Third stimulus check news summary: 14 March 2021

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$1400 Third stimulus check updates: when it's coming, when banks are releasing it, track status, child tax credit...

US stimulus check news: summary

Headlines:

- Treasury and Internal Revenue Service officials confirm that $1,400 checks will arrive in bank accounts over the weekend

- Nearly 160 million US households will receive some $400 billion in direct payments of $1,400 per person

- The $1,400 stimulus checks will be sent to individuals earning up to $75,000 and married couples earning up to $150,000

- The first batch of payments are being sent out this weekend, with more batches expected over the coming weeks.

- You can track the status of your payment using the IRS Get My Payment Tool.

- Wells Fargo, Chase and Navy Federal Credit Union have said that customers eligible for stimulus payments may receive them as early as 17 March

- Boosted by stimulus push, dollar reverses fall from earlier in the week and finishes the week strongly

- Economists boost their projections for US growth this year

- Total cost of third stimulus checks estimated at $411 billion, around a quarter of total cost of the bill

- Biden says new stimulus bill will "build an economy that grows from the bottom up"

- US covid-19 cases/deaths: 29.4 million/534,000+ (live updates)

Further related reading:

Democrats push to make relief bill aid to the poor permanent

U.S. Senate Democrats will push to make permanent two provisions of President Joe Biden's covid-19 relief bill that provide emergency enhanced benefits for the poor through food assistance and child tax credits, two leading lawmakers said on Sunday.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said that making enhanced child tax credits permanent is an important goal for Democrats, as they seek to move forward with bold new initiatives that also include legislation to upgrade U.S. infrastructure.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Schumer's fellow New York Democrat, called separately for enhancements for a nutrition program aimed at women, infants and children in the $1.9 trillion bill to be extended indefinitely.

Biden's legislation temporarily increased the value of the program's cash vouchers for fruits and vegetables from $9 per month for children and $11 for women to $35 per month for both.

The bill also expands the U.S. federal child tax credit for one year from a partially refundable $2,000 per child to a fully refundable $3,600 credit for children under 6 and $3,000 for children aged 6 to 17, a move that experts say will significantly decrease child poverty in the United States.

Stimulus checks going astray

The first stimulus payments as part of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan started appearing in people's bank accounts this weekend but some claim that their checks have gone to the wrong account. After checking the status of their payment on the Get My Payment tool on the IRS website, some taxpayers noticed that the last four digits of their bank account numbers did not correspond to their account, meaning that their payments went somewhere else.

It's a technical issue which the IRS experienced in the first two rounds of payments and one which will eventually be resolved but in the meantime, some face a longer wait for their checks...

Calls for IRS tax filing deadline to be extended

This year, the tax filing deadline is on 15 April but there have been called for it to be extended, like it was last year, to accommodate the changes which might have affected filing taxes returns relating to last year, since the American Rescue Plan became law last week. Benefits included in the bill could affect 40 million taxpayers, Bloomberg reports.

Democrats push to make Covid-19 relief bill aid to the poor permanent

US Senate Democrats will push to make permanent two provisions of President Joe Biden's Covid-19 relief bill that provide emergency enhanced benefits for the poor through food assistance and child tax credits, two leading lawmakers said on Sunday.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said that making enhanced child tax credits permanent is an important goal for Democrats, as they seek to move forward with bold new initiatives that also include legislation to upgrade US infrastructure.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Schumer's fellow New York Democrat, called separately for enhancements for a nutrition program aimed at women, infants and children in the $1.9 trillion bill to be extended indefinitely. Biden's legislation temporarily increased the value of the program's cash vouchers for fruits and vegetables from $9 per month for children and $11 for women to $35 per month for both. The bill also expands the US federal child tax credit for one year from a partially refundable $2,000 per child to a fully refundable $3,600 credit for children under 6 and $3,000 for children aged 6 to 17, a move that experts say will significantly decrease child poverty in the United States.

"That's one of the most important things we can do. We can change America, if we make them permanent," Schumer told MSNBC. "It will be so good for these kids, their families, but for all of America and our economy."

Nearly 11 million, or one in seven, US children live in poverty, the Center for American Progress, a progressive think tank, estimates. Making the provisions permanent could prove difficult, with many Republicans opposed to any expansion in US welfare services that is not accompanied by work requirements for benefit recipients.

The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives can pass legislation on a simple majority and has begun to move bills that reflect party priorities such as police reform, gun control and measures to enhance voter participation. But the 100-seat Senate, which is split 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans, requires 60 votes for most legislation.

