Third stimulus check news summary: 17 March 2021
- IRS announces that 90 million stimulus checks have already been distributed (read more)
- Stimulus funds released by major US banks like Wells Fargo and Chase this morning
- President Biden pledges to reach 100 million stimulus check payments within 10 days (read more)
- Research suggests that 58% of stimulus check money will be spent on food
- IRS confirmed that millions have already received new child tax credit
- Biden and VP Harris begin "Help is Here Tour" to mark passage of stimulus bill
- Treasury and Internal Revenue Service officials confirm that $1,400 checks have started to arrive in accounts
- Nearly 160 million US households will receive $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 (read more)
- You can track the status of your payment using the IRS Get My Payment Tool
- US covid-19 cases/deaths: 29.56 million/537,284 (live updates)
Further related reading:
FTC warn of new stimulus check phishing scam
The Federal Trade Commission has warned against responding to texts, emails or calls, pretending to be from official organisations or the government concerning stimulus checks.
The FTC has set out guidelines to help you tell the difference between a real contact tracer and a scammer. Legitimate tracers need health information, not money or personal financial information.
Be wary of emails claiming to be from the CDC or WHO. Use sites like coronavirus.gov and usa.gov/coronavirus to get the latest information. And don’t click on links from sources you don’t know.
Do your homework when it comes to donations. Never donate in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money.
Mark Cuban's advice on what stimulus checks should be spent on
The billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban is in no doubt about what Americans should do with their $1,400 stimulus checks. If you don't need the extra cash for essentials, then put it towards paying off any debts, or save it for a rainy day, he told CNBC's Make It. “Pay off credit cards but if you find yourself with any money left over, put it in the bank," was Cuban's advice.
90 million Americans have received their stimulus checks
The Internal Revenue Service confirmed on Wednesday that it has sent out over 90 million stimulus checks in the most recent round of relief payments, over $242 billion in aid - part of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan. The first batch of payments were mostly sent by direct deposit, to eligible taxpayers who provided direct deposit information on their 2019 or 2020 returns.
The IRS added that Treasury Department also has mailed 150,000 paper checks worth more than $442 million to those who couldn't receive the money by direct deposit.
Additional batches and payments will be sent in the coming weeks by direct deposit and through the mail as a check or debit card. The vast majority of all Economic Impact Payments will be issued by direct deposit.
Biden sets about unravelling Trump's Medicaid work rules
Federal Medicaid officials on Wednesday sent letters to Arkansas and New Hampshire officials to inform them that the government’s permission for the states to mandate that some enrollees work, volunteer or attend school as a condition of their coverage has been revoked. Last month, the Biden administration last month began the process of eliminating work rules in roughly a dozen states where they had been approved under previous President Donald Trump in 2018.
Federal Reserve forecasts US economy to grow 6.5% in 2021
The US economy is set to grow by 6.5% this year according to a report by the Federal Reserve. It is a more bullish outlook from the central bank, who had predicted the economy to grow by 4.2% at the end of last year but Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan has sparked new optimism. The interest rate remains unchanged at 0% and the Fed isn't expecting it to rise until 2023 at the earliest.
IRS extends deadline to file tax returns
The IRS has pushed back the 2020 tax filing deadline but even so, advises taxpayers not to delay and warns that state tax filings remain the same.
Read the full story:
Overwhelming bipartisan support for bankruptcy relief not included with stimulus
One of the features of passing the American Rescue Plan Act so swiftly is that the bill was constrained by procedural rules on what could and could not be in the bill. If a measure was found not to explicitly be related to the budget it had to be left out.
For that reason Democrats will have to take up raising the minimum wage in a separate bill, although they tried to include it in the $1.9 trillion covid-19 relief bill. Protecting the $1,400 stimulus checks from debt collectors as well had to be left out, but they will now be safe form federal debts.
Missing stimulus payments will be protected from federal debts
When the Democrats passed the American Rescue Plan Act through Congress, due to procedural rules they used to swiftly get it through there was one measure they couldn’t put in the bill, protecting the $1,400 stimulus checks from debt collectors. Lawmakers are trying to pass a bill to protect the payments from all debt collection but at least now there is some limited protection.
