House and Senate legislators will have just a handful of scheduled days to wrap up the year’s business once both chambers reconvene from their Thanksgiving break on Nov. 30 — and that to-do list also includes approving a new federal budget. As tens of millions facebefore the end of the year, it’s still unknown whether Congress will step up, and this year in time to send a before that happens.
The potential good news: If approved in the next few weeks, the IRS could theoretically begin sending outin time for the holidays (some at all). You also may be able to than the first, if you had to wait. If a second stimulus check is left out of the bill, however, .
See our chart below for some possible timelines for a second stimulus check — and here are thethat you should know. We regularly update this story.
When’s the soonest a second stimulus check could go out?
These speculative dates show you when you might see a payment — if a bill becomes law before or after Inauguration Day on Jan. 20.
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 using the existing IRS protocol from the first check to deliver a second payment, that doesn’t necessarily mean your stimulus money would arrive a week after a bill went live.
Possible dates a second stimulus check could go out
|Scenario 1||Scenario 2||Scenario 3||Scenario 4|
|House passes final bill||Dec. 4||Feb. 1||Mar. 1||Apr. 5|
|Senate passes final bill||Dec. 5||Feb. 2||Mar. 2||Apr. 6|
|President signs||Dec. 6||Feb. 3||Mar. 3||Apr. 7|
|First direct deposits issued||Week of Dec. 21||Week of Feb. 8||Week of Mar. 8||Week of Apr. 12|
|First paper checks sent||Week of Jan. 4||Week of Feb. 16 (Feb. 15 is President’s Day)||Week of Mar. 15||Week of Apr. 19|
|First EIP cards sent||Week of Feb. 1||Week of Mar. 15||Week of Apr. 12||Week of May 10|
Why can’t the IRS send every stimulus payment at once?
By summer, the IRS had sent money to at least 160 million people in three ways, starting with people the federal government has direct deposit information for. Some people with more complicated personal situations areor even for . This creates a de facto priority order that could result in some Americans receiving their checks days or even weeks before others.
The IRS has said it can deliver 5 million to 7 million paper stimulus checks a week, starting withis less than $20,000, and then moving to people whose AGIs are progressively larger, according to the Government Accountability Office.
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.
Direct deposit recipients: People who already have theiron 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.
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: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.
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. 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 for some people and to report a missing, lost or stolen check.
The IRS will continue to send first payments through 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, some who and (including and people who ).
If you’re aand 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 to get a check, even after the IRS changed its rules to exclude this group.
The Nov. 21 deadline to claim the payment in 2020 has passed, but you’ll be able toduring tax season 2021.
If you’re still waiting on the first round of payments, you can, learn and find possible . The IRS has said it will continue to send payments through Dec. 10, according to the Government Accountability Office.