The IRS announced recently that it had begun the processing of the ninth batch of federal stimulus payments worth up to $1,400.
The new batch included over 960,000 payments worth over $1.8 billion dollars, and brings the total number of third-round stimulus payments distributed so far to about 165 million with a total value of roughly $388 billion. 500,000 of these payments – totaling $946 million – were distributed via direct deposit, with the remainder sent as paper payments.
The ninth batch of payments is the smallest batch distributed so far in terms of both the number of payments sent out and the total value of those payments, with both figures coming in under the previous lows of 1.1 million and $2 billion, respectively, that were set by the eighth batch of payments.
This most recent batch of payments included over 500,000 payments with a total value of over $1 billion that were distributed to individuals about whom the IRS did not have sufficient information to send a payment to prior to the processing of their 2020 tax returns.
The ninth batch of payments also included 460,000 of what the IRS calls “plus-up” payments.
These supplemental payments are designed for individuals whose initial eligibility for a third-round federal stimulus payment was made based on their 2019 tax returns – the most up to date information available to the IRS at the time – but whose 2020 tax returns indicate a loss of income or a change in dependent status that now entitles them to a larger payment. The IRS has now distributed over 6 million plus-up payments in total.
This focus as part of the ninth batch of stimulus payments on sending payments to those Americans whose payments were dependent on the IRS’ processing of their 2020 tax returns continues a trend that was on display in the eighth batch of payments, and may indicate that most Americans have now received their payments. This, in turn, could signal that the distribution of third-round stimulus payments may soon come to an end.
Eli Fuhrman is a contributing writer for The National Interest.