Now that President Donald Trump has signed off on the $900 billion coronavirus relief bill, many Americans can expect to receive a second stimulus check in the coming weeks, a welcome development for households across the country that could not afford to celebrate this holiday season.
As of last week, direct deposits from the IRS were expected to hit bank accounts before Dec. 31, with paper checks and debit cards sent out to all eligible households by Jan. 15. But with the president's delay in signing the bill, the payments may take slightly longer to arrive.
That said, it is possible that direct deposits could still start being deposited under the same timeline, "as soon as this week," according to a spokesman for Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., since the Treasury Department was already preparing to make the payments under the assumption that the bill would be signed last week.
Treasury did not immediately return a request for comment, but an official told CNBC that the timeline is expected to be the same.
Most households are expected to receive the payment more quickly than they received the first stimulus check, because the IRS now has most eligible people's bank account information or home address on file.
Those with their direct deposit information on file with the IRS are first in line to receive a payment. If the agency does not have your direct deposit information, it will mail you a paper check or send a pre-paid debit card to the address it has on file for you. This will take longer, though payments are expected to begin in the next few weeks.
If you receive the incorrect amount, or are one of the as many as 9 million people still waiting for the first check, then you can claim a Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2020 tax return.
This time around, the checks will be worth $600 for individuals and each dependent under 17 claimed for tax year 2019 (though the House is expected to vote on a bill to bring the payment to $2,000 for eligible recipients). Taxpayers who earned under $75,000 and married couples who earned under $150,000 in 2019 will be eligible for the full amount.
Above that income level, the checks decrease in value, phasing out completely at $87,000 for individuals and $174,000 for couples.
Here are some other useful links about the stimulus checks: