Direct deposits from U.S. COVID bill to come as early as this weekend, White House says

FILE PHOTO: White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki delivers remarks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 9, 2021. REUTERS/Tom Brenner

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Direct deposits from the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief legislation signed into law by President Joe Biden on Thursday will come as early as this weekend, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.

With the signing of the stimulus bill, Biden commemorated the one-year anniversary of a U.S. lockdown over the coronavirus pandemic with a measure designed to bring relief to Americans and boost the economy.

“People can expect to start seeing direct deposits hit their bank accounts as early as this weekend. This is, of course, just the first wave,” Psaki said. Payments to eligible Americans will continue throughout the course of the next several weeks, she added.

Nearly 160 million households are expected to get payments, according to White House estimates.

The bill includes an expanded child tax credit of up to $3,000 per child, or $3,600 for each child under age 6. The Internal Revenue Service will pay part of that in monthly installments of $250 or $300 from July through December, adding a benefits distributor role to the revenue collection agency’s responsibilities.

Making one-off payments to those who regularly file tax returns should not be a struggle for the IRS, tax experts said.

Reporting by Jeff Mason and Nandita Bose in Washington; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Leslie Adler