The IRS won’t take a taxpayer’s refund money to pay off any federal debts they owe if that taxpayer claims a 2020 stimulus payment on their tax return. This could include overdue child support payments at the federal level; however this does not apply to state debts nor for the moment private debts.
Surge in online demand crashes Wells Fargo as $1,400 stimulus payments hit accounts
Wells Fargo customers experienced issues when checking their accounts online on Wednesday morning just as $1,400 stimulus payments were becoming available.
Read the full story:
Advice for using stimulus check money wisely
Research suggests that 58% of stimulus check money will be spent on food, many others will use it to shore up budgets. But some will go out and splurge and others will try their hand at the stock market. Suze Orman, host of the “Women & Money” podcast recommends that people should focus on preparing for more emergencies.
Check out her video to hear why she says people need to be prepared for at least another year of reduced income.
Dispute over stimulus check turns violent
Detroit Police responded to a call Tuesday morning where a 53-year-old man had been shot. The man was taken to the hospital and was listed in temporary serious condition. A 31-year-old man was taken into custody for the shooting when police arrived.
The Detroit Police Department said it is investigating the shooting, that it may be linked to an argument over stimulus checks issued by the federal government this week. The two men were believed to be arguing over a stimulus check when the younger man walked to a car, got a gun, and then shot the other man once.
Tax-filing deadline extended to 17 May
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has confirmed that it has extended the deadline for individual taxpayers to file their 2020 tax return as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. They will now have until 17 May, rather than 15 April, to submit their return.
"This continues to be a tough time for many people, and the IRS wants to continue to do everything possible to help taxpayers navigate the unusual circumstances related to the pandemic, while also working on important tax administration responsibilities," IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in a statement.
However, Rettig urged Americans to get their returns in "as soon as possible" nonetheless, noting that, among other things, this will speed up the process of claiming missing stimulus checks from the first two rounds of direct payments.
"Even with the new deadline, we urge taxpayers to consider filing as soon as possible, especially those who are owed refunds," he said. "Filing electronically with direct deposit is the quickest way to get refunds, and it can help some taxpayers more quickly receive any remaining stimulus payments they may be entitled to."
I haven't received the second stimulus payment yet: can I apply for third one?
There are a few reasons you may not have received a second stimulus check payment yet, but that does not necessarily mean you can’t get the third payment.
How to cash a third stimulus check without a bank account
Millions of Americans who are expecting a $1,400 stimulus check don’t have a bank account. If you are one, here are some options to cash your check.
IRS deposits 90 million payments into bank accounts
The first wave of $1,400 direct deposits have arrived less than a week after President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan into law last Thursday.
Can I get a third stimulus check and receive unemployment benefits at the same time?
The short answer is yes. The long answer is here:
First lady promotes stimulus bill in New Hampshire
First Lady Jill Biden was speaking at the Christa McAuliffe School in Concord, New Hampshire, today, promoting the benefits of President Joe Biden’s $1.9tn coronavirus relief bill.
"With the American Rescue Plan, help is here," Biden said.
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:
Information on dependents' stimulus-check eligibility
As part of the third round of stimulus checks, many more dependents are eligible for a payment than in the first two batches, which limited access to an additional credit to those aged 16 and under.
How to claim missing stimulus check on your 2020 tax return
Millions of people never received either their first or second stimulus check - but if you were one of them, don’t despair. When you file your 2020 tax return you can claim yours.
Why could there be delays in stimulus check distribution?
The IRS sent out 90 million stimulus check payments this morning, bring Biden close to meeting his target of 100 million payments in ten days. This round of payments looks on course to be the swiftest stimulus check rollout to date.
However while millions will have already received the $1,400 direct support, that does not mean that the process will be without any delays and there are concerns that the ongoing tax season could slow the IRS down considerably.
