Update on IRS/TurboTax stimulus check glitch


The IRS states that many Americans will be receiving their stimulus check in the form of a debit card that will be shipped out in the mail.

This will reportedly expedite the process for the payments to be received.

“To speed delivery of the payments to reach as many people as soon as possible the Treasury’s Bureau of Fiscal Service is sending payments out by prepaid debit card,” according to the IRS.

Millions of payments have already gone out and more should co to us to go out this month.

“These EIP Cards follow the millions of payments already made by direct deposit and the ongoing mailing of paper checks that are delivering the second round of Economic Impact Payments as rapidly as possible,” the IRS said.

The checks are also getting sent out in envelopes that look a little bit different.

So be sure to look out for these envelopesI’ve provided a sample from the IRS so you’ll know what to expect.


If you filed your 2019 taxes with TurboTax, there is a good chance that your stimulus payment may have been delayed due to an IRS error.

The good news is that this error has been fixed and payments may start going out today to a lot of people who were affected by this error.

Some of these people noticed that their stimulus payments had been deposited into bank accounts that they did not recognize.

These bank accounts were “pass-through” accounts from previous years that customers no longer had access to and the IRS had erroneously deposited the payments into.

The IRS claimed that these mistakes occurred because of the speed that they were required to send out all of the stimulus checks.

You would hope for fewer errors given how much time they had to prepare for this moment but anytime you’re dealing with technology there is always room for something to go wrong so I will cut them some slack.

Now it appears that the issue has been fixed and the IRS is rerouting millions of payments to the correct bank accounts.

This error applies to those people who saw the infamous error message:

 “Payment Status #2 – Not Available.”

“We have been working tirelessly with the Treasury and IRS to get stimulus payments to our customers,” said TurboTax.

“We know how important these funds are for so many Americans, and we regret that an IRS error caused a delay.”

So if you filed with TurboTax and have not received your stimulus payment you may want to check your status again or simply just wait a few days to see if it comes in pretty quickly.




If you recently checked the status of your stimulus check with the IRS Get My Payment Tool and received the message “Payment Status #2 – Not Available,” you will NOT receive a second stimulus check automatically.

Instead, you will have to wait until you file your 2020 taxes to receive the payment.

“The IRS advises people that if they don’t receive their Economic Impact Payment, they should file their 2020 tax return electronically and claim the Recovery Rebate Credit on their tax return to get their payment and any refund as quickly as possible,” notes the IRS.

The IRS still has not clarified exactly why this message is popping up for certain people, but it does seem to be very common for people who filed their 2019 taxes through H&R Block and TurboTax.




When the first stimulus checks started going out last spring, there were a lot of glitches and wrinkles that needed to be smoothed out.

Some of the issues included stimulus checks getting sent to the wrong accounts and in some cases even to deceased individuals.

But many people believed that the process would be a lot smoother the second go round because the IRS had the privilege of working things out during the first run.

Unfortunately, we are starting to see complaints come in about a wide variety of issues.One of the biggest complaints I’ve seen is that those who received direct deposit last time are being told that they will have a check or debit card mailed to them this round.

As we know from the last go round, direct deposit was a much quicker route to receive the stimulus funds and so it could be a matter of months if the wrong payment method is used.

Another problem is that some are being told that they need to wait to file their 2020 federal income tax returns before their issues can be resolved. I’m not sure exactly what is causing that problem but I will update when I find out.

Others are complaining that the wrong bank accounts are now displaying for the second round of checks (there seems to be a link with H&R Block and this problem).

So just be warned that if things went smoothly the first time, you might encounter some issues the second round.If you are worried about your payment or just want to inquire about the status of it, you can always check it here.



You can now check the status of your second stimulus check.

To check your status simply go to this IRS website.

Then click on “get my payment.”

You’ll then need to verify that you are properly using the IRS/government website by hitting the “ok” button.

Use of this system constitutes consent to monitoring, interception, recording, reading, copying or capturing by authorized personnel of all activities. There is no right to privacy in this system. Unauthorized use of this system is prohibited and subject to criminal and civil penalties, including all penalties applicable to willful unauthorized access (UNAX) or inspection of taxpayer records (under 18 U.S.C. 1030 and 26 U.S.C. 7213A and 26 U.S.C. 7431).

Once you get passed that screen, you will need to input your Social Security number, Date of birth, and address. Then just hit continue and you should be able to view your payment information for the first check and for the second check.

Some people can already see the transaction for the second check but many others are still not seeing anything just yet.


5/9/20 Update:

The IRS just announced a firm deadline for signing up for direct deposit. If you are currently awaiting a payment for a stimulus check and have not signed up for direct deposit, you only have a couple of more days to do so.

