The Internal Revenue Service has announced that more than 2.3 million coronavirus stimulus checks have been disbursed as part of the eleventh batch of payments under President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan.
This newest tranche boosts the total number of checks sent out to date to approximately one hundred sixty-nine million, representing a value of $395 billion. The latest estimates now indicate that about 88 percent of the $450 billion total earmarked for the third round of stimulus have been issued to eligible Americans.
Of the more than two million new payments worth more than $4.2 billion, more than 1.2 million of them were issued via direct deposit, while the rest were delivered via USPS as paper checks or prepaid debit cards.
Similar to the most recent batches, the eleventh also featured a sizeable number of checks—more than nine hundred thousand—that went out to recent tax filers who previously did not have the necessary information on file at the IRS.
The agency has suggested that non-filers should make time to apply for an extension and file by the October 15 deadline.
“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. Eligible individuals in this group should file a 2020 tax return as quickly as possible to be considered for an additional payment for their qualifying dependents,” it added.
Keep in mind that this batch also included 1.1 million so-called “plus-up” or supplemental checks. In all, the IRS has made more than eight million of such payments this year.
Know that these particular top-off funds are for taxpayers “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. … These ‘plus-up’ payments could include a situation where a person’s income dropped in 2020 compared to 2019, or a person had a new child or dependent on their 2020 tax return, and other situations,” the IRS noted, adding that these payments will continue to go out on a weekly basis.
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.