- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 15, 2020

The Internal Revenue Service on Wednesday said emergency payments of up to $1,200 are going out “on schedule” and “without delay,” amid new reports that President Trump’s name will appear on the physical checks going out to Americans.

“Thanks to hard work and long hours by dedicated IRS employees, these payments are going out on schedule, as planned, without delay, to the nation,” the agency said. “The IRS employees are delivering these payments in record time compared to previous stimulus efforts.”

The direct payments are a centerpiece of the $2.2 trillion economic rescue package Congress recently passed in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a break from the past, Mr. Trump’s name will appear on the physical checks being sent out to people who aren’t getting the money via direct deposit.

The Washington Post first reported the news on Tuesday, citing IRS officials to say that the process could slow their delivery by a few days.

“Delaying direct payments to vulnerable families just to print his name on the check is another shameful example of President Trump’s catastrophic failure to treat this crisis with the urgency it demands,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat.

The full amount of $1,200 for individuals is available for people earning up to $75,000 per year.

Couples can earn a full amount of $2,400 if they make up to $150,000 per year. There’s also an additional $500 credit per qualifying child.

The money is getting processed more quickly for people who filed tax returns in 2018 and 2019 and provided direct deposit bank account information.

The IRS and the U.S. Treasury Department on Wednesday announced a new app to allow people who did file a return in 2018 or 2019 but didn’t provide banking information to update their direct deposit information and get the automatic payments processed quicker.

Some users reported difficulties when they tried to log in, though the IRS denied that the tool “crashed.” The agency said if the site volume gets too high, users are sent to an online “waiting room.”

The IRS said people who get a “status not available” response might not be eligible for a payment or might have only recently filed a return.

As of midday Wednesday, more than 6.2 million people obtained their payment status and almost 1.1 million people provided banking information.

Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said more than 80 million Americans have already received their payments via direct deposit.

Current, a mobile banking app company, said that as of late Monday, it had already credited more than 16,500 accounts with stimulus payments and that about 45% of the money had been spent.

The payments are not considered taxable income.

The IRS had recently launched a new web tool designed to help people who don’t typically file a return, like people who don’t make enough money to be levied federal income tax.

Automatic payments are also supposed to go to social security recipients as well, after the Treasury Department reversed course to allow social security beneficiaries who don’t typically file taxes to receive them.

Gabriella Muñoz contributed to this story.

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