Second stimulus check for $600 or $2,000? Either way, the payment would come in waves

The IRS will be tasked with sending the stimulus checks by Jan. 15 if the stimulus bill passes its final hurdle: President Trump.

Never has the second stimulus check been closer to both reality and failure. What happens next — and where you fall in line to receive another direct payment, if it happens — could make an enormous impact on whether your second stimulus check comes in January, weeks or months later, or not at all.

In a nutshell, President Donald Trump, who’s now in Florida for Christmas, implied this week that he may not sign the bill containing a second stimulus check and $900 billion in coronavirus relief aid — unless the size of the maximum direct payment goes from $600 to $2,000. 

Chaos has ensued. While on one hand, $2,000 would undoubtedly bring more relief to tens of millions of households, it also throws the viability of the entire bill into question near its very final hours.

Either way, we understand enough about the payment process to know that if any bill is signed into law, the IRS will start to send out the second stimulus check according to different payment groups, which we’ll explain below. (You can also calculate your $600-max stimulus check total.) This story is regularly updated as new information emerges.


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