In a few weeks, COVID-19 relief package checks worth up to $1,400 could possibly make their way to the bank accounts of most Americans.
The House of Representatives is expected to approve the payments, which are part of the COVID-19 relief package introduced by Pres. Joe Biden, on Tuesday.
At the moment, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has yet to announce when it will start distributing the checks. However, analysts believe the payments should appear in people’s bank accounts in a couple of weeks. This is if the agency will follow a similar distribution timeline as the previous COVID-19 relief package released last year.
Last week, the president stated that the public may expect to receive their payments by the end of March. On Monday, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki mentioned that they are still ironing out the “mechanics” of the way they will distribute the payments.
The IRS will once again be the one sending out the stimulus checks, albeit now, it will do so during tax season. It is possible that this can stall or slow down this distribution. However, given the IRS’s experience from the two previous stimulus rounds can possibly help make things go hitch-free.
However, Americans should expect a change in eligibility for this round of stimulus relief. Not everyone who is eligible last year will be for this round of COVID-19 relief package checks. Legislators changed the rules after Republicans and a few Democrats argued that the money must go to people who need it.
The new rules indicated that checks of up to $1,400 will go to people with an AGI of $80,000 or less for solo filers. Meanwhile, joint filers with an AGI of $160,000 are eligible to get their checks, and they will have an additional $1,400 per dependent.
These new stipulations mean that checks would phase out sooner than in the two other rounds. Back then, the cut-off was $99,000 for individuals and $198,000 for couples without dependents.
This also means that 6.5 to 8 million Americans who were eligible in the previous rounds will not get checks.
In order to calculate the worth of checks people will get, the IRS will likely use the tax returns. Those who have already filed their 2020 returns will have their checks calculated based on this. Others will be based on the 2019 returns.
Direct deposit accounts will likely receive their payments the quickest. Meanwhile, physical checks will be sent to those who don’t. However, this will take a long while to distribute.
Last year, during the first round of COVID-19 relief package distributions, the IRS made around 160 million payments. This amounted to a total of $270 billion. In the second round, the IRS distributed 147 million payments, making up a total of $147 billion.