As the Internal Revenue Service sends out millions of stimulus payments, many Americans may receive additional money from the third round of relief if they are eligible for more aid.
Last month, the IRS began pumping out the third round of stimulus checks, using the latest tax return information on file to identify the total payment amount a recipient would get. For many Americans, the most recent tax information was from 2019. But, the economic downturn triggered by the coronavirus pandemic made millions of people unemployed or prompted companies to reduce wages to adapt to the crises, dropping income for individuals and families.
So, the millions of Americans who saw plummeted income in 2020 are likely to qualify for additional relief, also known as “plus-up” payments.
President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion rescue package sent $1,400 stimulus payments to individuals with an adjusted gross income of up to $75,000 or joint filers with an income of up to $150,000. If a person’s income decreased in 2020 compared to 2019, that person could see more federal relief once a 2020 tax return is filed.
“The most important thing people can do to make sure they receive their proper stimulus amount would be to go ahead and file a 2020 tax return,” Bob Probasco, a tax expert with the Texas A&M University Law School, told CBS Chicago. “The IRS will catch up to these returns and make corrections to the stimulus payments.”
Americans may also be eligible for a larger stimulus payment if they had a child or added a qualified dependent in 2020, as Biden’s American Rescue Plan sent an additional $1,400 for each eligible dependent.
Biden’s rescue plan widened the eligibility pool for dependents, allowing dependents over the age of sixteen to qualify. Those under the age of nineteen, under the age of twenty-four and are students or any age and are permanently and totally disabled qualify as a child for the additional tax relief. The change in eligibility made 13.5 million more people able to receive the stimulus checks.
The dependents must also earn less than $4,300, and the person claiming them on a tax return must provide more than 50 percent of their overall financial support.
The IRS reported last week that it already issued more than seven hundred thousand plus-up payments, worth $1.2 billion, and additional payments are expected to be sent out in the upcoming weeks.
The supplemental payments will arrive the same way the other stimulus did, which could be in the form of direct deposit, check or prepaid debit card.
Rachel Bucchino is a reporter at the National Interest. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report and The Hill.