The IRS just issued an additional 2.3 million stimulus payments on Wednesday as part of the agency’s efforts to deliver millions of Americans direct aid from President Joe Biden’s coronavirus rescue package.
The latest disbursement of checks, worth $4.2 billion, brings the total number of direct payments issued so far to 169 million, according to the IRS. That means more than 6 percent of stimulus payment recipients are still waiting for their $1,400 check.
Biden’s American Rescue Plan sent eligible recipients $1,400 per person, plus an additional $1,400 per dependent, based on certain income thresholds. And ever since the bill passed, the agency has been pumping out the payments in weekly batches, which started on March 12.
In the latest batch, more than 900,000 payments, worth $1.9 billion, went to eligible recipients who did not previously have information on file with the IRS but recently filed their tax returns.
The disbursement also included 1.1 million “plus-up” payments, with a value of more than $2.5 billion. That includes payments for people who had their third stimulus check based on 2019 tax returns but are now eligible for a new or larger payment due to their recently submitted 2020 tax returns. To qualify for a “plus-up” payment, a person’s 2020 income must be lower than their 2019 income. People could also be eligible if a baby or dependent was added to their 2020 tax return.
The majority of the most recent batch of stimulus payments were sent out by direct deposit, with the rest of them by paper check. The IRS has also sent them in the form of prepaid debit cards.
Eligible recipients for the full direct payment include single filers earning up to $75,000, and joint filers making up to $150,000. Individual filers earning up to $80,000 and joint filers making up to $160,000 will receive smaller amounts. Eligibility is based on the most recent tax return and adjusted gross income.
Biden’s relief bill also widened the eligibility pool for dependents, allowing dependents over the age of 16 to qualify. Those under the age of 19, under the age of 24 and are students or those who 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.
Those who haven’t received payment yet are advised to use the IRS’s Get My Payment tool.
The IRS is also advising Americans who don’t normally file taxes to file a 2020 tax return in order to receive all benefits from the pandemic relief bill, like the child tax credits, the earned income tax credit and the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit.
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.