If you’re looking forward to your second stimulus check, you’ll likely receive it faster than you did the first. The IRS has already distributed millions of $600 payments through direct deposits, checks, or prepaid EIP cards.
The federal government is working around the clock to ensure qualifying taxpayers get their money before January 15, which is the last date to issue checks. Considering that the $900 billion relief package was signed on December 29, that gives the IRS only 17 days to distributed more than 100 million stimulus checks.
When you receive your second check depends on which payment group you fall into and if the IRS will process your payment before the deadline. Otherwise, you might be waiting for a long time.
CNET explains what the January 15 cutoff means for you, what to expect if your check doesn’t arrive, and how to track your payment.
The IRS Is Already Distributing Direct Deposits
According to the IRS, it issued the first direct deposits on December 29. Qualifying recipients don’t have to do anything to get their second stimulus if their information is up-to-date on the IRS database.
The IRS warned that several 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.”
Currently, you can’t file a new bank account to receive your direct deposit on the IRS website, though this could change in the following days.
This chart outlines the payment plan for the second series of stimulus payments, as well as an estimate if lawmakers pass a third relief bill when President-elect Joe Biden takes office in January.
Physical Checks And EIP Cards Are On Their Way
If you didn’t file your bank account with the IRS, expect to find a physical check or EIP card in your mailbox. The IRS started processing checks and prepaid cards on December 30, and it remains to be seen whether it will be able to meet the January 15 deadline.
There’s a chance that some payments won’t make the cutoff. If you expect a paper check or EIP card, here’s how to track your money.
How To Track The Status Of Physical Checks And EIP Cards
The IRS is working on updating its Get My Payment portal so recipients can check the status of both rounds of stimulus checks. When you receive your check or card, it will come in a white envelope featuring the official US Treasury Department emblem.
What’s The Deal With January 15?
Lawmakers set January 15 as the last date to process stimulus checks in the latest relief bill. After that, the IRS and Treasury Department will cease. If your payment doesn’t arrive before mid-January, you can claim the amount on your 2021 taxes using the Recovery Rebate Credit. You can also claim this benefit if you never received your first check, either.
The cutoff will likely affect those receiving physical checks or prepaid cards more, as these forms of payment take longer to process. Additionally, restricting a second stimulus payment to this year’s tax returns will probably slow the process for most taxpayers. That’s because some may file as soon as this month, while others will wait until the April 15 deadline (or later if they get an extension).
Because lawmakers only gave the IRS until January 15 to distribute stimulus checks, those who get their second payment as a check or card can expect to receive their money between now and early January, the IRS stated.
If your payment doesn’t arrive in time, your only option is to claim the missing funds on your 2021 tax return. However, this could also cause a holdup since the timing depends on variables such as:
- The date you file this year’s taxes (April 15 is the deadline unless you request an extension).
- The length of time the IRS takes to issue your tax return, which could potentially contain your second direct payment.
- Other factors that could impede the process and take the IRS longer to send your check.
For now, this is all the details about the second round of stimulus checks available. If your information is up-to-date on the IRS website, you should receive a direct payment within the upcoming weeks. If not, continue monitoring the status of your check through the IRS website.
- Colby, Clifford. “When Will Your Second Stimulus Check Arrive, and Why Does the Jan. 15 Cutoff Matter?” CNET, CNET, 3 Jan. 2021, www.cnet.com/personal-finance/when-will-your-second-stimulus-check-arrive-and-why-does-the-jan-15-cutoff-matter/.