$600 Stimulus Checks are on the Way; Could There Be More?

Direct payments of $2,000 have received bipartisan support, but there’s been a roadblock.

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After what initially seemed like an effort to impede the Congressional stimulus package, President Trump signed off on the latest relief bill this week.

In March, Congress passed a $2 trillion coronavirus relief deal to help Americans impacted by the pandemic. The newest effort by Congressional leaders is a $908 billion stimulus package, with direct payments of $600 going to Americans. The first stimulus package sent $1,200 to most Americans.

The second round of stimulus checks have already been sent to some Americans, and the rest are on their way. According to Steven Mnuchin, Treasury Secretary, some checks arrived in bank accounts Tuesday evening for Americans who used direct deposit for their 2019 tax refunds. The remaining checks will continue being sent through next week.

The Internal Revenue Service issued a statement saying, “Some Americans may see the direct deposit payments as pending or as provisional payments in their accounts before the official payment date of Jan. 4, 2021.”

Americans who have incorrect or invalid information since their last IRS filing, such as a new bank account, may see a delay in getting their check. Americans who don’t have a direct deposit with the IRS will have checks mailed to them or have a debit card issued. Those payments will be sent to eligible Americans beginning on Wednesday and will continue into January.

Eligible recipients will be able to check the status of their payments on the IRS website through its “Get My Payment” tool.

Payments are calculated by using the adjusted gross income reported on a taxpayer’s 2019 tax return. Individual taxpayers who earned less than $75,000 in 2019 and those who were married filing jointly and earned less than $150,000 in 2019 are likely to get the full payments allotted to them, including $600 per individual, or $1,200 per couple. Dependents are also eligible to receive $600. A family of two eligible adults and two dependents could receive up to $2,400.

If an individual or couple made more than the $75,000 or $150,000 cutoffs, they might still be eligible to receive a check, albeit at a reduced amount. However, individuals who earned $87,000 or more and couples earning $174,000 or more in 2019 won’t be eligible to receive a check.

While the $600 direct payment amounts are set in stone, there’s a small chance Americans might receive more at a later date. A debate is ongoing over increasing the amount to $2,000 in direct payments. While President Trump has advocated for the increase and the House voted to boost payments, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has blocked attempts to increase the direct payments. There has recently been bipartisan support for the $2,000 payments.

While it remains to be seen what the final decision will be, should a $2,000 relief be passed, the IRS will send out an additional $1,400 to qualified Americans soon.

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