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First batch of new stimulus checks to be released on May 6th

USPS sign at Pago Pago Post Office

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — ASG Treasury Department, through an Apr. 26th “Economic Impact Payment (EIP) Information” document, provided additional information on the release of the third EIP — or stimulus checks — of $1,400 for qualified tax payers. It confirms that the distributions will be made next month.

According to Treasury, EIP amounts will be based on the 2019 tax return, and release date will be determined by the filing date.

There will be 3 release dates:

FIRST BATCH — May 6th for those who filed between Jan. 01, 2020 to Feb. 13, 2020;

SECOND BATCH — May 13th for those who filed from February 14, 2020 to May 13th, 2020; and,

THIRD BATCH —  May 20th for those who filed from May 14, 2020 to Dec. 31, 2020.

The Treasury memo announced that it will be the first time that stimulus checks can be direct deposited into the taxpayer’s bank account. Gov. Lemanu Peleti Palepoi Sialega Mauga during his televised address late Wednesday afternoon regarding the Administration’s first 100-days in office report, also announced that for the first time, EIP distribution will be done by direct deposit, if possible.

According to the Treasury document, taxpayers must prepare and turn in the direct deposit forms by Apr. 30th to make the May 6th release. Forms are available from the Tax Office. And the direct deposit forms “must include an email” and documentation — bank statement or voided check — to confirm banking information.

Those who file joint tax returns are required to have a joint bank account.

For taxpayers not receiving direct-deposit, their stimulus check will be distributed through the mail, using the mailing address listed on the tax return filing, while the remaining tax payers without mailing addresses will get their EIP checks at the Gov. H. Rex Lee Auditorium (fale laumei) on those dates of distributions.

This $1,400 stimulus check per qualified taxpayer is new money that many local residents are looking forward to, and the first batch release on May 6th will come in handy for many residents, before Mother’s Day on Sunday, May 9th.

The new money is also expected to boost the local economy with more purchasing power to the consumer, but the Lemanu Administration as well as StarKist Samoa remains highly concerned that such a large amount of money will result in workers not going to work and at worse, quitting their jobs.

Samoa News has also heard from other local businesses voicing the same concerns with their workforce taking many days off after getting this $1,400 stimulus check — which is more if the tay payer has qualified dependents.