How soon the IRS could send the second stimulus checks

Aug 8, 2020 | Business, IRS - Internal Revenue Service, US Tax Return 1040 / 1040NR | 0 comments

The White House has a plan to send your second stimulus payment faster than the first check went out. We worked out some possible dates of when this might happen, whenever Washington agrees on a new stimulus package.

The debate over the next stimulus package seemed no closer to reaching an agreement by Friday night. This seeming stalemate among Washington lawmakers will directly impact the timeline for receiving a second stimulus check. There’s a sliver of possibility that negotiators will abandon the debate without reaching a deal, but both sides have also left the door open to continue talks, which means a check could still arrive sooner rather than later.

“I think there are a lot of areas of compromise. I think if we can reach an agreement on state and local and unemployment, we will reach an overall deal. And if we can’t, we can’t,” US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Friday, after White House negotiators rejected a Democratic offer to meet in the middle on the total cost of the bill.

If and when the two sides do reach an agreement, we have a decent idea when you could receive your new payment. Mnuchin has said the IRS could “start printing [stimulus checks] the following week” once a deal is sealed, which would beat the 19 days it took for the federal agency to send out the first stimulus payments after the CARES Act was passed back in March. “I could have them out immediately,” he said.

If the final relief bill does become law, here’s when the initial direct payments could be sent and who might be the first in line to receive them.

Several scenarios that could play out. With no agreement reached on Friday, Aug. 7, the House and Senate have extended the length of their current session, with an eye toward the two sides reaching an agreement in the coming days.

When and if the new proposal does pass, Mnuchin’s promise of sending the first checks a week later gives us a new timeline to work from in forecasting when the first people could get their checks. For reference, we also include the dates followed by the CARES Act.


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 Original deadline to agree on a bill
HEALS Act July 27 July 27 7 to 12 days Aug. 7
If Senate passes If House passes If President signs First checks could be sent
Final negotiated bill Aug. 11 Aug. 12 Aug. 13 Week of Aug. 17
Aug. 13 Aug. 14 Aug. 17 Week of Aug. 24
Sept. 8 Sept. 9 Sept. 10 or Sept. 11 Week of Sept. 21


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.

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 have already registered for direct deposit, either as part of their 2019 tax filing or before.

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.)

Paper checks didn’t start getting mailed out until about a week later, to people who had not signed up for direct deposit, but you could still register for the electronic bank transfer as late as May 13. The first Economic Impact Payment debit cards, which are prepaid, were sent in mid-May to about 4 million people.

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 Democrat-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, which could 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 received the stimulus money through direct deposit, 35 million through a check in the mail, and 4 million through a prepaid debit card. The IRS hasn’t provided an update on how many people received a stimulus check by Aug. 1.

Please, do not hesitate to answer our poll on the first Stimulus Check  now, specially if your answers might have changed since you answer first. https://ustaxconsultants.es/poll/poll001/


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