With the disbursement to financially struggling Americans of more than a hundred thirty million coronavirus stimulus checks, the Internal Revenue Service and U.S. Treasury are nearing their goal of successfully sending out payments to a hundred sixty million households under the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan.
But amid this ambitious endeavor, there is a high likelihood that the processing of your tax return and refund delivery will be delayed. Furthermore, adding to the wait is the new Tax Day deadline of May 17.
If you’ve already filed your tax return, then know that there are a couple of ways to track the refund that you’re entitled to. First, make sure to have in hand your Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, your filing status, and your exact refund amount that is stated on your tax return.
Now, just enter your personal information on the IRS tool Where’s My Refund and it should take you to a page that shows the status of your refund. If not, then you may be asked to verify your personal information and try again.
Moreover, there is also a mobile app called IRS2Go that does a solid job in checking the status of your refund. The IRS updates the data in this tool roughly every twenty-four hours, so be sure to check your status each day if you’re still wondering where your tax refund is.
As for your $1,400 stimulus payment, keep in mind that money cannot be garnished for unpaid federal debts or back taxes, but they can indeed be garnished for unpaid private debts—such as medical bills or credit card debts—if they are subject to a court order. Garnishment is a court order that allows for money to be removed from an individual’s bank account, and banks generally have to comply with a court’s demands.
Know that you could also be in line to take advantage of the new law that expands upon the child tax credit that currently allows families to claim a credit of up to $2,000 for children under the age of seventeen. That benefit now has been extended to lower-income families who otherwise wouldn’t receive such a credit. Families are now eligible to claim as much as $3,600 per year for a child under the age of six and up to $3,000 annually for children between six and seventeen.
Furthermore, if you’re recently unemployed, you can claim $300 in additional weekly unemployment benefits, which include a brand-new tax break. Under the American Rescue Plan, these enhanced federal unemployment checks can be applied for till Sept. 6, and the maximum amount of time you can collect is about a year.
In addition, tax credits have been extended for another year to help cover the cost of child care. Families potentially could get back as a tax credit as much as half of their overall spending on child care for children under the age of thirteen, up to $4,000 for a single child, and $8,000 for two or more children.
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.