IRS Ready to Send Third Stimulus Check if Bill Passes

by Christy Bieber | Updated July 25, 2021 - First published on Jan. 25, 2021

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A closeup view of a coronavirus stimulus check.

Image source: Getty Images

Your coronavirus stimulus check will be delivered in a timely fashion once lawmakers authorize a payment.

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President Joe Biden has big plans to provide Americans with more coronavirus stimulus money. Specifically, the country's new chief executive is urging Congress to pass a COVID-19 bill that includes $1,400 checks for eligible Americans.

If the Biden administration ushers a bill through Congress that provides for these payments, the IRS will once again be in charge of distributing the COVID-19 money -- just as it has sent out the first two payments via direct deposit, mailed check, or mailed debit card.

Of course, it takes time for the IRS to process all of the information, determine who is entitled to a payment, and put the money into bank accounts or send checks via mail. As a result, you may be concerned that the agency won't get the money out quickly during tax season. The good news is that IRS leaders have made clear this won't be an issue.

The IRS is prepared to swiftly deliver a third stimulus check

According to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, the agency is prepared and ready to immediately deliver another stimulus check as soon as one is signed into law.

"The IRS stands ready to serve and assist the American people," Rettig said. He also indicated that the agency sent out $142 billion of stimulus money to 147 million individuals and families within just two days of the passage of the December stimulus package. This was a much faster distribution of funds than when the first payment was issued.

With tax filing season opening on Feb. 12, the IRS will, however, have to balance stimulus fund distribution with tax return processing. It didn't contend with this challenge in December and early January when distributing the second payment, since tax filing season hadn't opened yet.

The good news is that the agency is current on processing all of the unopened forms that had piled up during the early phases of the pandemic.

“We have millions of tax returns still in process, but they all are in process, what we’ve received,” Rettig said. This is a sharp turnaround from early July, when as many as 23.4 million pieces of correspondence were pending due to coronavirus-related closures and a lengthy ramp-up process for the first coronavirus stimulus check.

With no backlog of documents to review and with infrastructure in place from the first two payments, the agency should be able to deliver the third stimulus payment very quickly. Of course, lawmakers have to pass a bill authorizing another stimulus check first -- and that may not be as easy as it seems -- even with Democrats in full control of the Senate and the Biden administration claiming stimulus legislation as its top priority.

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