Third stimulus check news summary: 21 March 2021

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

Stimulus relief bill live updates - Sunday 21 March

Headlines:

- Biden talks of two major goals: 100 million vaccine shots "in arms" and 100 million stimulus checks "in pockets".

- Colleges to use stimulus funds to cancel student debt

- GOP Sen. Toomey blocks bill that would have protected stimulus checks from debt collectors

- IRS chief admits tax-filing backlog may not be cleared until July (read more)

- IRS extends tax-filing deadline to 17 May (read more)

- Over 90 million stimulus checks have already been distributed (read more)

- FTC warns to beware of stimulus check phishing scams

- President Biden's 100 million stimulus check pledge (read more)

- Research suggests 58% of stimulus check money will be spent on food

- IRS confirmed that millions have already received new child tax credit 

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

- $1,400 stimulus checks (who is eligible?)

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

- US covid-19 cases/deaths: 29.8 million/542,359 (live updates)

Further related reading:

CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECK

Third stimulus check: are children born in 2021 included?

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.

Full story

US NEWS

US unemployment benefits federal tax waiver: how to claim

As part of the $1.9tn coronavirus stimulus bill signed into law this month, qualifying Americans will get a tax break on the first $10,200 of unemployment benefits they received in 2020.

Further details

STIMULUS CHECKS

What proposals have there been for fourth stimulus check? How much would it be?

Eligible Americans across the country have begun to receive a third stimulus check as part of Joe Biden's Rescue Plan, but could another payment be on its way soon?

Find out more

CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECK

IRS Tax Return: what to do to claim missing stimulus check?

Despite being eligible, many people never received either their first or second stimulus check. If you were one of them, don’t despair. When you file your tax return you can claim yours.

Full details

CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECKS

Third stimulus check: why is my stimulus being mailed?

Why your third stimulus check is being mailed

The third round of stimulus payments has begun to hit millions of bank accounts around the US through direct deposits. However, your $1,400 stimulus payment may arrive via post as either a paper check or an Economic Impact Payment (EIP) prepaid debit card.  

Read the full story:

Stimulus bill money will help forgive student debt burden 

The U.S. Department of Education released new policy guidance that will allow colleges and universities to use stimulus funds for a variety of student needs, including cancelling student debt in certain cases.

Keep your stimulus check safe from scammers 

The IRS is urging Americans to beware of thieves trying to get their hands on your $1,400 stimulus check. The IRS will only every contact you via post so never share personal information with a stranger.

How will new stimulus injection affect banking? 

When bond markets seized up in the spring of 2020 the problem was a shortage of cash, today the opposite problem looms. Since last spring the Treasury has issued more debt than it has needed to fund its enormous emergency stimulus in 2020 providing a glut of cash. Soon much of this money will be spent on President Biden’s new stimulus program, which includes checks of $1,400 to most Americans. 

The abundance of cash has two main effects. The first is that it has caused interest rates in the federal-funds market to go lower, where banks lend reserves to one another overnight. The second effect is that banks are left with a lower ratio of equity capital to assets, making it harder to comply with minimum capital requirements set by regulators. 

Read the full story via The Economist 

COVID-19 VACCINES

Coronavirus US: Is the first dose of Moderna more effective than Pfizer´s?

Which vaccine is more effective after the first shot, Pfizer or Moderna? 

Both the Moderna and Pfizer covid-19 vaccines provide similar initial protection against the virus after the first shot but experts recommend getting both. 

Read the full story:

Chris Wallace reminds Tom Cotton of previous votes on stimulus checks

Republicans have been criticizing the American Rescue Plan that didn't get a single GOP vote in Congress. However many of the features in the current law that was just past were merely extensions of similar covid-19 relief measures passed in previous bills under a Republican administration.

Analysts don’t expect stimulus bump for GameStop 

GameStop experienced a dramatic swing in its stock price as small investors conversing over Reddit sent the stock price soaring as they took on big investment funds betting on the price going down. However, analysts don’t expect the company’s stock to do a repeat of the stimulus bump the company got from investors putting the stimulus checks into the stock.

You are wrong. Stimulus checks are not pork. Unemployment benefits are not pork. Economic Injury Disaster Loans are not pork. Paycheck Protection Loans are not pork. 100% COBRA for those who lost their jobs is not pork. Funds for increasing vaccine distribution is not pork ....

Ted Lieu, US Representative California's 33rd congressional district , Responding to a tweet saying the American Rescue Plan has $1 trillion of pork

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.

