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Third stimulus check: why did I get $2,800 or more than $1,400?

The IRS have now made over 90 million direct payments, and some are reporting that they have received more than they expected in their stimulus check.

The IRS have now made over 90 million direct payments, and some are reporting that they have received more than they expected in their stimulus check.

On Wednesday 17 March the first major wave of stimulus checks hit the bank accounts of an estimated 90 million Americans as the IRS look to rollout the direct payments as quickly as possible.

President Joe Biden has set the target of distributing 100 million payments in the first ten days and his administration appear well on track to do so. The stimulus checks were one of the most popular elements of the Americans Rescue Plan, despite some feeling that the amount offered should have been greater.

However as the payments begin to land some are reporting that they received more than the $1,400 advertised. We take a look at why that might be.

Joint filers will receive the stimulus check in a single payment

The $1.9 trillion stimulus bill passed by Congress and signed into law last week included a larger stimulus check than previous bills, but slightly tighter eligibility requirements to receive the direct payments.

Individuals earning less than $75,000 received the full $1,400, and the entitlement phased out up to a top income threshold of $80,000. For couples who file jointly those thresholds were $150,000 and $160,000.

However, even if you and your partner do not use a shared bank account, your combined stimulus check entitlement will have been sent to a single account. Whichever bank account is listed on your most recent tax returns should have received the payment, which would have been for $2,800 rather than $1,400.

Filers will receive payment on behalf of adult dependents

For the first time, the stimulus checks included in this bill will be open to adult dependents. In the past only tax dependents aged under 17 would receive a payment but this has been widened to include college students, the elderly and millions of disabled Americans.

Each eligible dependent qualifies as another member of the household and so could be entitled to receive a $1,400 stimulus check. However as a tax dependent they will not be sent a separate check, and the payment will instead be added to the filer’s payment.

For families with two dependents in college this is a pretty lucrative windfall with Adult dependents are finally eligible for stimulus payments added to your stimulus check payment on their behalf.

New-borns could be eligible to receive retroactive stimulus check payments

The rules for babies can be confusing and the amount of money you receive in the form of a stimulus check for them is often a matter of timing. Children born in 2020 are unlikely to have received a stimulus check, because they would not have appeared on the tax returns filed earlier that year.

The IRS bases the entitlement on tax filings and so they would have no record of any new additions to the household. Therefore, not only will the parents of children born since the 2020 tax filing be able to receive a $1,400 stimulus check, they could also receive retroactive payments for the two previous rounds.

The first stimulus check provided up to $500 for dependents, while the second check was worth another $600. This means that a child born after the household filed tax returns last year could be in line to get all three payments now, meaning a payment of up to $2,500 per child could be added to your stimulus check.


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