It is not clear how long it would take the agency to send out all the money, but it would likely take weeks before the first payments start going out. Mnuchin said last week that the IRS would begin issuing payments within three weeks of the legislation being signed into law. The bill simply calls for payments to be made “as rapidly as possible.”
But experts say it could take longer. In 2001, it took six weeks for the IRS to start sending out rebate checks under a new tax cut, and in 2008, it took three months after a stimulus package was signed into law.
However, many Americans could see their payments sooner than in the past. More people now file their tax returns electronically and provide the IRS with their bank information. These taxpayers will likely receive the money faster.
Mnuchin noted that his “number one objective is now delivering to the American workers and American companies the needed money that will put this economy in a position where it get through the next eight to 10 weeks.”
On Sunday, Mnuchin also had a message for small businesses: “Go back and hire your workers because the government is paying you to do that.”