Washington clashes over third stimulus timeline. Here is what to know

Washington clashes over third stimulus timeline. Here is what to know


How a 3rd cost might be proposed might additionally have an effect on when it occurs.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Prime US leaders agree {that a} third stimulus verify for as a lot as $1,400 per individual — or presumably much less with a “focused” strategy — ought to come as shortly as doable. But it surely seems the White Home and Democratic lawmakers are at odds on what that timeline appears like. 

Experiences have been swirling that Congress might break up President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package deal into two components: a smaller “skinny” invoice now containing a third stimulus verify and COVID-19 vaccine distribution, and the remainder of the funding with a goal date of passing in mid-March, after negotiations. However on Thursday, the White Home press secretary spoke out towards a break up invoice, backing one unified package deal.

The brand new week could carry some readability, if the Home of Representatives returns with the framework of a brand new stimulus invoice — or two smaller ones. We present you what these potential dates might seem like, relying on whether or not a verify comes earlier or later. Then there’s the query of how shortly the IRS might get a 3rd cost out the door, and what might occur if it arrives throughout tax season 2020. This story is incessantly up to date with new data.

The soonest a 3rd stimulus verify might arrive: Some dates

To illustrate for the sake of argument that (regardless of the White Home’s assertion this week) a smaller invoice gives for a 3rd stimulus verify at breakneck pace, forward of the impeachment trial of Former President Donald Trump, which begins Feb. 9. This is not prone to occur, however it helps illustrate the time stress Congress can be beneath to behave. 

We examine that to some hypothetical dates we chosen at random that fall into the mid-March timeframe we have been listening to about. The chart beneath illustrates the potential timelines for when the following stimulus verify might be authorized and arrive, based mostly on how shortly the IRS despatched the second stimulus funds. Notice that checks for various cost teams (direct depositbodily checks and EIP playing cards) could arrive at totally different occasions. We’ll refresh these dates because the scenario modifications in Washington.

When might the following stimulus verify hypothetically arrive?

Smaller stimulus invoice Bigger COVID-19 reduction package deal
Stimulus verify passes Congress Feb. 4 March 22
Stimulus invoice signed into legislation Feb. 5 March 23
First direct deposit verify despatched Feb. 8 March 24
First paper checks despatched Feb. 15 March 31
First EIP playing cards despatched Feb. 22 April 7
Claims for lacking stimulus cash open March 22 Could 3

What is the benefit of a stimulus verify in a ‘skinny’ invoice?

Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi mentioned Jan. 21 that the Home can be prepared the week of Feb. 1 to take up President Joe Biden’s proposal, however did not say whether or not it could be massive or small. There have been recommendations that Home Democrats might first put forth a focused, “skinny” invoice on the desk for stimulus checks and coronavirus vaccine distribution, adopted by a broader stimulus package deal by mid-March.

A smaller invoice would possibly face much less opposition in an evenly divided Senate and permit the IRS to begin sending out the following checks faster. Nevertheless, stress to move these measures might make a a lot bigger package deal simpler for opponents to swallow.

Whereas Democrats rejected the thought of a standalone invoice throughout negotiations for December’s package deal, there is definitely precedent for a standalone invoice of some kind within the Home. The chamber handed the CASH Act on Dec. 28, 2020, a invoice that may have amended the December 2020 stimulus package deal signed by Trump to bump the $600 higher restrict of the second stimulus verify to $2,000 as an alternative — by changing “$600” with “$2,000” on each point out and “$1,200” (the quantity allotted to married {couples}) with “$4,000). It wasn’t taken up within the Senate earlier than the brand new time period started Jan. 3. Now, the White Home is endorsing a unified invoice.

How quickly might the IRS ship out a 3rd stimulus verify?

In beneath three weeks, the IRS and Treasury despatched greater than 100 million second stimulus checks. That was a tremendously quick turnaround with the second verify. Compared, it took the IRS 19 days from the date the March 2019 stimulus invoice handed to the day the primary verify was issued. Conversely, the Dec. 27 stimulus package deal gave the IRS simply 17 days complete, together with weekends. (In the event you did not get yours, you need to declare it as a part of tax season 2020.)

There was one notable direct deposit error on account of the IRS’ rush to get funds delivered, and individuals who did not get their cost could now must wait weeks or months for his or her second checks. However the situation means that if the protocols are in place, the IRS might theoretically ship out third stimulus checks inside days and weeks, somewhat than weeks and months.