How to check when your third stimulus check payment is coming
The distribution process for each round of stimulus checks can be a confusing and uneven one with the IRS sending out the payments in a series of 'waves'. Earlier today thefirst 90 million $1,400 payments were confirmed to have landed in bank accounts but that accounts for little more than half of the total number of eligibile Americans.
This handy stimulus check tracker from the IRS will help you keep up to date with the distribution, and even show you how much you are entitled to receive.
When will the next stimulus check payments be sent?
Following the news that roughly 90 million stimulus check direct deposits have been made, many are wondering when the next round will arrive. IRS have confirmed that they also mailed an additional 150,000 physical checks (worth a total of $442 million, with a pay date of March 19) to those whose bank details they do not have on file.
“Additional batches of payments will be sent in the coming weeks with the vast majority sent by direct deposit,” said the Independent Community Bankers of America in an online update. “Payments will also be sent through the mail as a check or debit card.”
First 90 million stimulus check payments arrive in bank accounts
The IRS have confirmed that they have already sent out around 90 million direct deposits into Americans’ banks accounts as the distribution of the third stimulus check continues.
President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan into law last Thursday and his administration have been eager to get the direct support out to those in need as quickly as possible. Biden has set the target of distributing 100 million stimulus checks in just ten days, and it seems they are on track to do so comfortably.
Stimulus bill could cut childhood poverty in half
Researchers from Columbia University predict that the American Rescue Plan could lift up to 12 million people in the US out of poverty in the next year, cutting childhood poverty in half.
The $1.9 trillion package looks to get money directly into the pockets of those who are in greatest need. Particularly effective at doing this are the $1,400 stimulus checks, boosted unemployment benefits and the extended child tax credit programme which will provide up to $3,600 a year to parents.
Stimulus check status: what does 'IRS TREAS 310 - TAX EIP3' mean?
As the first wave of $1,400 stimulus chekcs begins to land in bank accounts for millions of Americans, some are struggling to work out when the payment will go live for them.
Direct deposit recipients whose stimulus checks have already appeared in their accounts have reported that the payment has been labeled on their bank statement using the reference "IRS TREAS 310 - TAXEIP3".
We take a look at what that means, and how long you will likely have to wait for the payment to be accessible.
Since he was sworn in as US President on 20 January, Joe Biden has yet to take direct answers from the press. However, his first solo encounter with the national media has now been arranged.
Stimulus bill draws positive approval rating for Biden
A recent study, carried out 13-16 March in the days after Presidnet Biden signed the American Rescue Plan into law found that almost three-quarters of those surveyed support it. The $1.9 trillion package was criticised as being too expensive by Republicans, but as the $1,400 stimulus checks begin to land in bank accounts it seems like the general perception is far more positive.
Support is high among Democrats (95%) and independents (69%), while even Republican voters are fairly evenly split on the bill. Despite not receiving a single GOP vote in Congress, 44% of Republican voters support the bill while 48% oppose it.
90 million stimulus checks have already been distributed
Washington Post personal finance correspondent Jeff Stein has reported that 90 million of the third stimulus checks have already been distributed by the IRS, less than a week after President Biden signed the stimulus bill into law.
The $1,400 direct payments were first sent out last Friday but a number of big banks had delayed the distribution until this morning. An additional 150,000 physical stimulus checks are also en route in the post, the second wave of payments that are on their way.
Republicans regret not criticising stimulus bill more
As Biden embarks on a netional tour to sell the benefits of the American Rescue Plan, Republican lawmakers and top advisors appear concerned that they have not effectively argued against the $1.9 trillion package. The bill includes the $1,400 stimulus checks and was generally very popoular across the country, with one poll suggesting three-quarters of all Americans supported the bill.
“I think this is a missed opportunity and the GOP has to improve its communications campaign pretty dramatically,” said former House speaker Newt Gingrich, reflecting on the response from the Republican Party to the bill.
The Democrats will hope that the stimulus checks and direct support for Americans will keep Biden's approval rating high until he has been able to enact some of his more long-term goals.
Stimulus check eligibility requirements tightened: who misses out?
The American Rescue Plan included the largest stimulus check payments to date (up to $1,400 per person), but Congressional discussions saw the income thresholds altered so fewer "high-income earners" were able to receive the payments.
