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Stimulus check update: This is how quickly could the IRS send another check your way – CNET

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How soon could your second stimulus check come? We lay out some possible dates, from when the bill is passed to when your money could actually arrive.

James Martin/CNET

The Nov. 3 election is mere weeks away, and pressure is mounting for negotiators to pass a new economic relief bill that incorporates a second stimulus payment. The finer points of a second round of payments, if one is approved, may differ slightly from the first stimulus check, including at least one new eligibility requirement that may yield more money for you

How much you might get and who qualifies are certainly two main pieces to the stimulus check puzzle, and here’s a third — when will it happen, if it happens at all? The exact timeline depends on if lawmakers can agree on an overall price, but once a bill is signed into law (hypothetically, of course), we can actually estimate the soonest that five different groups of people could see a check.

And for a broader view, read up on the most important topics to know about stimulus payments. This story updates often.

A stimulus check timetable for the first group of payments

When and if another stimulus check gets the green light, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said it would take about a week to mobilize the first payments. “I can get out 50 million payments really quickly. A lot of it into people’s direct accounts.”

We’ve speculated potential dates based on calendars from the House of Representatives and the Senate, and also based on a statement from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who vowed to keep her chamber in session until a deal is reached.

For reference, we include the timeline for the now-expired CARES Act. The payments don’t go out to everyone at once, so read on for which groups of people could get their payment first.

When could the second stimulus checks go out?

Date passed by Senate Date passed by House Date signed First checks sent
Original CARES Act March 25 March 26 March 27 April 15
If Senate passes If House passes If president signs First checks could be sent
Final negotiated bill Sept. 30 Oct. 1 Oct. 2 Week of Oct. 12
Oct. 9 Oct. 13 Oct. 14 Week of Oct. 19
Dec. 1 Dec. 2 Dec. 3 Week of Dec. 7
If order signed Direct deposit could start First paper checks could start First EIP cards could start
Presidential order Sept. 13 Week of Sept. 19 Week of Oct 26 Week of Nov. 16

Now playing: Watch this: Next stimulus checks: What to expect

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Who could get a stimulus check first? There’s an order

It’s likely the IRS would keep roughly the same system for sending out the second stimulus check that it used the first time, including the IRS Get My Payment tool for tracking your stimulus check and registering for direct deposit

That means the agency might also follow the same order for distributing payments, which led some to receive their checks days or even weeks sooner than others. Some are still waiting for their first checks. Here’s how it went for the checks that were sent starting April 15:

Direct deposit: Roughly 80 million people who filed 2018 or 2019 tax returns and had already provided the IRS with their direct deposit information (according to the House Committee on Ways and Means). May 13 was the cutoff to register for direct deposit.

Social Security beneficiaries: People who had direct deposit information on file with federal agencies; many still received their checks in the first week, though perhaps not the first day.

Paper checks: The IRS began to mail these about a week later to people without direct deposit data on file. 

Economic Impact Payment debit cards: Prepaid Visa cards that were sent to around 4 million people starting in mid-May.

Last group: Anyone who received their checks after June or is still waiting to receive their stimulus payment. Direct payments will continue through the end of 2020 for some individuals who were not part of the previous groups. Here’s what could be holding up the stimulus check delivery for some and how to contact the IRS to report a missing, lost or stolen check.

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Another stimulus check for up to $1,200 could find its way into your bank account this year. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

When could the IRS complete sending the checks?

While we expect the bulk of people to get their money sooner, if the first round is any indication, it could still take months for the IRS to send all the checks. Six months after the first stimulus payments went out, the federal agency is still trying to track down millions of people who may be owed money.

And even with the experience of processing roughly 160 million payments in the IRS’ back pocket, some would probably need to clear a few hurdles to receive their money. Here are common bumps that held up the first stimulus check for some.

mail-packages-usps-fedex-amazon-ups-doorstep-mailbox-letters-shipping-coronavirus-stay-at-home-2020-cnetmail-packages-usps-fedex-amazon-ups-doorstep-mailbox-letters-shipping-coronavirus-stay-at-home-2020-cnet

There’s hope that the IRS could speed up delivery of a second check, if it’s authorized.

Angela Lang/CNET

3 reasons you could potentially see a delay

We won’t know details unless, or until, a new bill passes and the IRS gears up to send another round of checks, but here are sticking points to watch for.

Changes to aid for dependents: If Congress expends or narrows the definition of a dependent in the next bill, it could require the IRS to adjust its accounting system. That may potentially slow processing your payment. Calculate how much you get if the rules change to include more people as eligible dependents.

Banking status: If your banking status changes, it could hold up receipt of your payment. Banking status disproportionately impacted Black Americans and other people of color, according to an analysis by the think tank Urban Institute. People who identify as white and whose incomes were above the poverty line were more likely to have received their first stimulus check by the end of May than people who identify as Black, Hispanic or below the poverty line, the analysis found.

Nonfilers need to take an extra step: People who earn below the threshold to be required to file federal income tax returns in 2018 or 2019 also would not get a stimulus check unless they completed an online form for the IRS. This group includes low-income families with children and a far greater number of Black people and people of color. Over 9 million people have until Oct. 15 to claim their checks.

If you’re seeking additional resources

If you’re still waiting on the first round of payments, you can track the status of your stimulus check, learn how to report your no-show check to the IRS and find possible reasons why your stimulus check still hasn’t arrived.

And here are resources about coronavirus hardship loans and unemployment insurance, what you can do if you’ve lost your job, what to know about evictions and late car payments, if you could receive two refund checks from the IRS and how to take control of your budget.

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