Advice for those looking to invest their stimulus money in their future 

With over 90 million stimulus payments made already, people are deciding what they will use the stimulus money for. Obviously, the money is there to cover primarily household basic needs that have been gravely affected by the pandemic. However, some have managed to get through the crisis on a better footing than others. Listen to Charlie Wells talk about what would be a good to do with the stimulus money to secure your future.

After stimulus bill, Biden will push for infrastructure investment 

With the stimulus in the rearview mirror, the White House is now turning its attention to begin work on a “big, bold, and transformational infrastructure package.” Biden’s campaign promises are now being pitted against the practicalities of governing, and the scope, cost, and timing of this package are all up for debate. So, too, is Biden’s own hope that the package would garner at least some Republican support. 

Full story via Mother Jones:

Where is my stimulus check

Restrained response from Chase to stimulus question

Someone is really keen to know where their cash is.

The support teams at the banks are likely seeing a big spike in volume right now...
 

Biden: Shots in arms and money in pockets 

"Over the next 10 days we will reach two giant goals. 100 million shots in people's arms and 100 million checks in people's pockets."
 

What is a 'stimmy'?

As with any major event that affects much of the population the coronavirus pandemic, and in particular the stimulus checks, have generated their own vocabulary.

For many, stimulus check has been shortened to simply 'stimmy', as you'll see recorded at Slangit and also at Urban Dictionary (reader caution advised, many of the terms recorded on Urban Dictionary are not PC and not safe for work). 

Stimmy is also on Merriam-Webster's 'Words we're watching' list, where it's defined as  "a slang term that has taken hold to refer to the economic stimulus payments made to Americans by the U.S. government as part of a planned coronavirus relief package". As they note, not only is the slang term being used widely across the US population, it's also been adopted, "somewhat waggishly" into finance journalism. 

The Merriam-Webster 'Words we're watching' list covers words they have increasingly seen in use, but that haven't satisfied the criteria for entry into the dictionary. 

No Biden type stimulus package for European economy?

Critics have asked why Europe has not yet mustered anything of the sheer scale of the Biden package. But EU officials say that is like comparing apples with oranges.

"The EU is not a federal state, so support measures at both national and European level must be counted," European Economics Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni claimed.

"And through our social systems, a much higher level of support kicks in automatically during a downturn than in the U.S.," he added.

Gentiloni said that when existing welfare support and other state measures were combined with one-off emergency aid, total support in individual EU countries came to 8% of the economy, with governments providing a further 19% of GDP in liquidity support for 3.5 trillion euros ($4.17 trillion) in total.

By comparison, the United States in 2020 provided 11% of its GDP in automatic and discretionary measures and 5% in liquidity support, or some $3.35 trillion, EU officials estimate.

The United States has now pulled clearly ahead with its $1.9 trillion plan.

Hiring

Europe must play catch-up as US economy readies for take-off

Struggling to get its vaccine campaign and economic recovery plan in gear, Europe can only watch with envy the stratospheric growth path projected for the stimulus-fueled US economy.

But officials and economists caution against direct comparisons between the two, noting that much of the divergence masks in-built support that European workers and businesses get from the region's more extensive welfare states, supplemented in many cases by generous furlough schemes.

The bigger question, they say, is whether Europe's web of greater social protections will in the longer term stifle the remodelling of its economy which leaders hope will be one of the few positive takeaways from the health crisis.

"The European social contract leads to a slower rebound," Daniel Gross, head of the Centre for European Policy think tank in Brussels, said of the implicit trade-off between securing existing jobs and businesses and allowing new ones to emerge.

"It might also impair medium term growth as structural changes are too slow," he warned.

The International Monetary Fund sees the United States returning to its pre-crisis output levels by year-end, six months ahead of the EU - and even that assumes Europe can master the pandemic and return to a degree of normality.

Biden

Speculation relating to a possible fourth stimulus check date

The Democrats were able to pass the third stimulus check without Republican support by using a mechanism called 'budget reconciliation'. This requires a simple majority in the Senate - something the Georgia run-off elections helped with - but this process can only be executed once per fiscal year, meaning that Democrats would have to wait until after 1 October to use it again.

As such, if a fourth stimulus check comes, it will probably not come until then, as Democrats will unlikely be unable to count on Republican support for a fourth payment, despite the overwhelming approval another payment would have among US voters.

