Following that round, the IRS has distributed 159 million payments as part of the American Rescue Plan, for a total of over $376 billion. The announcement came out from the IRS, along with the Department of the Treasury and the Bureau of the Fiscal Service.
More payments than in previous tranches went out electronically this time, the IRS said, with 1.2 million direct deposit payments and 800,000 paper check payments.
“A larger percentage of payments was made electronically during this round of payments than during previous rounds,” the announcement from the IRS and the other agencies said. “This accelerated the delivery of payments to millions of American families whose payments would otherwise have been sent by mail. Over 95% of all Social Security beneficiaries have been paid electronically during this round of payments, compared to 70% in the first round and 72% in the second round.
The latest round of payments began processing on April 9 and “officially” went out on April 14. This was the fifth round of payments as a result of the American Rescue Plan, which passed in early March.
April 14 was also the official distribution date of the checks for Veterans Affairs beneficiaries who receive Compensation and Pension benefit payments but don’t typically file a tax return. More than 320,000 payments went out to such beneficiaries, for a total of $450 million.
Also among the payments that went out in the fifth round also included 850,000 payments, worth nearly $1.6 billion, just went to “eligible individuals for whom the IRS previously did not have information to issue an Economic Impact Payment but who recently filed a tax return,” the IRS said.
In terms of “plus-up” payments, in this round, they included 700,000 payments, totaling $1.2 billion. Those payments are described as “additional ongoing supplemental payments for people who earlier this year received payments based on their 2019 tax returns but are eligible for a new or larger payment based on their recently processed 2020 tax returns.”
In addition, 72,000 payments went out in the most recent round to Social Security recipients who didn’t file a tax return in 2019 or 2020.
The payments will continue to go out each week, the IRS said in the Wednesday release.
A Bankrate survey published this week looked at how Americans are spending their stimulus money, with bill payment the most frequent expenditure, which is in line with previous surveys.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for the National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.