The Internal Revenue Service has announced that it’s sent out a third batch of American Rescue Act stimulus payments, and this is the first batch that includes “plus-up” or “supplemental” payments for those who got partial $1,400 payments earlier. The $1,400 payments—a third round of Covid-relief economic income payments—were authorized by the March 11 American Rescue Act.
Meanwhile the Government Accountability Office just issued a report detailing key issues related to getting stimulus payments into American’s pockets. Millions of Round 1 and Round 2 stimulus payment checks and debit cards have not been cashed or activated. Just over 744,500 economic impact payment (EIP) Round 1 checks and almost 200,000 EIP 1 debit cards, totaling around $1.3 billion have not been cashed or activated. Of the second round stimulus payments, 2.8 million checks and 1.3 million debit cards, totaling $3.3 billion, haven’t been cashed or activated. Reminder letters are going out!
The Round 3 supplemental payments will continue on a weekly basis going forward, as the IRS continues to process tax returns from 2020 and 2019 (yes, there is still a backlog of 2019 tax returns, mainly returns filed on paper, but also those with outstanding questions).
Who gets supplemental payments? If the IRS used your 2019 tax return information to calculate your payment amount, and now, based on your 2020 tax return information you’re eligible for a larger payment, you should get a supplemental payment automatically. Also, there’s a group of taxpayers who wouldn’t have gotten a payment at all based on their 2019 tax return, but because of a change in income or a change in circumstance like having a baby, they are eligible for a payment. Some rich retirees, for example, are getting all three stimulus payments.
This batch of Round 3 payments includes more than 4 million payments, with a total value of more than $10 billion. To date, the IRS has sent out more than 130 million Round 3 stimulus payments worth approximately $335 billion. Half of the payments are going out as direct deposit payment, while half are going out as paper checks. Nearly 160 million households are expected to get American Rescue Act payments.
The income limits were lowered for this round of stimulus payments, compared to the CARES Act and the year-end 2020 Consolidated Appropriations Act stimulus payments: Single taxpayers with adjusted gross income up to $75,000 and married taxpayers filing jointly with adjusted gross income up to $150,000 get a full $1,400 (you get a partial payment with income up to $80,000/$160,000). Dependents get the full $1,400 too (think of it like a baby bond and consider stashing it in a college savings account if you have the means to do so).
Starting today a large set of payments will begin going to Social Security, SSI, SSDI and Railroad Retirement Board beneficiaries who didn’t file a 2020 or 2019 tax return and didn’t use the non-filers tool last year. Most of those payments are expected to arrive via direct deposit on April 7. Veterans Affairs benefit recipients who don’t regularly file a tax return can expect to see their payments by mid-April.
To check on the status of your Round 3 payment, use the IRS Get My Payment tool. You need to enter your Social Security number, street address and zip code. If you’re looking for the status of Round 1 and Round 2 payments—you’ll need that information for filing your 2020 tax return—check your pile of tax-related mail for IRS Notices 1444 and 1444-B or create an IRS online account.
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