U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin Thursday said emergency payments of up to $1,200 for eligible taxpayers should be out the door within two weeks but will take longer if people are not signed up to get direct payments.
“This money does people no good if it shows up in four months,” he said. Every American will be getting their money “quickly,” Mnuchin added, vowing to deliver on his promise. “Quickly is a matter of weeks, not months.”.
The money is in the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act — known as the CARES Act — that was signed last Friday.
Earlier in the day, Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee released a timeline from the IRS aiming for all the payments — either direct deposit or via checks — to be out the door by the first week of May, according to a memo from the committee.
For most people, the payments will be automatically sent.
According to the committee memo, direct deposits payments will go out the week of April 13. The IRS will use direct deposit information from people who used it for their 2018 or 2019 tax returns.
During the week of May 4, the IRS will begin issuing paper checks to individuals.
The paper checks will be issued at a rate of about 5 million per week, which could take up to 20 weeks to get all the checks out.
According to the committee, “the checks will be issued in reverse ‘adjusted gross income’ order — starting with people with the lowest income first.”
In a related development,the Treasury Department, in a switch, lifted a roadblock Wednesday, clearing the way for individuals who live off of Social Security — and do not file federal income tax returns — to be eligible for the $1,200 payments being disbursed to the COVID-19 rescue legislation.
“Social Security recipients who are not typically required to file a tax return need to take no action, and will receive their payment directly to their bank account,” Mnuchin said in a statement. The Treasury Department said in the statement, that “recipients will receive these payments as a direct deposit or by paper check, just as they would normally receive their benefits.”