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IRS begins second round of stimulus payments

Stock photo

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WASHINGTON — On Dec. 29, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Treasury Department began delivering a second round of Economic Impact Payments as part of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021.

The initial direct deposit payments began arriving as early as Dec. 29 for some and will continue into this week. Paper checks are scheduled to be mailed starting Dec. 30.

The IRS stated that there is no action required by eligible individuals to receive this second payment and said some Americans may see the direct deposit payments as pending or as provisional payments in their accounts.

The IRS reminded taxpayers that the payments are automatic, and said they should not contact their financial institutions or the IRS with payment timing questions.

“As with the first round of payments under the CARES Act, most recipients will receive these payments by direct deposit,” the agency stated. “For Social Security and other beneficiaries who received the first round of payments via Direct Express, they will receive this second payment the same way.”

Eligible individuals who did not receive an Economic Impact Payment this year — either the first or the second payment — will be able to claim it when they file their 2020 taxes in 2021.

“We are working swiftly to distribute this second round of payments as quickly as possible,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “This work continues throughout the holidays and into the new year as we prepare for the upcoming filing season.”

Authorized by the newly enacted COVID-relief legislation, the second round of payments, or “EIP 2,” is generally $600 for singles and $1,200 for married couples filing a joint return. In addition, those with qualifying children will also receive $600 for each qualifying child. Dependents who are 17 and older are not eligible for the child payment.

What if I have questions?

Who is eligible for the second Economic Impact Payment?

Generally, U.S. citizens and resident aliens who are not eligible to be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s income tax return are eligible for this second payment.

How do I find out if the IRS is sending me a payment?

People can check the status of both their first and second payments by using the Get My Payment tool, available in English and Spanish only on

How will the IRS know where to send my payment? What if I changed bank accounts?

The IRS will use the data already in our systems to send the new payments. Taxpayers with direct deposit information on file will receive the payment that way. For those without current direct deposit information on file, they will receive the payment as a check or debit card in the mail. For those eligible but who don’t receive the payment for any reason, it can be claimed by filing a 2020 tax return in 2021.

Will people receive a paper check or a debit card?

For those who don’t receive a direct deposit by early January, they should watch their mail for either a paper check or a debit card.

To speed delivery of the payments to reach as many people as soon as possible, the Bureau of the Fiscal Service, part of the Treasury Department, will be sending a limited number of payments out by debit card. Please note that the form of payment for the second mailed EIP may be different than for the first mailed EIP. Some people who received a paper check last time might receive a debit card this time, and some people who received a debit card last time may receive a paper check.

Information provided by IRS

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