Third stimulus check news summary: 20 March 2021

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Third stimulus check updates: tracker, eligibility, fourth payment news, child tax credit date | Live

Stimulus relief bill updates - 20 March

When it rains on the priest, it drips on the parish clerk

Erik Nielsen, Chief economist of UniCredit uses Danish proverb

When the US has a party, the rest of the world gets an invitation

Karen Ward, Chief European strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management

Biden’s stimulus plan has global economy on right path

Whether through Chinese-made trainers, French wine or car parts from Mexico, the $1.9tr Biden stimulus package - which will add 9 per cent of national income to US spending power - will not just help the US recover from the coronavirus pandemic, it also promises to propel the global economy towards its pre-pandemic path.

With $1,400 per person stimulus cheques landing on doormats across the US, the hope in China is that the party comes quickly.

While some Americans will spend their windfall on activities such as eating out and entertainment, that these are still curtailed by the pandemic increases the likelihood that the money will flow into imported consumer products.

The FT reports:

 

Sperling for stimulus oversight

Listen to President Joe Biden extoll the values of Gene Sperling, who will oversee the implementation of the $1.9 trillion stimulus plan. He called Sperling a ‘gifted manager’ who would ensure that the massive rescue plan was implemented fastidiously.

Democrats push for additional stimulus checks 

The third round of stimulus checks are beginning to show up in Americans bank accounts and the first wave of $1,400 paper checks are in the mail. However, a group of 10 Democratic Senators is already urging President Joe Biden to include more stimulus payments in the next spending bill. 

The letter’s chief signatories are Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden, Senate Budget Committee head Bernie Sanders, and Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Chair Sherrod Brown. The proposal does not specify how big the checks should be or the eligibility requirements for direct payments that would recur as many times as deemed necessary.

UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS

What is the maximum amount of unemployment benefits I may receive?

Unemployment wages across the US

The American Rescue Plan Act extends unemployment benefits until 6 September providing a $300 booster to the compensation out of work Americans can receive. 

Unemployment compensation varies widely from state to state across the United States. It typically does not cover a full paycheck that a worker received prior to losing their job.

Read the full story:

Enhanced Child Tax Credit could be delayed 

IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig told Congress that his agency might not be able to begin the monthly child tax credit payments by the 1 July start date stipulated in the American Rescue Plan Act.

The IRS has extended the tax filing deadline to 17 May which means the same people who are needed to set up the online portal for the program will be tied up with $1,400 stimulus payments.

CHILD TAX CREDIT

$3000/$3600 Child Tax Credit: who is eligible and how to claim?

How to claim the enhanced Child Tax Credit 

The American Rescue Plan will be sending more help to families with children in 2021 through an enhanced child tax credit, providing monthly payments. 

Read the full story:

How to use your stimulus check to invest in your future 

Research suggests that 58% of stimulus check money will be spent on food, and other basic necessities as household incomes have been hit hard by the economic downturn induced by the covid-19 pandemic. However, some have managed to keep their heads above water and are wondering how they can use their stimulus check to secure their future. Paula Pant provides some investing advice to make the most of your stimulus check.

Haven’t received your stimulus check yet? 

Last week the White House set the target of distributing 100 million stimulus checks in just ten days, and it seems they are on track to do so comfortably. The majority of the $1,400 stimulus check payments will be made using direct deposits into the recipients’ bank accounts. However the IRS have confirmed that they have also began distributing the first wave of the physical stimulus checks, which are sent to those who have bank accounts but their details are not currently on file. But you still haven’t received yours? Find out why.

CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECK

Third stimulus check: are children born in 2021 included?

Children born in 2021 could be eligible for a stimulus check 

Americans who have a newborn child in 2021 may be eligible for an additional $1,400 stimulus check when they file their income tax return in 2022. 

Read the full story:

Unemployment tax waiver could save millions a tax surprise 

Thanks to a provision introduced as part of the American Rescue Plan, Americans that were unemployed for part, or all, of 2020, may see their tax bill reduced. Unemployment benefits are taxed like regular income but having the taxes withheld is voluntary, which can lead to an unpleasant surprise when it comes time to file.  

However, the bill included a provision that could see taxes waived on first $10,200 of unemployment benefits for individual taxpayers, and up to $20,400 if you’re married filing jointly. But what if you already filed your 2020 income tax return? The IRS says you should wait for further guidance and not file an amended tax return. 

CORONAVIRUS

What are new CDC guidelines for schools?

