Direct payments from the $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill are expected to start going out to Americans in mid-April, but some might not receive their checks until September, according to a memo from House Democrats obtained by The Inquirer.
The House Ways and Means Committee, based on “extensive conversations” with the IRS and the Treasury Department, expects payments to start going out through direct deposit starting the week of April 13. That is in line with comments made by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who said over the weekend that payments would start getting to taxpayers with direct deposit “within three weeks.” He subsequently improved upon that, assuring during Thursday’s White House coronavirus briefing that those payments would be made within two weeks.
Beginning the week of May 4, Democrats expect paper checks to start going out to taxpayers with no direct deposit information on file, issued at a rate of about five million a week, starting with low-income earners first.
The process of mailing checks could take up to 20 weeks, potentially pushing back some payments to September, according to committee chairman Rep. Richard Neal (D., Mass.).
“We have seen estimates that there are between 150 to 170 million taxpayers. So, there are between 90 to 110 million taxpayers who are either filers or nonfilers about whom the IRS wants information,” Neal wrote in the memo. “The filers will need to receive a paper check unless their direct deposit information can be updated in the IRS portal. The nonfilers may need to file the ‘simple tax return’ and likely include direct deposit information if they want to receive their rebates quickly.”
An IRS portal is expected to go live by the end of April or early May that will allow taxpayers to update their direct-deposit information and track the status of their check.
The IRS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Individuals who earn $75,000 or less are slated to receive $1,200, and couples making $150,000 or less will be paid $2,400. The payments decrease for those who earn more, up to $99,000 for individuals and $198,000 for couples. Families will also receive an additional $500 for each child, though the bill gives nothing for children older than 16.
The IRS announced Wednesday that Social Security recipients will not need to file a “simple tax return” to receive their rebate. The IRS is expected to give guidance soon for people who currently do not file returns.