Some coronavirus stimulus checks may not arrive until September

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Some people counting on $1,200 stimulus checks from the government may not see the money until mid-September, according to a House Ways and Means Committee analysis.

The Internal Revenue Service will begin making about 60 million direct deposit payments in mid-April to the people who have bank account information on file with the agency, according to the analysis sent to lawmakers on Wednesday.

Those payments will take about three weeks to process. The IRS then will begin putting paper checks in the mail in early May.

The IRS will send approximately 100 million checks at a rate of 5 million per week, which could take 20 weeks, according to the committee’s document, meaning the final round of payments may not go out until September. The checks will be issued in reverse “adjusted gross income” order — starting with people with the lowest income first.

The IRS expects to create a portal later this month or in early May to let people update their direct deposit information and check on the status of their payment.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said at a White House briefing Thursday he hopes this will let more people get their money “within a couple of days” of submitting their information.

Tax returns

He’s also encouraging taxpayers to file their tax returns as soon as possible if they haven’t already, even though the deadline to submit tax returns has been delayed to July 15 from April 15, so the IRS has up-to-date direct deposit information on file.

“In this environment we don’t want people to get checks,” Mnuchin said. “We want to put money directly in their account.”

The document produced by the House committee indicates that the stimulus payments -- included in the $2.2 trillion economic rescue bill passed last week to combat the fallout of the coronavirus — could take months to circulate into the economy, potentially blunting the effect of a quick infusion of cash. Lawmakers have urged the IRS to process the payments quickly so that unemployed workers can use them to pay bills.

The law included payments of $1,200 for each adult earning as much as $75,000, or couples collectively making $150,000, plus $500 for each child under 17. Those amounts are reduced for people with higher incomes, and individuals with $99,000 in earnings (or $198,000 for a couple) get nothing, even if they have children.

The Treasury Department has said that Social Security beneficiaries who aren’t required to file a tax return don’t need to do anything to receive their payment, but the House document indicates those who aren’t required to file taxes annually might want to submit a “simple tax return” and include direct deposit information if they want to receive their payments faster.

Bloomberg News