The IRS is allowing you to sign up for direct deposit until noon on Wednesday, May 13. I’m not sure what time zone they are using but I would assume they are using Eastern Standard Time (EST).

In order to sign up simply visit the Get My Payment site and provide all of your information such as your bank account number.

“We’re working hard to get more payments quickly to taxpayers,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “We want people to visit Get My Payment before the noon Wednesday deadline so they can provide their direct deposit information. Time is running out for a chance to get these payments several weeks earlier through direct deposit.”


4/24/20 Original Article:

Many people still have not received their “Economic Impact Payment” aka stimulus funds.

Luckily, after a super rough start, the website for signing up for direct deposit and for checking your payment status seems to be working for many more people now. So if you have not had a chance to sign up for direct deposit, I suggest that you look into doing that now.

If you get the infamous “payment status not available” message, then consider trying again every morning and evening since it updates every day.

You should know that the site is scheduled to undergo maintenance over the next couple of days at night so that could also slow things down.

Be sure to have your adjusted gross income total from your last filing year along with how much you received or how much you owed. You will also need your bank account routing number and account number.

But if for some reason you have chosen not to sign up for direct deposit or you simply are not able to, below are the (week ending) dates that you can expect for the IRS to send out a paper check in the mail. The dates are based on your annual gross adjusted income that was reported to the IRS and they plan to send around 5 million checks out each week.

  • Under $10,000: April 24
  • $10,001 – $20,000: May 1
  • $20,001 – $30,000: May 8
  • $30,001 – $40,000: May 15
  • $40,001 – $50,000: May 22
  • $50,001 – $60,000: May 29
  • $60,001 – $70,000: June 5
  • $70,001 – $80,000: June 12
  • $80,001 – $90,000: June 19
  • $90,001 – $100,000: June 26
  • $100,001 – $110,000: July 3
  • $110,001 – $120,000: July 10
  • $120,001 – $130,000: July 17
  • $130,001- $140,000: July 24
  • $140,001 – $150,000: July 31
  • $150,001 – $160,000: August 7
  • $160,001 – $170,000: August 14
  • $170,001 – $180,000: August 21
  • $180,001 – $190,000: August 28
  • $190,001 – $198,000: September 4
  • All Remaining checks: September 11

These are scheduled dates and could be subject to change.

Because they are issuing out paper checks based on income brackets, I would assume that the direct deposits would be sent out on the same basis. However, I am not sure about that.

It’s also worth mentioning that they are now discussing more stimulus checks that could come out on a continuing basis. For example, there are discussions about sending out $2,000 a month for as long as this coronavirus crisis lasts.

There are also proposed bills that could completely rework the payment system and allow for a more efficient process of distributing stimulus funds in the future. We will see if any of those actually come to be though.


Second stimulus payment update; President Trump: “I think there will be a second payment”

As we are getting close to the Senate beginning negotiations for another stimulus package, we are hearing more details about a potential second round of stimulus checks. 

One of the most encouraging signals is now coming from President Trump. When he was asked about a second round of stimulus checks by reporters during a visit to a factory in Michigan, he stated:

“I think there will be a second payment to help Americans move on. We will give them money towards the end of the outbreak. Right now we are focusing on reopening the country.”

This is very encouraging considering that one of the last times that he was asked about another round of checks, he sort of punted and instead reiterated his interest for payroll tax cuts.

This statement comes at a time when Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin stated there is a “strong likelihood” that another COVID-19 relief bill will be needed while emphasizing patience for the process. 

“We are going to step back for a few weeks and think clearly how we need to spend more money and if we need to do that. We’re going to carefully review the situation and I think that there is a strong likelihood we will need another bill, we just have $3 trillion we’re pumping into the economy,” said Mnuchin.

So it’s really starting to sound like a second payment is going to happen but that it could be a bit delayed.

The soonest I could see a second round coming out would be toward the beginning of July based on how long it took for prior payments to come out.

But based on some of the language from people like the president it sounds like they may be targeting a timeframe closer to the end of the outbreak. When exactly the “end of the outbreak” will be is anybody’s guess but I take it to mean that this could extend the timeline way out into the fall or perhaps even beyond.

That’s not a stretch considering that many Americans won’t even receive their first payments until August or September.



Original post 5/15/20

Despite surveys clearly showing that Americans will need more support from the government over the next few months, there’s been a lot of back-and-forth over whether or not the government will be willing to send out another round of stimulus checks.

From the get go, it’s been pretty clear that another package containing a second round of direct payments would pass the House of Representatives which is controlled by Democrats.