CDC relaxes distancing requirements for reopening schools

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has made changes to its operational strategy to protect primary and secondary (K-12) school children during the pandemic.

Read the full story:

US NEWS

IRS tax filing 2021 date change: what's the new deadline?

New IRS 2021 tax filing deadline set

The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced that the federal income tax filing due date for individuals for the 2020 tax year will be extended.

Read more:

Californians to receive Golden State Stimulus payments after filing 2020 taxes

California will provide the Golden Status Stimulus payment to families and people who qualify. This is a one-time $600 or $1,200 payment. You may receive this payment if you receive the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) or file with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).

To qualify, you must have filed your 2020 taxes, be either a CalEITC recipient, an ITIN filer who made $75,000 or less (total CA AGI), be a California resident on the date payment is issued, or not be eligible to be claimed as a dependent. The payment will be by direct deposit or check in the mail per tax return.

SUV bought with stimulus check cash catches fire

The ways of spending a stimulus check are endless. But one women may well be wishing she spent hers more wisely - she spent the whole lot buying a second hand Jeep Grand Cherokee for $1,200 on the same day she received her $1,400 stimulus check. The car caught fire as she was driving home on Wednesday evening, firefighters fought the blaze, believed to have been caused by an electrical fault, but were unable to save the car.

Tax relief and deadline extension for winter storm victims in Oklahoma

Victims of winter storms that began on 8 February 2021 now have until 15 June 2021 to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced. The 15 June deadline applies to the first quarter estimated tax payment due on 15 April. It also applies to the quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due on 30 April. For more information, consult the IRS website here:

How to load your stimulus check to your Regions Now Card

Clients of Regions Bank are able to load their stimulus payment onto their Now Card, a reloadable prepaid Visa card which can be used anywhere in the same way as a Visa or debit card. The service is cost-free. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will need your Now Card information to transfer the payment by direct deposit. Regions will begin loading the payment onto your Now card at no charge once payment has been received and make it available on the effective date set by the IRS.

American Rescue Plan: how much did your state receive in funds?

This interactive map, produced by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, shows how much money from President Biden's $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan went to each US state and breaks down where the funds are destined.

Reich points to the richest getting richer

American billionaires continued their alternative experience of the coronavirus crisis as their total wealth shot past $4.2 trillion in February—up $1.3 trillion, or 44%, since the pandemic recession began 11 months ago.

Billionaires reaped their bonanza even as over 25 million ordinary Americans fell ill from covid-19 and half a million died from it, while tens of millions struggled to find work, keep their homes and feed their families.

Colleges to use stimulus on student debt

“This is a win!” said Young Invincibles, an organization advocating for young adults, in a tweet.

“This guidance from [the U.S. Department of Education] pushes institutions to use relief money to better address and support the needs of students. Funds can be used to clear student balances & lift transcript holds, unsubsidized child care, and more.”

'I'm scared right now': US migrants excluded from stimulus aid fret

Reuters - Many people in the US are left wondering when they will receive benefits. As stimulus checks continue to arrive for many Americans, undocumented migrants, who have been excluded from receiving the aid, are left wondering about their next steps in a pandemic that has taken away the few jobs available to them.

In New York, immigrant advocate groups like the New York Immigrant Coalition (NYIC) and Make the Road are pushing for the state to pass a $3.5 billion fund to help them.

“Street vendors, these are people who are out there providing services every day... but yet they’re not eligible for stimulus,” said Theresa Thanjan, manager of member engagement at the NYIC.

Tax-filing deadline extended in Connecticut 

Following the announcement earlier this week that the IRS would be extending the deadline for federal tax returns to 17 May, a number of states have done the same with their own state tax deadlines. 

The latest to follow suit is Connecticut, when Governor Ned Lamont said the move: "aligns the state with the recent announcement". This comes after Illinois and California did the same, with others expected to follow. 

The news should give filers more time to sort out their financial situation after a year that saw the government provide additional unemployment benefits and stimulus checks, which could complicate tax returns. 

STIMULUS CHECKS

Will there be a fourth stimulus check? Who is pushing for it?

With the third stimulus check approved and already sent out to some 90 million Americans, many are wondering if a fourth payment could be on the way soon.

Democrats rejoiced after President Joe Biden signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan last Thursday, unlocking the much-needed $1,400 stimulus payment. But many in the party hope this will just be start. Two months ago, 50 Democratic members of the House of Representatives signed a letter asking President Biden to include recurring $2,000 stimulus checks in the bill.