There are also other groups who are missed out in the most recent stimulus bill, who will not receive a payment. Here's our handy guide to see if you have a stimulus check on the way.
Stimulus checks are available for homeless Americans
The coronavirus pandemic has destroyed livelihoods for millions and unfortunately has less many unable to cover rent and other essentials. However those who are currently homeless are not excluded from receiving the third stimulus checks, which will provide a $1,400 direct payment that can be accessed on a debit card.
This article explains how to apply for the payment for yourself or on behalf of someone you know. Essentially, homeless people can go to a tax return office and asked them to file something called Economic Impact Payment return, which will get the $1,400 put on a debit card for the recipient.
Biden continues 'Help Is Here' stimulus bill tour
As the stimulus checks are sent out nationwide the President is travelling the country to sell the bill to Americans, outlining exactly what is involved in the package. The tour comes as Republicans in Congress continues to criticise the stimulus bill and blame the Democrats for over-spending.
The $1,400 stimulus checks are obviously extremely popular but they only account for around a quarter of the federal spending included in the bill. Biden is eager to press hope other facets of the bil, such as the child tax credit expansion and the loans for small businesses.
When is the third stimulus check coming?
The IRS began distributing the $1,400 payments last week but recipients who use some of the major banks may have found that they have not been able to access the cash until today. A group of the biggest banks in the US stuck to the initial stimulus check guidelines and refused to distribute them to customers until today.
Here, Bloomberg give a handy rundown of when you are likely to get the direct payment and why banks have been holding out until now.
Biden open to filibuster reform
President Joe Biden on Tuesday said he supports changing the Senate's filibuster rule by bringing back the talking filibuster, requiring a senator who wants to block legislation to hold the floor without taking a break. It's the first time the President has expressed support for any changes to the Senate's legislative filibuster rule, which requires 60 senators to vote to end debate on a bill.
The filibuster was intended to ensure bipartisan support for legislation and prevent a tyranny of the minority but has come to represent the opposite. One senator can now hold up legislation or block appointments anonymously at no personal political cost until a filibuster is broken.
Senate confirms Isabel Guzman to lead Small Business Administration
Isabel Guzman will lead the Small Business Administration, the Senate confirmed on Tuesday. Guzman, who was confirmed in a 81–17 vote, will play a major role in implementing President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan.
The new SBA administrator will oversee the Paycheck Protection Program, the over $687 billion loan initiative that has helped millions of companies but also been ripe for "fraud, waste, and abuse," according to a House Democratic investigation last year.
Stimulus check hasn't arrived? Here's what to do
Stimulus payments have been going out via direct deposit since the weekend. 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.
Four killed in alleged argument over stimulus checks
A man allegedly gunned down three adults and a child after arguing with his girlfriend over her stimulus check in Indianapolis over the weekend, the Indy Star reports. The suspect has been identified as 25-year-old Malik Halfacre who was taken into custody one day after police claim that he shot and killed Anthony Johnson, 35, Dequan Moore, 23, Eve Moore, 7, and Tomeeka Brown, 44, inside a multi-unit residence on North Randolph Street.
States may take longer to implement extended federal unemployment benefits
Prior to the pandemic states typically were able to get unemployment compensation to recipients within a few weeks of a claim being properly filed.
President Biden visits Pennsylvania
US President Joe Biden and vice-president Kamala Harris paid a visit to the battleground state of Pennsylvania on Tuesday to explain how the $1.9tn coronavirus relief package will help lift small businesses hurt by the pandemic. During his visit to Smith Flooring Inc, located in the Philadelphia suburb of Chester, Biden promised company officials that “more help is on the way...”
Biden added, "When we wrote this Rescue Plan, they insisted that we have an inspector general to make sure the money goes exactly where it’s supposed to go. And so we’re in a position where it’s going to bring immediate relief — $1,400 to 85% of the American public. I said, yesterday, we’re going to get 100 million shots in people’s arms within the first 60 days of my administration and 100 million checks out — 100 million people are going to be getting, not a joke, a check for $1,400, which would change their lives".
