The Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department may be in the late innings of sending out the remaining coronavirus stimulus checks, but it appears that millions of them have yet to be issued under President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan.
With the eleventh batch set to land in Americans’ bank accounts as early as the next few days, keep in mind that it was just last week when the tenth batch was disbursed to eligible U.S. taxpayers.
That new tranche of 1.8 million payments lifted the total number of checks sent out over the past two months to approximately one hundred sixty-seven million with a value of $391 billion, representing about 87 percent of all payments for the current third round of stimulus.
Like the past several batches, the tenth also featured a hefty number of checks that targeted recent tax filers who previously did not have the necessary information on file at the IRS.
“Although payments are automatic for most people, the IRS continues to urge people who don’t normally file a tax return and haven’t received Economic Impact Payments to file a 2020 tax return to get all the benefits they’re entitled to under the law, including tax credits such as the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit, the Child Tax Credit, and the Earned Income Tax Credit. Filing a 2020 tax return will also assist the IRS in determining whether someone is eligible for an advance payment of the 2021 Child Tax Credit, which will begin to be disbursed this summer,” the IRS said.
“For example, some federal benefits recipients may need to file a 2020 tax return—even if they don’t usually file—to provide information the IRS needs to send payments for a qualifying dependent,” the agency continued.
Do take note that the May 17 Tax Day deadline may have already passed, but the IRS has assured the public that eligible Americans can still receive their missing payments. The best course of action is to apply for an extension and file by the October 15 tax filing extension deadline. But be aware that taxpayers are still responsible for interest and penalties that could continue to accrue on any tax owed to the agency.
After applying for an extension, individuals can also take advantage of the Recovery Rebate Credit that is part of all returns this tax season, making it possible to claim stimulus checks from the first two rounds.
“If you didn’t get any payments or got less than the full amounts, you may qualify for the Recovery Rebate Credit and must file a 2020 tax return to claim the credit even if you don’t normally file,” the IRS website stated.
The IRS also has been busy fast-tracking “plus-up” or supplemental checks, with the latest batch including more than nine hundred thousand of such payments.
These funds are “for people who earlier in March 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,” the IRS said.
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Minneapolis-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.