The government wants to send you money, but how soon will it arrive?
WASHINGTON – Getting lump sum payments into the hands of every American could take weeks to start and months to complete as the government tries to turn its tax collection system into a cash-dispensing machine.
The Congress is united around the idea of send money to individuals to ease economic disruption from the coronavirus outbreak, and the Treasury Department wants to distribute money as quickly as possible, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.
A Treasury proposal released on Wednesday calls for two rounds of payments, one starting April 6 and the other starting May 18, with amounts varying depending on family size and income level. That’s beyond the two-week target mentioned by Mr. Mnuchin on Tuesday.
Lawmakers have spoken of $ 1,000 per person or more, and Mnuchin said the government will use information from the Internal Revenue Service for some people and data from electronic payment providers for others.
Decision makers face a trade-off between speed and precision. The faster the Treasury Department sends money, the more likely it is that some people will be paid twice and others will not be paid at all. A slower effort might reduce errors, but people who lose their jobs or whose working hours are reduced would face growing bills in the meantime.