Those Democrats are set to vote on the $3 trillion stimulus package today and we should know something very soon although it won’t really come as a surprise if and when it is approved. The record-setting package not only contains a provision for more stimulus checks but also for some of the following:

  • Extending the $600 per week unemployment benefits in CARES 2 through January
  • Nearly $1 trillion in aid to state and local governments
  • Hazard pay for some essential workers
  • Expanding coronavirus testing, contract tracing and treatment
  • Enhancing tax credits for employers to keep workers on their payroll
  • Providing full COBRA subsidies for those who lost their employer-provided health care coverage
  • Additional money for the U.S. Postal Service
  • $175 billion in support to help renters and homeowners make monthly rent, mortgage and utility payments.

Getting that package passed through the Senate and approved by the White House a.k.a. the president is a different matter.

Over one month ago, we heard Trump quoted as saying that they are seriously considering another round of direct payments. That made a lot of people optimistic that the second round could be on the way in the near future.

But then only a couple of weeks after that quote, President Trump was asked again if he was in favor of a second round of stimulus checks.

Instead of reiterating that he is considering another round of checks, he kind of punted on the issue and instead talked about how he was in favor of payroll tax cuts which have been a major point of consideration for the GOP.

That statement, along with other statements from GOP leaders, really brought down the optimism for another round of stimulus checks.

However, according to a new anonymous source that spoke to CNBC yesterday, it looks like the White House will likely support another round of stimulus checks.

The White House did not explicitly state this support in an official statement but they did release the following:

“As President Trump has said, we are going to ensure that we take care of all Americans so that we emerge from this challenge healthy, stronger, and with economic prosperity, which is why the White House is focused on pro-growth, middle class tax and regulatory relief.”

So that official statement is very vague and you can’t read too much into it but if the source from CNBC is legitimate, then I think it is highly likely that the president is potentially on board with another round of checks.

His support may not be everything but it could help persuade some Republicans in the Senate to get on board which may be necessary for this bill to pass.

I think it’s pretty clear that as the HEROS Act is currently drafted, it’s not going to pass the Senate. At least one member of the Republican-controlled Senate has described the bill as dead on arrival. So things are not exactly looking very promising.

But as for a second round of payments, it’s starting to look like support for the second round of checks will be stronger than initially expected.

One of the lingering questions though is if the GOP decides to get on board with more checks, will this new criteria for stimulus checks be passed or will the GOP and/or White House insist that the same criteria used for the first round of funding be used?

I think Democrats knew that the plans for payments of something like $2,000 for six months or longer were simply too extreme to be considered by the GOP. But by offering a more modest amount and by tweaking with the eligibility, they probably felt like these measures stood a better chance of getting approved.

The bulk of the eligibility requirements are still the same. The new round allows for the same payments of $1,200 for individuals or $2,400 for married couples who filed jointly.

But it would also add $1,200 per dependent instead of the $500 in the first package.

In addition, there are several other key differences between the bills that expand eligibility to more dependents and also prevent people being excluded such as those who owe child support.

Some of those new eligibility additions might be problematic for some in the GOP party. 


More reasons why more stimulus checks may not happen

One of the biggest disputes between Republicans and Democrats is: how exactly should people receive aid in order to get the economy back up and running?

Democrats are proposing to issue out another round of $1,200 stimulus checks. The second round of checks will have increased eligibility allowing families to receive up to $6,000 and also increase eligibility for certain types of dependents.

Republicans on the other hand prefer to stimulate the economy by incentivizing people to get back to work and to receive more pay for work. Their goals could conflict with another round of stimulus checks and here are some of the hotly debated issues that are taking place around that conflict.

Payroll tax cut

One of the most talked about proposals by Republicans is the payroll tax cut.

Employers are forced to pay certain types of payroll taxes and this cut would remove those or perhaps just defer them.

Either way, it would presumably free up funds that would make it easier for employers to rehire employees and even to offer them higher wages since taxes are not being taken out of their paychecks.

Some Republicans remark that this is a much more efficient process with more guaranteed results than sending out another round of stimulus checks.

Democrats, on the other hand, believe that this will put money back into the pockets of huge corporations and not working Americans.

Senator Ron Wyden, the senior Democrat on the Finance Committee, called Trump’s payroll tax proposal a “huge mistake” that would “amount to hundreds of billions of dollars in tax cuts for big corporations.”

Liability protection

Liability protection is another hot issue for Republicans.

They want the businesses protected from lawsuits relating to coronavirus health issues. With these type of protections in place, businesses would be more willing to bring on employees without worrying about lawsuits in the future.

More people working would mean less need for stimulus checks.

But Democrats are worried that this will put the health of millions of workers at risk.

“Fear of lawsuits makes corporations behave better, and we have a situation now where you have thousands of workers who are getting sick because their employer hasn’t protected them. That’s what we see in the meat industry,” David Michaels, an epidemiologist and a former director of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration appointed by former President Barack Obama, stated. 

