CORONAVIRUS

Stimulus check: Americans get missing $500 as IRS fixes error

The IRS recently confirmed that it has fixed an error that has seen a $500 credit per child dependent accidentally left off some stimulus checks.

Stimulus check: Americans get missing $500 as IRS fixes error
CHIP SOMODEVILLA / AFP

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) confirmed this month that it has fixed an error that has seen some people in the United States miss out on extra money for child dependents as part of their CARES Act stimulus checks.

$500 per dependent on top of regular stimulus check

Under the terms of the CARES Act, a $2.2tn coronavirus relief package signed into law in March, checks have been distributed to qualifying Americans to help them cope with the financial impact of a pandemic that has seen the jobless rate in the US soar, with over 56 million people applying for unemployment benefits since March.

Since mid-April, checks of up to $1,200 have been sent to those earning under $99,000 a year - and households have also been able to claim an additional $500 per dependent under 17.

Some who used Non-Filers tool not sent credit

However, some claimants who registered for their check using the Non-Filers tool - the IRS platform through which those not required to submit tax returns have been able to apply for their payment - have found that the extra money they were supposed to get for their qualifying dependents was accidentally left off.

According to the IRS, the issue affected people who used the Non-Filers tool before 17 May.

Sent by direct deposit from 5 August, mailed from 7 August

The body said that direct-deposit payment of the outstanding $500 per dependent was scheduled to begin on 5 August, while paper checks or prepaid debit cards would be sent out from 7 August.

"If you received your EIP [Economic Impact Payment] by direct deposit, the additional $500 EIP per qualifying child will be direct deposited to the same bank account," the IRS explained. "If you received your EIP in the mail, the additional $500 EIP per qualifying child will be mailed to your address of record."

Claimants can use the IRS’ Get My Payment portal to check on the status of their missing dependents' credit. They will also receive a letter confirming that the money has been sent.

Second check on hold amid relief package impasse

Amid an impasse in negotiations over the next coronavirus stimulus bill in the US, Americans' wait for a second round of stimulus checks goes on - despite Democrats and Republicans agreeing that another direct payment needs to be included in the legislation.

Two weeks of talks between White House leaders and Democratic congressional chiefs failed to yield an agreement by their self-imposed deadline of 7 August, with other issues - such as enhanced unemployment benefits and financial aid for state and local governments - holding up the bill. With Congress now on recess, a package looks unlikely to be pushed through before September.

Last Saturday, US President Donald Trump responded to the failure to agree a bill by signing a series of executive orders that seek to provide supplementary unemployment benefits to out-of-work Americans, suspend student loan payments and interest, defer payroll taxes and extend a moratorium on evictions.

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