WASHINGTON – While Congress appears to be far from agreeing on a comprehensive COVID-19 relief package, the Internal Revenue Service announced Tuesday that about 50,000 people will be receiving stimulus checks next month.
The “catch-up” relief payments will go to those people whose initial Economic Impact Payment under the CARES Act was diverted to pay their spouse’s past-due child support.
The payments are expected to go out as checks in early-to-mid-September to recipients who filed Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation, along with their 2019 – and possibly 2018 – federal income tax return.
For those people who didn’t fill out Form 8379 but also saw a portion of their stimulus money diverted to pay a spouse’s debt, the IRS says no action is necessary.
“The IRS does not yet have a timeframe but will automatically issue the portion of the EIP that was applied to the other spouse’s debt at a later date,” the IRS said in a news release.
Affected taxpayers can check the status of a pending stimulus check with the IRS Get My Payment tool.
Meanwhile, the country is left waiting for Washington lawmakers to decide whether or not the American people will receive a second round of COVID-19 stimulus checks.
Top Republican leadership was on hand Saturday in hopes of sparking new coronavirus aid talks as the House approved legislation that would reverse recent changes in U.S. Postal Service operations and send $25 billion to shore up the agency ahead of the November election.
President Donald Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, was on Capitol Hill meeting with GOP House leader Kevin McCarthy and other lawmakers. Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have served as Republican negotiators during recent aid negotiations with Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
When the two sides couldn’t agree to terms on a wide-ranging package expected to include $1,200 stimulus checks, Trump took actions into his own hands — issuing four executive orders designed to give temporary reprieve, offering $300 in jobless benefits and some other aid.
Meadows spoke to the media Saturday indicating the ball is in the court of Democratic leadership when it comes to passing a package.
“I even think that we can come up with an agreement on stimulus checks to Americans and enhanced unemployment,” Meadows said. “Those issues are not as divisive as we might think.”
The talks stalled over a few key issues and the overall size of the package. While Republicans pitched $1 trillion in aid, Democratic leadership was aiming for $3 trillion.
“Let’s at least pass what we can all agree to,” Meadows noted.
The idea of a second round of $1,200 stimulus checks has bipartisan support, with Trump even saying the amount could go higher.
“I’d like to see it be very high because I love the people. I want the people to get it, you know, the economy is going to come back,” Trump said during a July visit to West Texas. “We saved millions of lives, but now we’re bringing (the economy) back … we gotta take care of the people in the meantime.”