A lifeline could soon be on the way to help every American weather the economic crisis spurred by the coronavirus outbreak.
The U.S. Senate on Wednesday passed a bill that authorizes the Treasury Department to make direct payments to every American as part of a historic $2 trillion stimulus package that also includes money to help the airlines, hospitals and other industries.
That still awaits a Friday vote in the House of Representatives before it goes onto the president’s desk. But here’s what you can expect before those payments come through.
The bill, HR 748, sets three tiers for payments based on each person’s income. Individual filers with an adjusted gross income of less than $75,000 will receive $1,200. Heads of households making less than $112,500 also will receive $1,200. Joint filers making less than a combined $150,000 will receive $2,400.
On top of that, the bill includes an additional $500 payment for each child under age 16 in a household.
Those payments will be reduced for 5 cents on each dollar a filer makes over the above thresholds until the payment reaches $0.
How will that be determined?
That will be based on 2019 tax returns for those who have filed them. If you haven’t filed your 2019 taxes, the government will use information on file from your 2018 return, according to The New York Times.
When will the checks arrive?
The bill sets no timetable for when those payments must be made, but Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC on Thursday morning that he intends for those checks to be deposited by mid-April. That’s slightly later than Mnuchin proposed in a memo last week, according to the Associated Press.
Mnuchin said those payments will likely be made through direct deposit if the IRS has the tax filer’s bank account information on file. If the IRS doesn’t have your bank account information, the checks will likely come through the mail, which would take longer to receive them, according to Business Insider.
A letter will arrive in the mail within a few weeks of the disbursements confirming how the payment was made. Anyone who didn’t receive a payment should contact the IRS after receiving the notice.
How many payments?
Just one. Future legislation, though, could authorize additional payments, according to The New York Times. Mnuchin had proposed last week making multiple payments, but that will require an additional act of Congress.