IRS and Treasury Begin Sending Stimulus Checks to Millions of Americans

IRS and Treasury Begin Sending Stimulus Checks to Millions of Americans
Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin speaks during the Senate's Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs hearing examining the quarterly CARES Act report to Congress, in Washington, on Sept. 24, 2020. (Toni L. Sandys/Pool via Reuters)
Tom Ozimek

Americans can expect to start receiving a second round of stimulus checks, with some coming as early as Tuesday night, according to the Treasury Department.

Known officially as economic impact payments (EIP), the checks are part of the implementation of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021, the pandemic relief bill that President Donald Trump signed on Sunday and that includes a second round of direct payments of up to $600 per person.

"These payments may begin to arrive in some accounts by direct deposit as early as tonight and will continue into next week," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin wrote in a tweet Tuesday afternoon.
Paper checks will begin to be mailed on December 30, the Treasury Department said in a statement.

"This second round of payments will provide critical economic support to those who, through no fault of their own, have been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic," the department stated.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) said in a statement that eligible individuals do not need to take any action to receive this second payment, and the agency will use the direct deposit information it has on file to make the payment.

"Anyone who received the first round of payments earlier this year but doesn’t receive a payment via direct deposit will generally receive a check or, in some instances, a debit card," the IRS said. For eligible individuals in this category, the payments will conclude in January.

The IRS noted that some people "may see the direct deposit payments as pending or as provisional payments in their accounts before the official payment date of January 4, 2021."

Eligible recipients will receive a payment of up to $600 for individuals or $1200 for married couples and up to $600 for each qualifying child. Dependents who are 17 and older do not qualify for the child payment.

Those with an adjusted gross income for 2019 up to $75,000 for individuals and up to $150,000 for married couples filing joint returns and surviving spouses, will receive the full amount of the second payment. The payment amount is reduced for people with an income above those amounts, according to the IRS.

“We are working swiftly to distribute this second round of payments as quickly as possible," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig, in a statement. "This work continues throughout the holidays and into the new year as we prepare for the upcoming filing season."

President Donald Trump said last week he wanted to see Americans get paid $2,000 instead of $600 in stimulus payments.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday said the upper chamber will address Trump’s concerns about higher stimulus payments later this week. McConnell's remarks came after he blocked unanimous consent on the higher stimulus check amount.