired CARES Act. The payments don’t go out to everyone at once, so we’ll go over which groups of people could get their payment first.
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|
|If Senate passes||If House passes||If president signs||First checks could be sent|
|Final negotiated bill||Sept. 8||Sept. 9||Sept. 10||Week of Sept. 21|
|Sept. 10||Sept. 11||Sept. 14||Week of Sept. 28|
|Sept. 14||Sept. 15||Sept. 16||Week of Sept. 28|
Which group would get their stimulus check first?
It’s likely the IRS would use roughly the same calculations and tools for sending out the second stimulus check as it did for the first one, including the IRS Get My Payment tool for tracking your stimulus check payment and signing up for direct deposit.
First group: The IRS sent the first batch of stimulus checks to people who had filed 2018 or 2019 tax returns and had already provided the IRS with their direct deposit information, according to the House Committee on Ways and Means. Following that model, the next stimulus payment could first reach people who’ve already registered for direct deposit, either as part of their 2019 tax filing or before.
Second group: The next group were Social Security beneficiaries who had direct deposit information on file with federal agencies. (About 80 million people got their checks through direct deposit in the first week they were disbursed, according to the IRS.)
Third group: Paper checks didn’t start getting mailed out until about a week later, to people who hadn’t signed up for direct deposit, but you could still register for the electronic bank transfer as late as May 13.
Fourth group: The first Economic Impact Payment debit cards, which are prepaid, began going out in mid-May to about 4 million people.
Fifth group: Anyone who received their checks after June or who is still waiting to receive their stimulus payment. The IRS has told CNET that direct payments will continue through the end of 2020 for some individuals who were not part of the previous groups. Here’s what could be holding up the stimulus check delivery for some and how to contact the IRS to report a missing, lost or stolen check.
Why your second stimulus check might arrive later than someone else’s
We won’t know for sure until a new bill is passed and the IRS forms a plan to send out checks, but here are points to consider.
Changes to aid for dependents: This depends on which version of the bill passes. The CARES Act allotted $500 for dependents age 16 and under. The Republican-backed HEALS Act also allocates $500 for dependents, of any age. But the Democratic-backed Heroes Act suggests $1,200 for a maximum of three dependents. If a change is made, even if it ultimately leads to more money being sent, it could require the IRS to adjust its accounting system. That may potentially slow things down for you.
Banking status: With the first checks, people who didn’t submit direct deposit information to the IRS had to wait longer to receive the stimulus money through the mail. As of June, 120 million people had received the stimulus money via direct deposit, 35 million were sent a check in the mail and 4 million were sent a prepaid debit card. The IRS hasn’t provided an update on how many people received a stimulus check by Aug. 1.
Banking status has affected the speed of payments since the CARES Act passed, disproportionately impacting Black Americans and other people of color, according to an analysis by the think tank Urban Institute. People who are white and whose incomes were above the poverty line were more likely to have received their first stimulus check by the end of May than people who are Black, Hispanic or below the poverty line, the analysis found.
People who didn’t make enough money to be required to file federal income tax returns in 2018 or 2019 also would not get a stimulus check unless they submitted a form to the IRS, according to a report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. This group includes low-income families with children and a far greater number of Black people and people of color.
When’s the latest date you could receive another stimulus check?
Once again, the schedule for the first stimulus checks may provide an indication, but there’s no official news until another rescue package is finalized.
The IRS will have sent about 200 million checks by the time the agency is done distributing the first raft of payments. (The total US population is over 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 send payments through the end of the year.
How you can get more help
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.
And here are 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.
Shelby Brown contributed to this report.