Unemployment benefits

Republicans are also not huge on extending unemployment benefits. One of the arguments is that the extension of unemployment benefits has removed an incentive for many people to get back to work. 

I’ve seen reports of people not super interested in getting back to work right away because they are receiving more in unemployment benefits than they did while working.

I’m not sure what percentage of the unemployed work force this makes up but it’s definitely something to be considered and that needs to be addressed.

If unemployment benefits are not extended it would seem like stimulus checks would be more needed and perhaps more likely to go out.

But declining to extend unemployment benefits could be indicative of a more widespread philosophy in Congress to not send out additional aid, since it presumably would not incentivize people to get back to work. 

A new surprising statistic

One surprising number that just recently came out could be indicative of where Congress is headed.

According to recent estimates from researchers at the Federal Reserve, more than 95% of working American families have sufficient funds to pay off their usual expenses for six months.

By putting together savings, stimulus payments, and the expanded unemployment benefits, it seems that the vast majority of working Americans will be “okay” for the next six months (but not without millions still struggling to get there, I’m sure).

So that statistic speaks for working Americans but it could be a different story for those who are not working or who receive assistance from the government.

There have been other studies that show that most Americans will be in need of additional stimulus funds in the next three months so it seems like there is conflicting data on the need for more stimulus checks right now.

Currently, we are going to have to wait until June for the Senate to resume serious consideration of the next round of stimulus checks. 

Democrats have not been thrilled with the speed that Republicans are moving with the speaker Nancy Pelosi stating:

“It’s always interesting to me to see how much patience some people have with the pain and suffering of other people. Let’s take a pause? Do you think this virus is taking a pause? Do you think that the rent takes a pause?”

But we will see how the negotiations proceed in the next couple of weeks. It’s definitely going to be interesting. 


No second stimulus check debates until June

If you were hoping for a second stimulus track to be hitting your account in the next few weeks, you may be a little bit disappointed.

That’s because the Senate is no hurry to pass another round of stimulus funding. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stated there is no “urgency” to act and Senate Republicans are not planning to vote on any new relief until June. 

As the Senate returns to vote and debates resume, here are some of the key issues that you want to keep tabs on.

Second round of stimulus checks

The first question is whether or not a second round of checks will be even be agreed to.

Since Democrats decided to propose a much more modest plan of only one second round of checks (versus an ongoing monthly payment system) I think the odds are much better that it will be agreed to.

If they do reach an agreement, then the next question to ask is will the modifications to eligibility be accepted?

There are several changes in eligibility that could make many more Americans eligible for checks the second round.

One of the biggest changes is increasing the amount for dependents from $500 to $1,200.

Other changes include things like allowing those who owe child support to receive funds and also providing funds to those who do not currently have a Social Security number. It seems to me that the GOP will not be on board with these new changes as some have already voiced their disagreement. 

Other proposed changes

Other things to look out for in the new bill include:

  • Extending the $600 per week unemployment benefits in CARES 2 through January
  • Nearly $1 trillion in aid to state and local governments
  • Hazard pay for some essential workers
  • Expanding coronavirus testing, contract tracing and treatment
  • Enhancing tax credits for employers to keep workers on their payroll
  • Providing full COBRA subsidies for those who lost their employer-provided health care coverage
  • $175 billion in support to help renters and homeowners make monthly rent, mortgage and utility payments.

The $1 trillion in aid to state and local governments is definitely going to be one of the hottest debated provisions in this bill. After all, it’s about 1/3 of the total amount proposed.

According to RollCall, it’s $375 billion split equally between municipalities and counties, $20 billion for territories, and $20 billion for tribes. There’s also more for DC and when you factor in funds for Medicaid, education, housing and highways, the total tops $1 trillion.

The major opposition to this comes from GOP members who believe that states and cities that made poor fiscal decisions in the past would essentially be “bailed” out in this instance. 

Student loan benefits

Another one of the contested issues may be the changes with student loan benefits.

Lawmakers have proposed to extend the suspension of payments until September 2021 which I think could be something that the GOP gets on board with.

But they also want to forgive $10,000 worth of student loans for certain individuals like those who currently are distressed. I think the GOP is going to take issue with those loan forgiveness requests and I would be surprised to see them pass.


Additional aid to the US Postal Service will also be a hotly contested issue as the president has made clear that he is not interested in signing any bills that provide aid to the USPS. 

The financial difficulties faced by USPS have been going on for sometime and there are some extremely political issues behind a lot of those issues. But President Trump also has not been a fan of Amazon and their deal with the USPS. For all of those reasons, I would not expect funds to be given to the USPS in a package approved by the Senate.

