Coronavirus stimulus payments from $US1.9 trillion Biden relief package to hit US bank accounts this weekend



Americans will see the first direct deposits from President Joe Biden’s $US1.9 trillion ($2.5 trillion) COVID-19 relief package hit their bank accounts this weekend, according to Treasury and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officials.

A first tranche of $US1,400 ($1,800) stimulus payments was processed on Friday.

Additional large batches of payments will be sent via direct deposits or through the mail as cheques or debit cards in coming weeks, the officials said.

It means a family of four earning up to $US150,000 ($193,000) will receive $US5,600 ($7,200).

Mr Biden signed the rescue package on Thursday, the day after it won final passage in the House.

“The payments will be delivered automatically to taxpayers even as the IRS continues delivering regular tax refunds,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in a statement.

A group of health workers in full PPE surround a man on a hospital bed
The US has endured more coronavirus deaths and infections than any other nation.(Reuters: Callaghan O’Hare )

Unlike the first two payments, which were limited to children under 17, this round of cheques will also go to all qualifying dependents, including college students, adults with disabilities, parents and grandparents, the officials said.

They stressed that no action was required by taxpayers to receive the payments, which would be based on 2019 or 2020 tax returns, depending on which was the latest filed, or data supplied to the IRS last year by non-filers.

The IRS will also automatically send payments to those who typically do not file tax returns, but received Social Security and Railroad Retirement Board benefits, Supplemental Security Income or Veteran benefits in 2020, they said.

“The goals is to get these out at fast as possible,” said one of the officials.

Officials urged people to file their tax returns electronically to ease the process, noting they could also qualify for other relief, including child tax credits.

The Biden administration said stimulus payments and other measures would boost economic growth and help Americans hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

A wide aerial view of the inside of a lavish chamber with blue carpet, in which formally dressed people stand and clap.
Republicans refused to vote for Mr Biden’s relief plan, describing it as too expensive.(AP: Senate Television)

Although the death toll has dropped in recent weeks, coronavirus continues claim 1,400 lives in the US each day.

Nearly 160 million US households will receive some $US400 billion ($505 billion) in direct payments, helping individuals earning up to $US75,000 ($96,000) annually and couples up to $US150,000 ($193,000).

Officials said they were coordinating with the Social Security Administration, other government agencies and financial institutions to avoid problems seen during the last round of stimulus payments, when cheques went out to thousands of people who were dead.

“We have a number of controls in place to make sure that we check and look at how those payments are going out,” said one of the officials.

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