For the past three months, there have been little time for breaks for the Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department, as they are still busy issuing millions of $1,400 coronavirus stimulus checks that were approved under President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan.
Know that the last tranche that was noted by the IRS, released on June 9, included more than 2.3 million payments, which boosted the total number sent out to date to approximately 169 million, representing a value of $395 billion. According to the latest estimates by the IRS, roughly 90 percent of the $450 billion total earmarked for the third round of stimulus are in the hands of eligible Americans.
Do take note that there have been plenty of reports of people still waiting for the so-called “plus-up” or supplemental checks even though the latest batch included more than a million of them. These payments are for U.S.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,” the IRS said.
In all, the agency has made more than eight million such payments so far this year, and they will continue to roll out on a weekly basis throughout the summer.
Once again, the IRS is urging Americans to file an extension and complete their tax returns if they haven’t already. The agency noted that “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.”
Those expanded child tax credits—seen by some as the unofficial version of another round stimulus checks—will be heading into eligible parents’ bank accounts starting July 15.
In addition to the stimulus checks, there are likely millions of Americans who are still waiting for their refunds from 2020 unemployment benefits. Thanks to President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus bill, these refunds are from the waiving of federal tax on up to $10,200 of unemployment benefits, or $20,400 for married couples filing jointly, that were received by taxpayers last year.
The IRS did issue nearly three million of these refunds earlier this month, but the agency has failed to live up to its word when it said that it would disburse the next batch in mid-June. As the month nears its end, the IRS has yet to publicly give a concrete date on when the payments will head out.
“The review of returns and processing corrections will continue during the summer as the IRS continues to review the simplest returns and then turns to more complex returns,” the agency writes.
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.