KEY POINTS

  • Stimulus payments in the fomr of checks or debit cards will be sent out beginning this week
  • Taxpayers who do not receive payments should claim the amount on their 2020 tax returns
  • The IRS said not all eligible taxpayers will receive the second stimulus payment

The U.S. Treasury Department announced Thursday that starting this week, more than 8 million second stimulus payments will be sent out.

The $600 stimulus payments will be sent out as paper checks or debit cards. Americans who expect to receive debit cards would get a white envelope that has the seal of the U.S. Department of Treasury. The envelope includes the debit card -- which is called the Economic Impact Payment (EIP) card, and is issued by MetaBank, N.A. -- as well as instructions on how to activate it.

The government will send out payments until Jan. 15. Taxpayers who do not receive payments before the deadline are advised to claim the amount on their 2020 tax returns. 

As millions receive this second round of stimulus payments, some who are eligible won't be receiving them. 

Americans will know this is the case if they encounter the message “Payment Status # 2 - Not Available” while checking on their status online. These people are required to claim the payment on their tax return. Unclaimed payments would appear as the Recovery Rebate Credit on Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR. 

“Well here's what it is. On your 2020 tax return, your form 1040, there's a new box that's going to let you enter what you were paid and if it was below what you should have been paid, it's going to let you reconcile that on the 2020 return,” tax expert Chad Elkins said. “So, rather than getting a stimulus check, you'll get a credit on your tax return which could either increase your refund amount or decrease any amounts owed.”

“What if you didn't receive a stimulus payment at all? If you didn't receive a stimulus payment at all, and you're eligible based on your adjusted gross income for 2020, you can just enter the amount in there and you'll get the credit,” he added. 

Eligible adults earning up to $75,000 would receive $600 stimulus checks, plus an additional $600 for each dependent child. Married couples earning $150,000 and filing jointly would receive $1,200, plus $600 per child. Treasury Department check The U.S. government is expected to start sending out direct payments to taxpayers this week. Photo: DonkeyHotey/Flickr