Final word

The GOP is obviously in no hurry to resume debates and votes regarding a second round of potential stimulus checks. For that reason, and for all of the opposition that has been expressed in the past few weeks, I could see these debates getting stretched out much further than they did for the first round of checks.

I would not count on another round of checks happening at this point but there is still reason to be optimistic based on some support coming out of the White House and the need that so many Americans have.


IRS to issue stimulus payments on prepaid debit card

Since mid-April, approximately 140 million Americans have received direct payments from the IRS totaling around $239 billion.

Most of these payments were sent out via direct deposit and landed in individuals’ bank accounts that were on file but some also have been sent out via paper check.

But there are still about 10 million Americans who qualify for direct payments that have not received them. 

Well, about 40% of these people will receive their payments very soon via Visa debit cards that will be issued by MetaBank.

Eligible individuals

Basically, the individuals who will receive these cards are those without bank information on file and who processed their tax returns with certain organizations.

“EIP Cards are being distributed to qualified individuals without bank information on file with the IRS, and whose tax return was processed by either the Andover or Austin IRS Service Center,” the Treasury statement said.

The debit cards will be sent from Money Network Cardholder Services, and will come with instructions on how to activate the card. The debit cards can be used to withdraw cash from an ATM, transfer funds over to a bank account, or make purchases just like any other card with the Visa logo on it.

Those who receive the debit card will be able to check their balance and obtain online access to their transaction history at EIPCard.com.

A more efficient solution for many Americans

I have to give props to the IRS when they are due (which can be really tough sometimes).

But in this case, many people who do not have bank accounts or “the under-banked” as they are often called are also some of the people in the most financial need. So creating a mechanism allowing them to receive their funds and use them efficiently is a good move.

Some establishments have offered to allow those individuals to cash stimulus checks for free but now they will also have the ability to use ATMs, make account transfers, and also keep tabs on their transaction history.

Perhaps it will convince many of those people to eventually open up bank accounts in the future?

A new way of sending funds to Americans in the future?

Meanwhile, this could potentially be a new route to receive funds from the government in the future.

Some lawmakers have proposed that the federal government should set up federal accounts for everybody and use those accounts as a way to get them funds in times of need.

I like the idea of every American having an account that can have funds directly injected into it for various purposes but it may not be necessary (for now) given that after a bumpy start, it looks like the direct deposit feature from the IRS was mostly figured out.

But there are a lot of people who could probably benefit more from receiving a pre-loaded debit card rather than a check.

This is just my pure speculation, but I think being forced to cash that check in one transaction carries with it psychological impulses to spend more than receiving a debit card.

Although using plastic cards does make people spend slightly more in the long term, I think walking out of a business establishment with $1,200+ in cash in your hands has sort of a “jackpot” feeling for some people that could encourage them to spend it quicker.

Either way, it’s good to see the IRS doing something to make receiving and using stimulus funds more efficient.

I wonder if they will consider allowing people to sign up for this option if a second round of stimulus checks is approved?

If these debit cards can be processed quicker than paper checks, this option could help millions of people get the aid they need much quicker.



HEROES stimulus package student loan forgiveness benefits

Many Americans are eagerly awaiting news regarding the potential second round of stimulus checks that is contained in the new Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES Act). 

But this proposed $3 trillion stimulus package could contain a lot more aid than simply issuing out another round of direct payments from the IRS.

One of the areas that individuals will be able to benefit in is student loan repayments.

There are several provisions in the bill that could help free up cash for those currently facing costly student loan bills.

Payment suspension

The CARES Act suspended all payments due on certain federal loans until September 30, 2020, such as non-defaulted Direct Loans and FFEL loans currently owned by the Department.

In fact, auto debit payments were suspended beginning March 13, 2020.

But the new HEROES Act would extend this payment suspension until September 2021.

The suspension would include all payments, interest, and collections on government held federal student loans but would be extended to commercially-held FFEL-program federal student loans and Perkins loans.

Granting this extension could save many people thousands of dollars over the next year which could be a lifesaver, especially if they have been laid off or faced with reduced revenue or hours.

In many cases, this could be even more beneficial than a stimulus check.

Student loan forgiveness

Initially, House Democrats wanted to forgive $10,000 in loans for virtually all student loan holders.

This was a major drop down from the $30,000 in student loan forgiveness that was initially suggested but even the $10,000 in loan forgiveness proved to be too expensive and they amended the proposal last week so that only “economically distressed” borrowers could qualify for the $10,000 forgiveness.

These would be borrowers who pay zero dollars a month on their loans due to their income-based repayment program or are in default, or serious delinquency, forbearance, or deferment.

