U.S. direct payments likely to begin April 13: House panel

FILE PHOTO: A person in a mask walks on a nearly empty street in the coronavirus outbreak near the Treasury Department in Washington, U.S. March 30, 2020. Picture taken March 30, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo

By David Morgan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Americans should start receiving direct deposit payments from the U.S. government around April 13 to help them cope with the coronavirus pandemic, but others may have to wait until mid-September to receive paper checks, according to a key congressional committee.

The government is expected to distribute 60 million payments of up to $1,200 per individual using bank deposit information gleaned from 2018 and 2019 income tax filings during the week of April 13, according to a memo from Democrats on the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee.

But it will not begin to send out paper checks to those who do not have bank deposit information on file until about 21 days later on May 4, according to the memo, which was reviewed by Reuters.

The IRS expects to issue checks at a rate of about 5 million a week, meaning that some Americans may have to wait 20 weeks. Under the schedule, the last checks would not arrive until around Sept. 21.

“This timeline is subject to change,” the memo noted.

The money is intended to help individuals and families offset the economic impact of the pandemic. Government officials hope to see the coronavirus die out during the warmer summer months, though health experts have warned of a possible resurgence in the fall.

(Reporting by David Morgan; editing by Andy Sullivan, Chizu Nomiyama and Leslie Adler)

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