As an fascinating information level, the IRS was in a position to course of between 5 million and seven million every week with the primary stimulus verify, in line with a authorities report from June.


The way you get your second stimulus verify might additionally affect how quickly your cost arrives.

Sarah Tew/CNET

What would occur if a 3rd verify is authorized throughout tax season?

Questions are already swirling round how the IRS and Treasury would deal with a third stimulus verify, and a few of that would very properly rely upon timing. 

To illustrate {that a} stimulus invoice was to move each chambers of Congress earlier than Feb. 12, the day the IRS begins processing the primary 2020 tax returns. Would they ship a separate verify or try to bundle them in with the Restoration Rebate Credit score for lacking cash from the primary two checks? Aside from the truth that Congress would have a really slender window to move the invoice on this hypothetical situation, the IRS would have little or no time to course of the third checks, or change their protocol to wrap the second into taxes.

Now, for instance a invoice passes in early March as a part of an overarching COVID-19 reduction invoice and the checks start transport in mid-March. That situation would nonetheless overlap with tax season by a month, earlier than the April 15 tax deadline. 

By that point, tens of hundreds of thousands of People could have already acquired their tax refunds, which might make it tough for the IRS to straighten out or redact after issuing. Issues might get advanced whether or not the IRS would try to fold a 3rd verify supply into the remaining tax cycle, or ship a 3rd verify individually.

Is there a option to get my third stimulus verify quicker?

Whereas we do not know when or if a 3rd stimulus verify will arrive, there are a number of issues you are able to do to assist pace up receipt of your verify, if it occurs. For instance, signing up for direct deposit in your 2020 tax return would put you within the precedence class for a 3rd stimulus cost. 

And in case you’ve moved lately, inform the IRS and USPS. Listed below are our different recommendations for folks to get their second checks quicker. Notice that, there might be some modifications to {qualifications} that will not apply to a doable third stimulus verify.


The primary and second stimulus checks have been nominally sorted by totally different cost teams, and one had a transparent benefit over the others.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Would the IRS set one other deadline for sending out the following stimulus funds? 

The Jan. 15 deadline levied for the second stimulus verify was written into the textual content of the invoice with out rationalization. It is not instantly clear if the invoice textual content would undertake one other cutoff sooner or later, or if that was a one-time consideration that took into consideration the IRS’ overlapping duties to course of stimulus checks and put together for Tax Season 2020. Final 12 months, the April 15 tax date was prolonged to July 15.

The 2 overlap with the second stimulus verify in that anybody who did not obtain all or a part of their second cost should declare it as a part of the IRS’ Restoration Rebate Credit score on their tax return — even when they’ve non-filer standing and are not usually required to file taxes.

May your precedence group have an effect on how shortly you would possibly get a 3rd verify?

We seen with the primary verify that the IRS appears to prepare when funds exit into sure classes of individuals based mostly on the tactic of cost — principally, cost teams. The second verify appeared to have adopted the identical de-facto precedence. 

Whereas we will not say for sure what the IRS will do that time, the principle cost teams have consisted of people that get their checks via direct deposit (the biggest group, and the quickest supply), via paper checks within the mail and thru EIP debit playing cards. The playing cards are a way the IRS has advised CNET will get funds out quicker than bodily checks, however which was additionally the final cost technique to exit in each stimulus verify rounds. It additionally requires that you simply activate a pay as you go debit card.

The opposite teams which can be loosely outlined (by us) embrace social safety beneficiaries, who acquired funds a distinct manner the primary time in the event that they’re a part of the SSI or SSDI packages, and folks with extra advanced situations, which might result in potential points or holdups receiving their cash. Folks in baby help conditions have been an instance, and so have people who find themselves incarcerated, in addition to these with extra advanced citizenship situations.

Is a 3rd stimulus verify assured?

No. Whereas it appears possible given the present discussions in Washington and Biden’s marketing campaign guarantees round serving to on a regular basis People with a direct cost, whether or not a 3rd stimulus verify occurs or not, and which type it might take, is as much as Congress. The remaining, for now, is the idea of right this moment’s public conversations in authorities — and from these discussions we type educated guesses. There’s at all times an opportunity {that a} invoice could move one chamber and never the opposite, or fail totally. For now, we watch and wait.

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