Some people may question why forgiveness would be focused on individuals who already are not paying anything since that would not free up cash and not provide an immediate cash flow benefit.

For that reason, I question whether or not the student loan forgiveness will pass — it just doesn’t seem directly related to stimulating the economy right now as currently drafted. 

Public service loan forgiveness

There could also be changes to the way that the public service loan forgiveness PSLF program works.

In the past, if individuals chose to consolidate their commercially held FFEL program federal student loans and Perkins loans, their prior payments would not count towards the forgiveness. It sounds like the new HEROES Act would allow payments made prior to consolidation count.

Final word

So it sounds like the student loan forgiveness benefits won’t be quite as lucrative as they initially were proposed. The forgiveness limits were much higher and the eligibility was much broader but those proved to be too expensive.

Still, there are still some really valuable proposals here for the masses. The potential one-year extension of the suspension of payments could be huge for a lot of people and it’s great that interest is also suspended during that time.

Also, some individuals struggling to pay their student loans may be able to benefit if these things go through but that is still a big “if” at this point.

To me, the most likely provision to pass would be the extension of the suspension of payments. The other benefits just don’t seem directly related to stimulating the economy during the immediate future. But we will just have to see how things play out.

White House advisor rejects second stimulus checks due to eligibility issues

Talk about mixed signals.

I’ve been following the development of the stimulus packages very closely over the last couple of months.

With respect to an additional round of stimulus checks, there has been a lot of back-and-forth in terms of whether or not those checks will actually happen. 

Initially, there were discussions by Democrats about providing up to six months to a year’s worth of continual monthly checks, perhaps valued at $2,000 per month.

This ambitious plan was simply too much for opposing party members in the GOP party and so the Democrats decided to include a much less robust stimulus check plan in their latest bill proposal which they passed Friday

The new bill known as the HEROES act includes stimulus checks for $1,200 for individuals and up to $2,000 for couples. One of the biggest differences is that they have upped the proposed amount for dependents from $500 to $1,200 and have also expanded who could qualify as a dependent.

There were also some other changes and I broke those down in this article here. Some of the changes were not very significant because they do not change things very much.

But others, I immediately recognized as problematic.

For example, in order to receive a check under the first round of stimulus checks, you were required to have a Social Security number. However, with the new proposal you will only need a TIN number also known as a taxpayer identification number.

This will allow certain individuals who are not US citizens and who cannot obtain Social Security numbers to receive stimulus payments. 

Other changes like allowing those who owe child support to receive funds and removing President Trump’s name from the checks also seem like potentially problematic changes. 

In response to the newly added changes, White House advisor Peter Navarro said on ABC’s “This Week,” “Nancy Pelosi basically lost me with that package when she has $1,200 checks for illegal immigrants” and said it “just goes downhill from there.”

Based on the research I saw, nonresident aliens would still not qualify for a second stimulus check. So I did not think that illegal immigrants would qualify but maybe there is more to the bill. 

In any event, this statement just shows that there still is a lot up in the air when it comes to the support of another round of stimulus checks.

The White House did reportedly just express support for another round of stimulus checks. And the statement from White House advisor Peter Navarro does not mean that that interest was not true.

I think it just means that any changes to eligibility for the next round of stimulus checks could face a significant uphill battle.

The worry with including new changes is that they could make a second round of stimulus checks so unattractive that the GOP outright rejects the idea of another round of checks. 

But personally, I would assume that these changes were part of the negotiation strategy by Democrats and they are probably expecting to have to drop some of the changes in order to get this thing passed. 

I’m slightly leaning towards another round of stimulus checks being likely based on all of the research I have done over the last few weeks.

But there is a part of me that thinks that this could be a very prolonged process because many GOP members want to first wait and see how the stimulus checks are actually affecting the economy and the lives of Americans.

I expect this week to be a pretty event full week when it comes to stimulus package negotiations and I will keep you posted.


Second round of stimulus checks: House Democrats just passed the bill

5/15/20 Update:

House Democrats just passed the $3 trillion coronavirus relief bill!

The bill passed with 14 Democrats voting “no” and one single Republican voting in favor.

Just before passing the bill, Democrats authorized proxy voting for future legislation and also were able to overcome the GOP’s push to ban illegal immigrants from receiving stimulus checks.

While it is good news that this bill has passed through the House of Representatives, it is clear that this thing, as drafted, is not going to pass in the Senate which is controlled by Republicans.

Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), who managed the House floor debate for Republicans, stated, “It would make more to sense in my view, Madam Speaker, to send it straight to Santa Claus.”

But I think that most Democrats acknowledge that this is just the starting point for a debate that will likely prove to be intense.

I’m sure that many provisions in the bill will be dropped but the key provision that will allow a second round of stimulus checks is the one that we will be watching very closely and that we are currently unsure about. 