Schumer said Democrats would try to work with Republicans to enact 'bold change' but warned that his caucus would consider other means, including possible changes to Senate rules, if Republicans continue to oppose Democratic legislation. "But if we can't, if they vote 'no' on everything in terms of the kinds of change that America needs, then our caucus will have to get together and figure out how to get it done," Schumer said. "Everything will be on the table and failure is not an option." 

$3000/$3600 Child Tax Credit per child: when will it arrive?

President’s Biden’s $1.9 trillion relief bill includes provisions that increase child tax credit to $3,000 for children aged from 6 to 17 and $3,600 annually for those under six.

How the Relief bill affects families

A married couple with two kids under the age of 6 could potentially receive more than $20,800 in monthly payments, stimulus checks and tax breaks in 2021.

"Help is here"

The first $1,400 stimulus checks have already hit the bank accounts of some Americans.

Where is my stimulus check? All you need to know

If you still haven’t received your $1,400 stimulus check, you can find out why it might have been delayed, what to do if it is and when to expect it with the IRS app.

More information here:

Stimulus payments could be seized to pay off outstanding debts

Some people could see their $1,400 stimulus payment vanish from their bank accounts to pay off oustanding debts, loans, credit or overdrafts. There is nothing stipulated in President Biden's relief bill which would stop debt collectors from claiming stimulus money to pay off personal debts. Most at risk are those who have a judgement against them - these give creditors the right to take a portion of your paycheck or money from your bank account to collect a debt.

Starbucks

US economy gaining traction?

On eight of the last 14 days, the Transportation Security Administration cleared more than a million people per day to board airplanes, the first such stretch during the pandemic outside of the Christmas and New Year's holiday weeks.

The numbers of people eating at restaurants has begun rising, data from reservation site OpenTable shows. While still low overall, in states like Texas and Florida patronage at reopened restaurants is more than 80% of a year ago, just before the pandemic - a sign people are willing to return to in-person activities as they become available.

Shift work at a broad set of industries jumped in the first week of March to nearly 90% of the pre-pandemic level, according to time management firm UKG, the highest reading in its labor index since last spring's jobs crash. Data on small businesses provided by time management company Homebase have also seen a steady rise in employment this year.

Beyond private business, school re-openings should mean the rehiring of bus drivers, cafeteria workers and others furloughed last year, and may speed the return to work of mothers and fathers unable to leave the home.

For trade show company Freeman, whose business was decimated by covid-19, the future seems to be falling into place.

Chief executive Bob Priest-Heck surveyed about 300,000 exhibitors and other customers in February and found about 78% plan to attend in-person events in the fall - compared with 60% in a survey just a month earlier and about equal with a normal year.

Event bookings for the 12 months beginning in July are already at $1.2 billion, an encouraging base to build towards the company's pre-covid annual revenue of around $2 billion, and a signal to plan more staffing. As it stands the firm expects to bring back at least 1,400 of the roughly 4,000 let go during the pandemic, and more as needed.

"Bookings are really materializing in the fall," Priest-Heck said. "I think we are going to have a really strong recovery ... We have massive, massive ramp-up plans."

#DirectDebit trending this weekend in the US

With stimulus checks starting to be received in numerous bank accounts over the weekend, the hashtag #DirectDebit was trending on Twitter

Treasury Department outline stimulus payment plan

The US Treasury Dpt. issued a thread with useful information for Americans waiting for the next payment instalment after the approval of the American Rescue Plan

 

Vaccine

Cautious optimism over US economy

There seems some grounds for optimism relating to the US economy. The growth in cases is slowing, vaccines are being rolled out nation-wide and households now have an income buffer for another five months, time for the pandemic to abate.

There are plenty who still need help. Last week another 712,000 filed initial claims for unemployment, and more than 20 million continued collecting benefits in late February. Those numbers may not come down fast until the virus recedes enough that the most damaged parts of the economy, particularly the travel and hospitality industries, can fully reopen.

US stimulus package leaves Europe standing in the dust

Opinion article via the prestigious Financial Times on the impact on Biden's American Rescue Plan

 

Weekend bank account mix-ups

Some Americans say their stimulus checks are being deposited in the wrong bank accounts this weekend, forcing many of them to wait longer for the badly needed aid after struggling financially during the pandemic.

Full story here via USA Today

 

Pelosi

Pelosi says U.S. lawmakers must work 'swiftly' on major infrastructure package

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated that she has directed key Democratic lawmakers to begin working with Republicans on a major infrastructure package.

Democrat Pelosi, who met late last weeky with the chairs of U.S. House of Representatives committees that will oversee the infrastructure package, said in a statement: "Congress must work swiftly ... to craft a big, bold and transformational infrastructure package."

