Stimulus checks: Key dates for the next set of payments

Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin announced Tuesday that the first batch of $600 stimulus checks would be deposited immediately in Americans’ bank accounts via direct deposit.

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Paper checks, Mnuchin said, won’t be far behind.

The checks are part of a COVID-19 economic recovery bill signed into law by President Donald Trump on Sunday.

While the Internal Revenue Service has not laid out the plans for getting the checks to individuals, it is expected that the agency will use the same process it did when distributing the first round of stimulus checks.

Those checks went out in groups, depending on how and when the IRS had information on those getting the checks.

Here is a look at those groups and which one you may fall into.

First, check your bank account to see if you have received a payment. Mnuchin’s announcement of the start of the distribution of payments was confirmed by a tweet from the Internal Revenue Service.

You may already have your stimulus money.

If you do not find a payment in your account, don’t worry.

The agency established a payment schedule back in the spring when it sent out the first round of stimulus checks. It is expected to stick to that schedule for this round.

Here is what that looked like:

Direct deposit: If you filed an income tax return and used a checking or savings account to either get a refund or pay your taxes, you are likely first in line for the stimulus payment. In fact, Mnuchin said the payments were to begin Tuesday evening.

The IRS has your account information and can send you a payment by electronic transfer of the funds.

According to the House Ways and Means Committee, payments will automatically go to:

  • Those who filed 2019 federal tax returns
  • Those who registered for the first round of stimulus payments through the non-filer portal on the Internal Revenue’s IRS.gov
  • Those who receive Social Security (both retirement and disability), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Railroad Retirement Board, or Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits

Paper checks: If you have not provided the IRS with your deposit information and are eligible for a payment, you will be mailed a paper check.

Those checks are set to begin to go out on Wednesday.

According to the legislation, there is a Jan. 15 deadline for the payments to be issued. If you do not receive the money by then, you will need to file your 2020 federal income tax return and include the $600 as a credit. You will then have to wait for your return to be processed and the refund sent back to you.

“Individuals who do not receive an advance payment automatically will be able to claim a credit for their EIP amount on their 2020 federal income tax return,” according to the House Committee.

EIP Cards

If you receive government funds from an EIP card (a prepaid Visa card) you will likely be among the last to get the payment. Those are mailed out.

Social Security, SSI, Railroad Retirement and VA

For those who receive Social Security (both retirement and disability), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Railroad Retirement Board or Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits, checks will likely be distributed the same way you get those benefits — such as in a monthly check.

If you have checked your account and did not find a deposit today or in the days to come, you can go to the Internal Revenue Service website called “Get my payment” to see the status of your payment.

The website was down as of Wednesday morning for updates to handle payment requests, but is expected to be back up soon.