IRS and TurboTax not expecting more stimulus check glitches
TurboTax and the IRS have confirmed that they have been working together to ensure that the agency has the correct bank account information for customers for the third stimulus payments. IRS officials added that the agency put a new system into place to more quickly correct errors when they occur, but it did not provide further details.
President Biden to hold press conference next week
Joe Biden will hold his first press conference as US President on Thursday 25 March, his press officer Jen Psaki has confirmed. Biden will take questions from the media 64 days after taking office, the longest any president has waited before attending the press.
US retail sales down 3% in February
US retail sales fell more than expected in February amid bitterly cold weather across the country, but a rebound is likely as the government disburses another round of pandemic relief money to mostly lower- and middle-income households.
Retail sales dropped by 3.0% last month, the Commerce Department said. But data for January was revised sharply up to show sales rebounding 7.6% instead of 5.3% as previously reported. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast retail sales falling only 0.5% in February.
Millions of Americans don’t have a bank account and are expecting a $1,400 stimulus check. If you are one, here are some options to cash your check.
Biden wants to make child tax credit permanent - White House
President Joe Biden wants to make the child tax credit included in his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief program permanent, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Tuesday.
Biden and other officials in his administration are traveling across the United States to promote and explain the newly enacted relief measure, which provides $1,400 stimulus checks to most Americans.
The package also expands the U.S. federal child tax credit for one year to a fully refundable $3,600 credit for children under 6 and $3,000 for children aged 6 to 17, from a partially refundable $2,000 per child.
Experts say the move will significantly decrease child poverty in the United States. Nearly 11 million, or one in seven, U.S. children live in poverty, the Center for American Progress, a progressive think tank, estimates.
"The president wants to make the Child Tax Credit permanent," Psaki told reporters in response to a question. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Schumer’s fellow New York Democrat, said on Sunday they would push to enshrine the enhanced child tax credits as they move forward with other initiatives, including legislation to upgrade U.S. infrastructure.
Psaki said Biden was looking at various proposals, including one from Republican Senator Mitt Romney, to keep giving the credits to Americans, and viewed them as critical to getting more women back into the workforce.
"He believes it's also one of the ways that we can help address the number of women - working women - who have moved out of the workforce," she said. "But we just have to find a vehicle, and we're having those discussions with Congress."
IRS agrees to shield some stimulus checks from debt garnishment
The IRS has agreed to not seize the stimulus checks of citizens who have outstanding federal tax debts. "The IRS has agreed to exercise its discretion...to refrain from offsetting [stimulus payments] to satisfy federal tax debts. It has committed to doing so as quickly as practical," National Taxpayer Advocate Erin Collins explained in a blog post.
The move will not protect individuals who may have other debts such as unpaid state taxes or overpayments of certain federal benefits.
Stimulus funds arrive at major US banks today
The Internal Revenue Service has confirmed that the settlement date for the first wave of $1,400 stimulus payments will be done by direct deposit on Wednesday morning, Nacha, the organization that oversees the ACH Network payment system, announced on its web site.
The banks will receive the funds at 8:30 a.m., a time set by the IRS, and banks and credit unions must make the funds available to account holders 30 minutes later at 9:00 a.m.
"Regardless of when payment files were sent and received, settlement of the funds for the payments will occur at 8:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday, March 17, exactly as instructed by the IRS. This is literally the moment in time when the money will be transferred from the government to banks’ and credit unions’ settlement accounts at the Federal Reserve. There is no mystery where the money is from the time the first payment file was transmitted on Friday, March 12 to when all recipients will have access to the money on Wednesday—it is still with the government".
Stimulus check live updates: welcome
Good morning as we begin our live blog on Wednesday 17 March 2021.
We will be bringing you all the latest stimulus bill news throughout the day following confirmation that as the first batch of relief payments began hitting banks accounts over this weekend with major US banks receiving stimulus funds from 8:30 a.m today.
Stay with us for everything you need to know, including reactions and opinions to the developing situation.