A Pelosi aide told Reuters infrastructure is "next in terms of top priorities." One big question mark remains how to pay for a massive boost in spending, which had prevented Congress from approving a big package for more than a decade.

Pelosi said she hoped the measures will address transportation as well as "other critical needs in energy and broadband, education and housing, water systems and other priorities."

As a candidate, President Joe Biden pledged to invest $2 trillion in fixing highways, bridges and airports; building climate-resilient homes; wiring cities for broadband internet; and encouraging the manufacturing of fuel-efficient cars and installing 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations.

House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio told Reuters last week that his "tentative timeline" is to have his committee's portion of a major infrastructure bill approved by the panel in May. "It is going to be green and it is going to be big,” he said.

Both major US movie markets back after 12 desolate months

Disney's animated adventure "Raya and the Last Dragon" remained victorious at the domestic box office, collecting $5.5 million from 2,163 venues over the weekend.

Those ticket sales, representing a 35% decline in its second weekend of release, push its overall total to $15.8 million domestically. "Raya and the Last Dragon" has generated another $36 million at the international box office for a global haul of $52.6 million. The family film is also available to rent on Disney Plus, the company's streaming service, for an extra $30 fee.

In traditional times, movie theater operators would likely refuse to showcase a film that is also streaming online. But these days, new releases are few and far between and film exhibitors are happy to offer customers what they can. Many are optimistic that a moviegoing revival could be on the horizon because theaters in Los Angeles were given permission to reopen for the first time in nearly a year. Few L.A.-based venues were able to resume operations in such short notice, but several plan to begin selling tickets again next weekend. Across the country, New York City movie theaters are newly allowed to welcome patrons again, meaning the country's two biggest movie markets are back in business after a brutal, desolate 12 months.

Fauci

To help lift restrictions, Fauci hopes Trump will push his supporters to get vaccine

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease expert, said on Sunday he hopes former President Donald Trump will push his supporters to get the covid-19 vaccine and emphasized that pandemic-related restrictions should not be lifted prematurely.

In a PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist poll released last week, about half of U.S. men who identified themselves as Republicans said they had no plans to get the vaccine.

Asked whether Trump should speak to his supporters directly, given those poll numbers, Fauci said on the "Fox News Sunday" program: "I think it would make all the difference in the world." Trump, Fauci said, "is a such a strongly popular person ... it would be very helpful for the effort for that to happen."

Trump told attendees at a conservative conference last month to get vaccinated - saying, "everybody, go get your shot" - the first time he had encouraged people to do so.

'Get my Payment' tool up and running

The “Get My Payment” tool on the IRS website is working already for some who are eligible to receive the third stimulus checks.

 

IRS outlines payment plan

The Internal Revenue Service announced that the third round of Economic Impact Payments will begin reaching Americans over the next week.

 

"Shameful" Salazar blasted over stimulus bill reaction

More on the backlash against Republican lawmakers seemingly claiming credit for the benefits of the $1.9tn stimulus bill, despite voting against it: MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan has blasted GOP congresswoman María Elvira Salazar as "shameful" for her tweet lauding the passage of "my bipartisan COVID relief bill".

"She voted against the bill like every other House and Senate Republican," Hasan tweeted this weekend. "You’ll see more of this in the coming days and weeks..."

2020 US tax return: what's the minimum income to file taxes?

Taxpayers in the United States have until 15 April 2021 to submit their federal income tax return for 2020 - but people whose earnings didn't reach a certain level do not have to file.

Here's an overview of how much you need to have earned in 2020 to be required to complete a US tax return this year:

"YOU VOTED AGAINST IT"

Across Twitter, Republican lawmakers touting the benefits of President Biden’s relief bill are being reminded that the legislation's approval by Congress is certainly no thanks to them - after all, it got not a single GOP vote in either the House of Representatives or the Senate.

When was the first stimulus check sent out and how much was it?

Full details:

Child tax credit: how much will it be per child?

President Biden's stimulus bill also includes an expanded tax credit that will bring qualifying families up to $3,600 per child.

Full info:

What is "IRS TREAS 310 - TAX EIP3"?

Stimulus checks of up to $1,400 have begun arriving in Americans' bank accounts, with recipients reporting that the payment is labeled with the reference "IRS TREAS 310 - TAX EIP3".

Full details:

Twitter users take aim at banks over pending payments

Although stimulus checks have begun appearing in accounts this weekend, many recipients are finding that their banks are refusing to release the money just yet, causing frustration among people desperate for the financial support.

