Now that President Trump has signed a $900 billion relief package authorizing a new round of direct payments, the new question for many is when they will receive the $600 checks.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said late Tuesday that direct deposits will begin tonight, and paper checks will start being mailed Wednesday.
The Internal Revenue Service will distribute the $600 checks for every eligible man, woman and child, and people can check the website IRS.gov/GetMyPayment to see the status of their payment.
When the IRS sent out more than 160 million payments totaling more than $270 billion in the first round of stimulus payments, the agency invented the proverbial wheel that will make distribution roll quickly this time, said Pete Sepp, the president of the National Taxpayers Union, a right-leaning think tank.
“The infrastructure has been set up for this distribution method and has been tested already,” he said.
Trump signed the bill, which devotes $166 billion to direct payments, on Sunday. But Sepp noted the Treasury Department and the IRS only have a four-day workweek, during the holiday season, to start gearing up for payments.
Friday, New Year’s Day, is a federal holiday, and many banks
may close down their operations too, he noted.
For that reason, Sepp thinks early next week is a more likely timetable for many people to see their payments. It could take two months for the IRS to send out most of the checks, he added.
A growing number of Senate Republicans say they support $2,000 direct checks, including Sens. Marco Rubio, David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler.
When congressional leaders announced a deal on Dec. 20, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the next day on CNBC that “people are going to see this money at the beginning of next week. It’s very fast.”
But then Trump suggested he might not sign the bill, calling for $2,000 checks instead. He ultimately put his signature on the bill Sunday night.
Most of the rules surrounding the first $1,200 checks apply to the second round of $600 checks, though one difference is that the payment for child dependents has increased to $600 from $500.
As questions on distribution timetables remained, House lawmakers passed a bill Monday to increase the size of the direct payments to $2,000. A growing number of Senate Republicans say they support $2,000 direct checks, including Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, two Georgia lawmakers running for re-election on Jan. 5.