"Another one-time round of checks would provide a temporary lifeline, but when that money runs out, families will once again struggle to pay for basic necessities. One more check is not enough during this public health and economic crisis," stated the letter, which was signed by several progressive Democrat lawmakers including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar.

Read the full story.

Stimulus fight in Georgia

After securing the Democratic party the required two Senate seats in the Georgia run-off, thoughts are turning to 2022 election success on the back of the stimulus relief package.

Stimmy memes

A year ago people would have looked at you rather strangely had you tried to suggest there was such a craze as 'stimmy memes' but we are where we are.

They are not everyone's cup of tea, but if you're a fan then jump aboard the Buzzfeed summary.

US NEWS

Third stimulus check: are 17-year-olds eligible?

This third payment differs from the first two checks in its definition of an eligible dependent so, if you're between the ages of 17 and 24 and missed out on the first two payments, what does that mean for you?

To qualify for your own third stimulus check, you need to have filed your 2019 or 2020 taxes independently, which means no one else claimed you on their taxes as a dependent. You also had to have an adjusted gross income, or AGI, of under $75,000 to receive the full amount.

Read more on what 17-year-olds are entitled to.

Spending, stimulus, saving...

Kiersten Schmidt reflects on the past 12 months and how our relationship with money through the coronavirus pandemic has changed.

With the use of 10 charts she illustrates some of the differences to the ways Americans have earned, spent and saved their money.

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Worried US migrants excluded from stimulus aid

Many Americans have seen stimulus checks hit their bank accounts in recent days, but some, including many migrants living in the United States illegally, are excluded from receiving the aid.

In New York, immigrant advocate groups like the New York Immigrant Coalition (NYIC) and Make the Road are pushing for the state to pass a $3.5 billion fund to help them, Dan Fastenberg reports for Reuters.

“Street vendors, these are people who are out there providing services every day... but yet they’re not eligible for stimulus,” said Theresa Thanjan, manager of member engagement at the NYIC.

“Those folks are completely left out ... so we’re trying to find a way to support them,” said Thanjan.

Reyna, who declined to give her last name, said she had not received any stimulus and was unsure how she would cope.

“I have a job for every eight days, working, making $80. And I can’t live off $80,” she said. “I am scared right now. I owe two months of rent.”

She said she had lived in the New York area for more than two decades after crossing the border from Mexico, and works as a house cleaner.

At a rally on Thursday to promote the rights of cleaners, Reyna, who lives with her two young children, said she was able to find steady cleaning gigs five days a week before last year’s lockdown. But the jobs have since dwindled to one.

An activist with Make the Road, Reyna recounted how some of her fellow cleaners have braved the pandemic only to end up catching the coronavirus while on the job.

“It all stresses me out, looking for money,” she said. “What am I going to do?”

(Photo by Jose Luis Gonzalez/Reuters)

Stimulus support aids credit card management

“The ongoing financial support for households, limited ability to spend the same during the pandemic as prior to it, and the widespread availability of payment relief for borrowers have led to lower credit card balances and much lower delinquencies than we’d expected this time last year," Greg McBride, Bankrate’s chief financial analyst told Yahoo Money.

Stephanie Asymkos reports on how Americans whittled down credit card debt and paid their bills on time more often during the pandemic.

Stimulus check 'non-essential' ideas

For many, the stimulus checks that have been recieved or are on their way will be used for essentials: food, bills, medical costs and the like.

For others, it is money that can be put to other means, and the people at Bloomberg have come up with some handy ideas to help put that money to work.

IRS struggles to juggle traditional tax season

"We now have one month less to do the development," Rettig said.

"The same people who do our income tax processing, EIP (economic impact payment) processing are the people that need to develop that portal. So I don't have the resources to devote to that portal until filing season ends, which is May 17."

He pledged "to do our best" to start sending out the payments by July 1.

Colleges to use stimulus on student debt

“This is a win!” said Young Invincibles, an organization advocating for young adults, in a tweet.

“This guidance from [the U.S. Department of Education] pushes institutions to use relief money to better address and support the needs of students. Funds can be used to clear student balances & lift transcript holds, unsubsidized child care, and more.”

BoA's Reddit stimulus checks

As the $1,400 stimulus checks continue to hit Americans' bank accounts, Bank of America doesn't expect the fiscal aid to spur speculative trading in GameStop's stock.