"Some Americans may see the direct deposit payments as pending or as provisional payments in their accounts before the official payment date of March 17," the IRS said in a statement on Friday.

Full story (you'll also find it in a post below): Banks face criticism for not releasing stimulus-check payments

Useful IRS fact sheet on third stimulus check

If you're looking for basic, essential information on the third round of stimulus checks, this fact sheet issued by the IRS may well be of use to you:

IRS third stimulus check fact sheet

It's also worth noting that during the first and second rounds of stimulus checks, the IRS also put together an FAQs page - the body is expected to do likewise for this third batch of payments.

Stimulus bill provides tax deductions for millions

President Biden's $1.9tn stimulus bill includes tax relief for recipients of unemployment benefits, allowing you to knock thousands of dollars off your tax bill.

More info:

Third stimulus check: how many people will get it?

As part of President Biden's $1.9tn coronavirus relief bill, stimulus checks of up to $1,400 have started to arrive in qualifying Americans' bank accounts over the weekend.

Exactly how many people in the US will get a direct payment?

Full details:

How to claim your stimulus check on 2020 tax return

Was your first or second stimulus check a no-show? Never fear, you can claim your missing payment as part of your 2020 tax return through Recovery Rebate Credit.

Full details:

Third stimulus check: when will Wells Fargo, Chase Bank & Bank of America release it?

Wells Fargo and Chase have faced heavy criticism for not releasing those $1,400 stimulus payments already being deposited by the IRS this weekend.

Read full story...

Officials urge people to file tax returns electronically

(Reuters) Officials have urged people to file their tax returns electronically to ease the process, noting they could also qualify for other relief, including child tax credits.

The Biden administration said stimulus payments and other measures will boost economic growth and help Americans hit by the covid-19 pandemic, which is continuing to claim 1,400 lives in the United States each day.

Nearly 160 million U.S. households will receive some $400 billion in direct payments of $1,400 per person, helping individuals earning up to $75,000 annually and couples up to $150,000.

Those earning more, but less than $80,000 per individual or $160,000 per couple, will receive reduced amounts. Officials said they were coordinating with the Social Security Administration, other government agencies and financial institutions to avoid problems seen during the last round of stimulus payments, when checks went out to thousands of people who were deceased.

"We have a number of controls in place to make sure that we check and look at how those payments are going out," said one of the officials.

Young people plan to spend half of their stimulus checks on stocks

As reported by CNBC, an online Deutche Bank poll of 430 investors using online platforms found that half of those surveyed between 25 and 34 years old plan to spend half of their stimulus payments on stocks.

IRS Track My Payment Tool now available for $1,400 payment status

The IRS Track My Payment Tool is now available, allowing you to check the status of your payment. Up until early Sunday morning, the Tool was only available to check the status of the previous payments, but it has now been updated by the IRS.

"Get My Payment updates once per day, usually overnight...Previous payment information is no longer available in Get My Payment," the IRS says

"The first batch of payments will be sent by direct deposit, which some recipients started receiving as early as March 12. Additional batches of payments will be sent in the coming weeks by direct deposit and through the mail as a check or debit card."

 

Hoover Institution's Niall Ferguson warnings about the size of US stimulus bill

"I think it's part of a continuum of acts by Democratic administrations that have expanded the role of government in alleviating poverty and economic hardship," he said.

He added: "This is a very, very large amount of money relative to the US economy, and it implies very large deficits by the standards of peace time."

See his full comments below...

Overwhelming support for American Rescue Plan

In the one of the latest survey published by Pew on gauging support for the American Rescue Plan, it found that 70% of American adults supported the bill, with just 28% stating they opposed it. Among Republicans or independents who said they “leaned Republican”, 41% said they approved of  the package, which will see some 160 million Americans receive $1,400 stimulus checks over the coming days and weeks.

“We’re about to have a boom. And if we do have a boom, it will have absolutely nothing to do with this $1.9 trillion.”

Mitch McConnell (Rep), Senate minority leader,, on the prospects on an economic resurgences in the US

If don't receive your stimulus check this weekend, don't worry

Some people have already received their checks. But if you're eligible and still haven't received one by Monday, there is no need to worry. There is another batch of checks that are coming in the next few weeks by both direct deposit and through the mail as a check or debit card.

Joe Biden will not have his name on stimulus checks

Unlike former president Donald Trump, Joe Biden has opted not to have his name on the third round of $1,400 stimulus checks, which will help to speed up distribution. Trump faced harsh criticism for insisting that his name be on the previous checks, which led to a slow down in getting the checks out.