With the White House recently supposedly expressing interest in supporting another round of checks, I think that signs are pointing to a favorable outcome but we will have to wait to see.



Original Article: 

If you’re hoping to see a second round of stimulus checks there’s some good news.

House Democratic leaders just introduced the latest proposal for stimulus funding but unlike a lot of the proposals I have written about this proposal is actually going to be voted on on Friday. The bill, which is over 1,800 pages long, contains over $3 trillion worth of funding which is about 50% larger than the first CARES Act.

Significantly, this new stimulus package calls for an additional round of stimulus checks of up to $1,200 per person. The payments would be largely the same as the last round — up to $1,200 for individuals or $2,400 for married couples. It looks like the proposal might be asking for more funding for dependents, though.

You can find out more about the changes here!

The income thresholds are the same as the CARES Act allowing individuals to be eligible if they make between $75,000 and $99,000.

But there are lots of other elements wrapped up into this package. 

Per NBC News, the $3 trillion legislation would also include funding for:

  • Extending the $600 per week unemployment benefits in CARES 2 through January
  • Nearly $1 trillion in aid to state and local governments
  • Hazard pay for some essential workers
  • Expanding coronavirus testing, contract tracing and treatment
  • Enhancing tax credits for employers to keep workers on their payroll
  • Providing full COBRA subsidies for those who lost their employer-provided health care coverage
  • Additional money for the U.S. Postal Service
  • $175 billion in support to help renters and homeowners make monthly rent, mortgage and utility payments.

Some of these will be very problematic when they arrive in the Senate such as additional money for the USPS and extended unemployment benefits. I don’t see any way that this entire package passes through the Senate without some significant reductions and additions like payroll tax cuts.

In fact, Michael Zona, a spokesman for Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, called the overall legislation “DOA in the Senate.”

But that doesn’t mean that all aspects of the bill will be dead on arrival. 

The question is will another round of stimulus checks be problematic as well?

That is the million dollar question right now.

It’s too early to tell right now but I think one additional round of stimulus checks is much more realistic than six month payouts of $2,000.

So I think people should be excited that this package contains only one additional round of checks and not a long six months to one year proposal for payments.

This is really going to put a lot of pressure on Republicans and potentially even the president to get an additional round of funding passed. It will be very interesting to see how this plays out when the bill makes its way to the Senate, assuming the House passes it on Friday.


Second round of stimulus checks may come with major changes

The House of Representatives is set to vote on another stimulus package tomorrow that is being called the HEROES Act. One of the most anticipated and talked about elements of this package is the new round of stimulus checks it contains.

It will provide checks to families and individuals in similar ways as the CARES Act such as allowing individuals to receive $1,200 for their checks and couples up to $2,400, but there may be some huge differences between the first round of stimulus checks and the second.

Below are some of the key ways that the second round of stimulus checks might be different from the first.

Families will get more

The first round of stimulus checks offered an additional $500 for certain dependents that qualified.

But the second round of checks will raise that up to $1,200 per dependent up to a total of three different dependents. This means that a family of five could potentially receive up to $6,000 for their next stimulus check.

It’s also reported that the age requirement of being 16 years and younger will be lifted so you could receive $1,200 for your adult children or for elderly parents living with you. 

These two changes could be absolutely huge for lots of families who are supporting older teenagers or even kids still in college.

I remember at one point in my life when my parents were supporting multiple teenagers as well as their parents who lived with us and something like this could have helped us out tremendously in a tough time.

Child support will not be taken out

Many people who owed more child support than they were due for the first stimulus checks, did not receive a dime from the stimulus package. But with the new round of stimulus payments as drafted, people who owe child support would not have to give up their stimulus checks.

Also, the funds coming from a second round of checks will not be taken to used for back taxes or other debts that are owed to the government which is the same rule that applied for the first round of payments.

No Garnishing

Another major difference between the first round of stimulus checks and the second round is that the second round of stimulus checks would not be subject to garnishments by creditors or debt collectors. They would also not be lost in bankruptcy proceedings.

This would be a huge protection for many people who are worried about having to prioritize things like overdue payments or credit card payments over paying for rent or other necessities. I really hope to see this provision in the next stimulus package.

Donald Trump’s name would be removed

On the first round of stimulus checks that went out, Donald Trump’s name appeared on the paper checks. This was a controversial move as many people saw it as a political stunt aimed at earning more support for the upcoming elections. However, based on language found in the new act, the president’s name would not be allowed to appear on the checks.

Income will be determined differently

The first round of stimulus checks was based your adjusted gross income but the second round of stimulus checks may be based on your modified adjusted gross income.