Since the GameStop trading mania that took place in January, the Wall Street firm's predictive analytics team has been monitoring non-fundamental factors in in the gaming retailer's stock.

Bank of America screened the number of conversations on Reddit relating to GameStop trading volumes and short interest, which are closely correlated with trading increases in the retailer's shares. 

Read more:

Half a stimulus payment causing disappointment

Families throughout the United States reported only getting half of the economic impact payments they were expecting this week. This revelation comes days after the Biden administration announced that 90 million payments were distributed.

“My bank (Chase) tells me that they deposited what was sent to them and the IRS can't seem to give a straight response either,” Jesse Rodriguez said.

The $1,400 economic impact payments were to provide qualifying Americans earning an adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less, while those making from $75,000 to $80,000 would earn a prorated check.

For couples filing jointly, the payments would be $2,800 for those making $150,000 or less.

Dependents also earned $1,400 if their parents or caregivers qualified.

Stimulus throw lifeline to Mexico's battered economy

In an arid valley in central Mexico, one of the world's largest automotive suppliers is preparing to open a new plant to produce components for North America, underpinning the export business that has kept the country's struggling economy ticking over.

The new Continental AG plant in Aguascalientes state should benefit from the new United States-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade deal and US President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus plan to revive growth after the coronavirus pandemic.

The confidence expressed by local executives of the German parts maker echoes growing optimism among analysts that a global recovery will lift Mexico's economy more than previously expected, despite ongoing weakness in domestic demand.

"We've got high (auto) output coming, high volumes for everyone, and that's what we're getting ready for," said Ina Seterbakken, the manager of plant still under construction.

Continental expects business to revive after delays caused by pandemic-related disruptions, Seterbakken said, noting the facility was a strategic bet given Mexico's proximity to the United States, the world's biggest economy.

Stimulus support vs a trip

Alyssa Milano took to Twitter late on Friday to try and balance the narrative for Presdient Biden's stumble on the Air Force One steps.

It's a long list across the thread...but fairly trips off the tongue.

Toomey blocks stimulus debt collector bill

Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania on Thursday blocked a bill meant to bar private debt collectors from seizing checks issued as part of the recent stimulus bill.

The law that Toomey opposes had been proposed by Democratic Sens. Ron Wyden and Sherrod Brown. Such a measure was included in the December relief package passed under President Donald Trump, which provided $600 direct payments to most Americans.

It was not included in the stimulus bill passed under President Joe Biden, however, which provided $1,400 payments.

Read more:

Stimulus funds: Reich points to richest getting richer

American billionaires continued their alternative experience of the coronavirus crisis as their total wealth shot past $4.2 trillion in February—up $1.3 trillion, or 44%, since the pandemic recession began 11 months ago.

Billionaires reaped their bonanza even as over 25 million ordinary Americans fell ill from covid-19 and half a million died from it, while tens of millions struggled to find work, keep their homes and feed their families.

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Biden and Harris shift stimulus focus in Georgia trip after Atlanta shooting

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were planning to promote the newly enacted $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package when they visited Georgia on Friday, but a deadly shooting in the state has changed their plans.

A 21-year-old man has been charged with murdering eight people, including six women of Asian descent, at three spas in and around Atlanta on Tuesday, rattling Asian Americans already grappling with a rise in hate crimes directed at them since the covid-19 pandemic began.

Biden and Harris will meet community leaders and state lawmakers from the Asian-American and Pacific Islander community to hear concerns about the killings and discuss a rise in anti-Asian hate crimes, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

Investigators said the suspect, an Atlanta-area resident who is white, suggested that sexual frustration led him to commit violence. Numerous political leaders and civil rights advocates have speculated the killings were motivated at least in part by rising anti-Asian sentiment.

Biden has also directed White House officials Cedric Richmond and Susan Rice to engage with the community, Psaki said, and supports recent legislation calling for an expanded Justice Department review of covid-19-related hate crimes.

Given recent events, "the president and the vice president felt it was important to change the trip a little bit and offer their support and condemn the violence," a White House official said.

Biden ordered the US flag flown at half-staff at the White House to honor the victims of Tuesday's shootings.

On Friday, US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said acts of violence against the community were exacerbated by language used by the Trump administration. The House floor observed a moment of silence on Friday in honor of those killed in Georgia.

(Photo by Eric Baradat / AFP)

PayPal stimulus remote cash check

PayPal & Venmo customers can cash their third round of government-issued paper stimulus checks remotely, usually within minutes, free-of-charge using the PayPal & Venmo Cash a Check feature.