Anger grows as Chase and Wells Fargo refuse to release payments until 17 March

While the official payment date for the $1,400 stimulus checks is 17 March, the IRS is already sending millions of dollars-worth of payments to bank accounts over the course of this weekend.

However, two of the nation's biggest banks, Chase and Wells Fargo, have said they will not be releasing the payments to their customers until 17 March.

According to the Huffington Post, the banks are set to gain from delaying the processing of payments at the expense of their customers.

"Sluggish check processing only works to banks' advantage because of the increased 'float' created by a massive influx of government cash. They can juggle the delays to boost outgoing loans to other customers, and to boost their profits,"  the HuffPost noted.

 

Ossoff discusses the Stimlus Bill

Georgia's Democratic senator Jon Ossoff has spoken about the importance of the $1.9trn American Rescue Plan, saying the stimulus package is aimed at "investing in economic recovery by getting cash to working class and middle class people where it does the most good."

Ossoff was one of two Democratic candidates to win the Georgia Senate election runoff in January, which gave the party the majority it needed in the Upper House to get the American Rescue Plan passed as quickly as possible.

See his full comments in the video below...

ABA calls for legislation to stop debt-collectors seizing stimulus check money

The American Bankers Association has urged lawmakers to pass legislation that would stop debt collectors from seizing stimulus checks before the reach recipients.


In a letter Wednesday, the ABA stated that they have “joined a coalition of financial and consumer advocacy groups urging Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to support standalone legislation to ensure that these payments are shielded from assignment and garnishment.”


The ABA said that if Congress does not act, banks and other financial service providers will have to comply with court ordered garnishments that will enable debt collectors to seize stimulus checks to pay unpaid debts.


“It is simple to code the payments as exempt, and we believe it is imperative that Congress ensure that these next stimulus payments are treated as ‘benefits’ subject to the federal exemption from garnishment,” members of the coalition said in a statement. “Otherwise, the families that most need this money—those struggling with debt and whose entire bank accounts may be frozen by garnishment orders—will not be able to access their funds.”

Stella Parton urges people not to donate stimulus checks to church

Singer and sister of Dolly Parton, Stella Parton has warned her Twitter followers not to donate their stimulus checks to the church.

"Please keep your stimulus checks even if your pastor suggests you donate it to the church. If you don’t need it, donate it to someone in need."

Beware of stimulus check scams says BBB

The Better Business Bureau has warned Americans of potential scams as the stimulus checks started hitting bank accounts this weekend.

The BBB has urged people to beware of emails or text messages prompting them follow a link to “request benefit payments", which may connect users to an application requesting personal information to “make sure you are getting all the payments owed to you.” 

The BBB warns that scammers use this “application” to phish for personal details and commit identity theft.

President has new rapper-inspired "Moneybagg Joe" moniker

As stimulus checks hit bank accounts this weekend, a new nickname for the president has been circulating on social media: "Moneybagg Joe". The name has been inspired by rapper Moneybagg Yo. As MSNBC reports: "Here the joke is the absurd contrast [between Biden and the rapper] and according to many online, an affectionate view of Joe Biden for putting money out there"...

Indications that stimulus checks are being saved

Household savings reached $3.9trn last month, a staggering increase on last February, when the figure was $1.4trn. As pointed out by investment expert Michael A Gayed, it is a clear indication that many Americans saved their second stimulus check. And it's many will once again save some or all of their $1,400 stimulus check.

Americans to receive payments this weekend

Americans will see the first direct deposits from President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion covid-19 relief package hit their bank accounts this weekend, Treasury and Internal Revenue Service officials said on Friday.

Stimulus check calculator

CNBC has provided a very useful calculator that allows you to calculate how much stimulus check money can expect to receive for you and your qualifying dependents.

All you need to do is confirm your filing status (Single/Married/Head of Household), fill in your Adjusted Gross Income and select your No. of Dependents.

You can check it out here.

Third stimulus check: do I have to pay taxes on it?

The $1,400 direct payments could be in your bank account this weekend, but many are still unsure about how the new stimulus checks will affect IRS tax returns.

On Thursday, President Joe Biden signed into law the stimulus bill known as the American Rescue Plan, a cornerstone of his administration’s covid-19 response.

The $1.9 trillion package includes the long-awaited third stimulus checks, which will be worth up to $1,400 for each eligible American. Speaking to reporters yesterday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that they expect the first wave of payments to begin appearing in peoples’ bank accounts from this weekend onwards.

Full story:

Good morning...

Good morning as we begin our live blog this Sunday, 14 March bringing you all the latest stimulus bill news as the first batch of stimulus checks hit banks accounts over this weekend.

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