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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.

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.

The Economic Impact Payments (EIP) are sent out based on income eligibility requirements. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) uses taxpayers' filings to determine if individuals meet those requirements. If the information that the IRS had on hand when the payments were distributed left you out, or qualified you for a smaller payment, there are ways to fix it.

For the first round of payments the IRS used tax filings from 2018 and 2019, whichever was the most recent on file. Since the pandemic hit in the middle of tax season, many operations at the agency were put on hold, delaying the agency’s ability to process tax returns in a timely fashion. This was still the case for the second round of EIP which sent out $600 direct stimulus payments per adult and child.

Why didn’t I get a first or second stimulus check?

Many individuals and families saw their incomes upended by the pandemic in 2020, and the IRS is currently processing tax returns for that fiscal year. The filing deadline is 15 April, after which the agency will have 45 days to finish processing taxpayers' filings before it owes interest on tax refunds.

A person or family may have missed out on the payments due to their adjusted gross income (AGI) exceeding the thresholds set to qualify according to the information the IRS had on file at the time of processing the payment. But if a person or family saw their income was reduced, later qualifying them for a payment, taxpayers could claim the funds through the Recovery Rebate Credit on their 2020 fiscal year tax return.

Another possibility is that the individual is a non-filer, someone who is not required to file an income tax return. This is the case for many low-income earners, but also affected individuals and families who receive Social Security payments. In this case the IRS did not have any information on file for those individuals or perhaps dependents in the case of the latter.

How can I get the $1,400 third stimulus check?

For the first two rounds of direct stimulus payments, the IRS set up an online tool Get My Payment, which people could use to check the status of their stimulus payment. The agency has reactivated the tool for the third round of EIP, however you can no longer use the tool for the first two payments. To claim any money missing from the previous two rounds of payments, you will need to file a tax return for 2020, even if you are not required to, in order to claim the money through the Recovery Rebate Credit .

You will need to meet the eligibility requirements for the third round of payments which have been tightened with regards to the previous two rounds.

What are the eligibility requirements for the third stimulus check?

In the third round of payments individuals who have an (AGI) of $75,000, couples making $150,000, or heads of household earning $112,500, plus their children or adult dependents, qualify for the full $1,400 per person. Mixed-status households, where members have different citizenship but at least one person has a Social Security Number, are also eligible for a payment.

However, above those income thresholds, the direct stimulus payment amounts will phase out much faster than in the previous two rounds. An individual with an AGI of $80,000, a couple making $160,000, or a head of household earning $120,000 won’t see any stimulus money. This was a last-minute deal to keep moderate Democrats on board who wanted to more narrowly target the direct stimulus payments.

Stimulus relief bill: latest news

For all of the latest updates on the stimulus checks and tax credits as they happen, follow our dedicated live feed.


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