The eagerly awaited coronavirus stimulus payments are starting to be delivered to Americans across the country today. Recipients will see as much as $1,200 deposited directly into their checking accounts if they’ve previously given their bank details to the IRS with prior tax returns. Those who don’t have their bank details registered with the IRS will get paper checks mailed to them beginning next week. But the paper checks will come with an added extra: Donald Trump’s autograph.
As The Washington Post reports, the Treasury Department has ordered that Trump’s signature appear on the lefthand side of every paper stimulus check issued. The signature will read “President Donald J. Trump” and appear on the memo line. It will be the first time in U.S. history any president’s name has appeared on a check from the IRS.
The Post cites sources who say President Trump specifically asked Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin if he could sign the checks. Historically no president has ever signed IRS checks to avoid politicizing tax refunds and stimulus payments.
Yet the move to use Trump’s autograph on each check could delay the much-needed stimulus payment for millions of Americans, two sources told The Post. That’s because the alteration requires additional systems testing and computer code changes to carry out Trump’s signing.
Those receiving paper checks could now see the first round of checks go out a week later than planned, the sources say, though the Treasury refuted the claim, saying the first batch of checks will go out next week. In total, the paper stimulus checks with Trump’s autographs could take as long as 20 weeks to be delivered to all Americans.