Find out more...

Stimulus and vaccines boost Biden rating

The number of Americans who approve of President Joe Biden has grown steadily since he took office, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling released on Friday, driven by concrete steps his administration has taken to address the public health and economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The March 17-18 national opinion poll found that 59% of adults in the United States approved of Biden’s overall job performance, while 35% disapproved and 6% said they were not sure.

The number of adults who approve of Biden is up by about 4 percentage points since a poll that ran in late January, and the increase is largely due to a rise in Biden's popularity among independents.

About six in 10 independents said they approved of Biden in the latest poll, up from about five in 10 who felt the same way in January.

Stimulus checks 'stimmy': pandemic wordplay

A Twitter account that notes the first time a word is mentioned in the New York Times has thrown up a real sign of the times with "Stimmy". 

The New York Times account shows how language changes over time and in this instance shows how those waiting for news on the stimulus check have created a nickname for the direct payment. Recent additions to the New York Times' dictionary include 'plantstagram', 'ploinks' and 'politirati' and there have been a range of nicknames for the pandemic with a panorama, a pandemonium, a “pandemi moore,” a panini, all used.

The NYT looks at whether humor is a useful way to cope with incredibly difficult times?

CHILD TAX CREDIT

Child Tax Credit: when will refunds be issued for 2020 tax returns?

The IRS have confirmed that they have already started distributing refunds on tax returns for millions of Americans, which will include the Child Tax Credit for tax year 2020.

The tax authority announced that refunds were sent out from the first week of March for those who filed online, choose to receive any potential refunds by direct deposit, and had no errors in their filing.

This will be the final one-off Child Tax Credit payment after the American Rescue Plan overhauled the payment stucture. The new legislation will provide monthly payments of up to $300 for children aged less than six, and up to $250 for those aged between six and 17.

Read more.

Tax-filing deadline extended in Louisiana

The tax authority announced earlier this week that they are extending the federal tax return deadline to 17 May nationally, having already pushed back the Texas deadline to 15 June. They pushed back the Texas deadline to allow residents recovering from the shocking winter storms in February to recover, and have just announced that they are now doing the same for Louisiana. 

 

Stimulus checks for adult dependents

One of the biggest changes between the $1,400 stimulus checks, aside from the size, was the expansion of eligibility to include adult dependents for the first time. This means that college students, elderly relatives and disabled Americans claimed as dependents on tax filings will be able to get a stimulus check. 

However the additional payment will not be sent to them directly, instead going to whoever submitted the tax return. This has seen many receive stimulus checks worth far more than the $1,400 publicised. 

Tax-filing deadline extended in Connecticut 

Following the announcement earlier this week that the IRS would be extending the deadline for federal tax returns to 17 May, a number of states have done the same with their own state tax deadlines. 

The latest to follow suit is Connecticut, when Governor Ned Lamont said the move: "aligns the state with the recent announcement". This comes after Illinois and California did the same, with others expected to follow. 

The news should give filers more time to sort out their financial situation after a year that saw the government provide additional unemployment benefits and stimulus checks, which could complicate tax returns. 

"Help is here" with third stimulus checks: Harris

The President and Vice President are currently on a whistle-stop tour of the US as they look to promote the benefits of the new $1.9 trillion stimulus bill.

On Friday afternoon VP Kamala Harris was extolling the virtues of the new stimulus checks which began distribution last week, offering up to $1,400 for eligible Americans. 

The American public is broadly on-board with the American Rescue Plan, with a recent poll suggesting around 72% support the package, but Biden is eager to press home the importance of the huge amount of federal spending. 

Tax filing returns could see long delay

IRS chief Charles Rettig has announced that he believes it may not be until summer that the tax authority has worked through the backlog of tax returns to issue refunds for those who claimed rebates. 

"We would hope to be through this backlog by the summer," Rettig told House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Bill Pascrell, with around 12 million returns are trapped in the IRS logjam. "I will tell you, my employees will work as hard as we can possibly work."

Included in the refunds are Recovery Rebate Credits, the tax refunds issued for Americans who have missed out on previous rounds of stimulus check payments. 

Stimulus check live updates: welcome

Good morning as we begin our live blog on Saturday 20 March 2021.

We will be bringing you all the latest stimulus bill news throughout the day with major US banks receiving stimulus funds to deposit directly into customers' accounts.

Stay with us for everything you need to know, including reactions and opinions to the developing situation.

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