Congress looked ready to passe a $2 trillion stimulus plan on Wednesday that includes sending checks to compensate Americans during the coronavirus pandemic. However, the checks will most likely not make it to Americans until May the earliest. 

In the plan, single Americans would receive $1,200, couples would receive $2,400, and parents would receive an extra $500 for every child under 17. Despite this, Americans with incomes more than $75,000 would get less, and anyone making more than $99,000 would not qualify at all. Each of these thresholds would be doubled for couples. 

According to the Tax Policy Center, in this plan, about 90 percent of Americans would be eligible to receive a payment. The plan set aside $250 billion for this purpose. 



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The qualifying income levels will depend on 2019 federal tax returns if they’ve been already filed, or 2018 returns. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin delayed the filing deadline to July 15. For those who do not make enough to file returns, there are provisions. However, some people will be missed. Under this plan, lower and middle-income Americans would receive two-thirds of these benefits said  Howard Gleckman, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center. 

The Internal Revenue Service has sent out economic stimulus checks before. Although previous plans were different, they give us an idea of how long the process might take. “Certainly from what we’ve seen in the past, it’s taken a pretty significant amount of time to get checks out after a policy is put in place,” said Erica York, an economist at the Tax Foundation.

However, those who sign up for direct deposit will most likely receive their money sooner. Despite all this, the wait for these checks is significant, as there are other factors that may slow down the process. 

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