Key point: The IRS can only be as accurate with sending out stimulus payments as is possible with the data it has on hand. You should file your taxes and see if you qualify for a 'plus up' payment.
As promised throughout this ongoing pandemic, the Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department have been sending out weekly batches of coronavirus stimulus checks to eligible U.S. taxpayers under the American Rescue Plan.
For the current eighth batch, 1.1 million more $1,400 payments were disbursed, bringing the total sent out to approximately one hundred sixty-four million, boasting a value of about $386 billion.
And of these payments, many of which should have landed in bank accounts on May 5, know that more than half a million “plus-up” or supplemental checks were included to target “people 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 continued: “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.”
According to the latest estimates, the agency will ultimately deliver $1.2 billion worth of these “plus-up” payments to U.S. taxpayers in the coming weeks and months.
Also, keep in mind that there have been reports of long delays in getting the supplemental payments, as the IRS might not have the necessary information to send out the money quickly.
Know that for weeks the government has been urging Americans who do not receive federal benefits or typically file tax returns to submit one as soon as possible in order to provide their payment information, such as bank account and routing numbers.
For those who have been forced to sit on the sidelines for this round of stimulus payments and would like to know their status update, be sure to log on to the IRS “Get My Payment” tool at www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment.
Also, keep in mind that if one still hasn’t received one or both of the checks from the first two stimulus rounds, they can still be claimed by the extended Tax Day deadline of May 17. Just make sure to take advantage of the Recovery Rebate Credit that has been added to all tax returns this year.
“If you didn’t get any payments or got less than the full amounts, you may qualify for the Recovery Rebate Credit and must file a 2020 tax return to claim the credit even if you don’t normally file,” says the IRS website.
The IRS has once again reminded U.S. taxpayers that the income levels for this third round of stimulus have changed—meaning that some individuals will not be eligible for the payment even if they received a first or second stimulus check without any issues. Those who earn as much as $75,000 in adjusted gross income or couples making $150,000—in addition to their children or adult dependents—qualify for the full $1,400 per person.
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. This first appeared earlier and is being reposted due to reader interest. Image: Reuters.