3rd stimulus payments delayed

10,500 will get via direct deposit

The Department of Finance said yesterday that the anticipated issuance of the third stimulus checks this week has been delayed due to an “unusually lengthy” approval process of the implementation plan by U.S. Department of the Treasury.

“As much as we have prepared our systems here to push out the stimulus checks, it is unfortunate that we have no say when there is a delay in the disbursement of funds from the U.S. Treasury in Washington, D.C.,” said Gov. Ralph DLG. Torres in a statement.

Once the plan is approved, the U.S. Treasury will transfer approximately $85 million to the CNMI within three business days.

Finance said the CNMI Division of Revenue and Taxation is communicating with the Internal Revenue Service under the U.S. Treasury every day, tracking the movement of the approval process and the expected transfer of funds to the CNMI.

“We want to assure the community that we are ready to push the button once the funds are officially here on island,” Torres said.

The governor said they want to distribute the stimulus checks immediately so they continue to ask community’s patience as they continue to communicate with the U.S. Treasury on the disbursement of funding.

Separately, Finance Secretary David DLG Atalig disclosed yesterday that 10,500 individuals will be getting their third stimulus checks via direct deposit, while about 22,000 will get paper checks.

Atalig said the Division of Revenue and Taxation has processed over 33,000 taxpayer’s third stimulus checks, with 10,500 getting theirs via direct deposit.

As soon as the U.S. Treasury transfers the funds, Finance is ready to disburse the checks, said Atalig in response to Saipan Tribune’s request for an update on the $1,400 stimulus payment.

“I feel for our community, especially for those who are in need of this stimulus,” said Atalig.

He said he is hoping that their agreement with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service under the U.S. Treasury is approved as soon as possible so $85 million can be transferred to the CNMI and Finance can get these monies to the pockets of residents.

The Division of Revenue and Taxation encourages taxpayers to continue registering for direct deposit on the CNMI Stimulus Portal to ensure payments are received as quickly as possible once the funds are in.

Finance said approximately 30% of filers have registered for direct deposit to date.

DRT will process the first batch of stimulus payments based on 2019 income tax returns. Additional batches will then be issued based on 2020 income tax returns that are submitted and processed by Aug. 16, 2021, 90 days after the filing deadline of May 17, 2021.

“If you do not receive your maximum third round payment in 2021, you may be eligible to claim the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit when you file your 2021 income tax return in 2022,” Finance said in the press release.

Atalig earlier stated that while they expect about $85 million in the first distribution of the third stimulus payments, they are estimating to get over $120 million.

Atalig said they’re already prepared to submit a request for additional funds.

He said IRS gives the CNMI about 80% of their estimates as the first initial transfer.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com
Disclaimer: Comments are moderated. They will not appear immediately or even on the same day. Comments should be related to the topic. Off-topic comments would be deleted. Profanities are not allowed. Comments that are potentially libelous, inflammatory, or slanderous would be deleted.