For a lot of people this will not make a difference but if you receive any amounts that are excluded from taxable income like foreign earned income or income from the US territory this could affect your eligibility.

No Social Security number will be needed

In order to receive a check under the first round of stimulus checks, you were required to have a Social Security number. However, now you will only need a TIN number also known as a taxpayer identification number.

This will allow certain individuals who are not US citizens and who cannot obtain Social Security numbers to receive stimulus payments. Nonresident aliens would still not qualify for a second stimulus check.

First round payment changes?

According to Kiplinger, some of the CARES Act provisions for first round stimulus checks could be modified including the following:

  • You would get the extra $500 payment for each dependent, rather than only for children below age 17;
  • You could get a first-round payment without a Social Security number if you have a Taxpayer Identification Number;
  • First-round payments wouldn’t be reduced or offset for past-due child support; and
  • First-round payments wouldn’t be subject to garnishment.

So basically they would be changing the eligibility requirements retroactively and people could potentially receive a double stimulus check the second time around. Personally, this seems like one of the provisions that will not survive this bill but I definitely could be wrong.

Final word

It would not surprise me to see all of these things pass through the US House of Representatives and get approved on Friday. But things will be very different when this bill gets presented to the Senate and needs to be signed off by the president.

I mean, do you really see the president agreeing to not include his name in the checks? 

Hopefully, small details like that can be compromised in order to get the most important part of this package sent out which is the checks themselves.

There still is a pretty good amount of uncertainty out there when it comes to whether or not people think the new checks will be approved.

I have been pretty pessimistic based on things that I have heard but I still definitely think it is possible for Republicans to agree to one more round of funding, especially since Democrats did not propose an extreme stimulus package with payments lasting for six to 12 months. 


Waiting on more stimulus funds? Consider a 0% APR card

Many people are still waiting for stimulus funds and are wondering if more additional rounds of funding are going to ever happen. At this stage, it really is too early to tell in my opinion, though I’m leaning on more stimulus checks not happening due to opposition in Congress.

If you are in need of some financial support or just want an added layer of financial security, then right now it makes a lot of sense to consider credit cards with a 0% intro period and with a 0% balance transfer offer. As long as you have a plan to eventually pay these cards off before the promotional time period ends, they can be a great financial tool. 

TL;DR: If you are strapped for cash now, avoid travel rewards credit cards and their high interest rates. Look at 0% Intro / Balance Transfer credit cards

If you want to get right to it you can filter and sort 0% Intro APR credit cards (cards where all new purchases for a defined number of months will not incur any interest charges as long as you pay the minimum each month) and credit cards with balance transfer offers (the amount you transfer will have a 0% intro APR, but watch out for fees – more below on that).

How does a “Balance Transfer” work to a new credit card with a Balance Transfer offer?

There’s one super important concept to understand when thinking about a balance transfer offer. Just about every credit card that has a balance transfer offer will indeed let you pay 0% on the balance transfer offer, which is generally for 12-18 months, but they will charge you a fee of 3% or more to do it. That means you have to do some math on your own situation.

And yes, you can absolutely get a new credit card with a new balance transfer offer when your intro time period is up.

How does a 0% Intro APR credit card offer work?

Just as it sounds. Your new purchases during the time of the offer will not assess any interest charges for the duration of the offer. If the offer is 0% Intro APR for 12 months, that means that as long as you make the minimum monthly payments on time, you wont’ pay interest.

But of course once the intro timeframe is up, you will owe interest on the whole shebang. As well, if you are late with a payment, the entire balance will now accrue interest at their default interest rate which could be massive.

I always put my own payments on auto-pay. Of course with more than 30 credit cards, that’s essential for me so I don’t lose track.

The Best 0% Intro APR Credit Cards

The best card on the market now for a 0% Intro APR deal is the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Credit Card.

You’ll get a 0% Intro APR on all new purchases for the first 21 months. This is currently the longest 0% Intro APR period on the market.

See how to apply for the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Credit Card. 

The Best Balance Transfer Credit Card Offers

The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Credit Card mentioned above also has a 0% APR balance transfer offer. You’ll get 21 months at the 0% rate on balance transfers, but you’ll pay an initial 5% balance transfer fee.

For this reason, the next card may be more appealing (you kind of have to decide if the additional 2% fee on the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Credit Card is worth it for 3 extra months at an 0% APR).

The Citi DoubleCash has a 0% APR on balance transfers for 18 months; 3% balance transfer fee (this card earns 2% cash back on new purchases, but not the transferred balance). With 18 months and a 3% fee, as well as the ability to earn 2% cash back on purchases with no annual fee, it may be the best bang for your buck. You can also advance later on to the Citi Trifecta.

See how to apply for the Citi DoubleCash

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