Dollars

Approximately 90 million Americans have received stimulus checks

The IRS has paid checks to almost 90 million recipients. The agency add: “Additional batches of payments will be sent in the coming weeks with the vast majority sent by direct deposit… Payments will also be sent through the mail as a check or debit card.”

IRS

IRS advocates using IRS2Go App

The official application from the Internal Revenue Service is available via both the Google Play and Apple App stores and offers users the possibility of checking refund status, making payments along with free tax help to users.

IMF sees signs of stronger global recovery, but significant risks remain

The No. 2 official at the International Monetary Fund pointed to emerging signs of a stronger global economic recovery, but warned that significant risks remained, including the emergence of mutations of the coronavirus.

IMF First Deputy Managing Director Geoffrey Okamoto said that in early April the Fund would update its January forecast for global growth of 5.5% to reflect additional fiscal stimulus spending in the United States, but gave no details.

In a speech to the China Development Forum, Okamoto raised concerns about the growing divergence between advanced economies and emerging markets, with some 90 million people seen falling below the extreme poverty threshold since the pandemic began.

Okamoto said China had already recovered to pre-pandemic growth levels ahead of all large economies, although private consumption was still lagging investment there.

The IMF projects that cumulative income per capita in emerging and developing countries, excluding China, between 2020 and 2022 will be 22% lower than it would have been without the pandemic, which will push more people into poverty, he said.

The overall outlook remained "exceptionally" uncertain, Okamoto said, adding that it was unclear how long the pandemic would last and access to vaccines remained very uneven, across both advanced and emerging economies.

 

Third stimulus check: prepaid debit cards coming

Many Americans should start receiving $1,400 covid-19 stimulus payments on prepaid debit cards this week, with the Internal Revenue Service planning to issue a mix of cards and paper checks by mail after directly depositing more than $240 billion into Americans’ bank accounts since March 12.

The federal government has already disbursed more than 90 million payments to Americans across the country as part of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, a Democrat-led effort to get cash in families’ pockets, extend unemployment benefits, ramp up vaccination and reopening efforts and cut child poverty during the public health and economic crises wrought by the pandemic.

In the first round of stimulus payments last spring, the Treasury Department said prepaid cards were distributed to qualified Americans who did not have their banking information on file and whose previous tax returns were processed at IRS service centers in Andover or Austin.

The IRS sent 4 million debit cards in the first round and about 8 million in the second round in December, though it remains unclear what factors the IRS relied on to determine whether to send paper checks or debit cards in the second and third rounds.

The previous debit cards will not be reloaded with funds; new cards will come in the mail and once activated they can be used to make purchases or withdraw cash from an ATM.

US NEWS

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

With Americans now seeing the first direct deposits from President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion relief package hit their bank accounts, the IRS have confirmed that an extension to filing 2020 tax return has been agreed.

The new due date for filing your taxes is now 17 May (an amend from the original date of 15 April) with the date having been extended "to help taxpayers navigate the unusual circumstances related to the pandemic."

Read full story.

CHILD TAX CREDIT

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

Raising children can be an expensive proposition but the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act has a provision to help parents with up to $300 per month per child. Although the bill envisioned the payments to start in July, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may not be able to meet that expectation due to the extended tax season.

The new system provides a refundable tax credit of $3,000 for children aged from 6-17 and $3,600 for children who are under the age of six for the 2021 fiscal year. In order to receive the enhanced Child Tax Credit in 2021 parents will need to file a 2020 income tax return along with a Schedule 8812 with their 1040 tax form.

Read the full story for all the details

stocks

Americans to invest stimulus checks in traditional assets 

According to a new Yahoo Finance–Harris poll finds that 9% of people expecting to get a $1,400 stimulus check plan to invest some of the money in traditional assets such as stocks, while 7% plan to use the money to buy cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.

Young investors are even more willing to gamble. Among 18- to 24-year-olds, 19% plan to put stimulus money into traditional investments, and 10% plan to buy cryptocurrencies with the cash. The numbers are higher still for millennials aged 25 to 40: 20% are putting stimulus money into traditional investments and 15% are buying crypto. Above the age of 40, the portion planning to use the money for each type of investment drops to single digits.

The numbers come from a survey of 1,052 US adults conducted March 12–15.

Deceased relatives

2020 was a devastating year and the number of deaths due to the covid-19 pandemic continues to climb. 

You won’t receive a stimulus check for someone who died in 2020. The exception is for couples filing jointly where one spouse died in 2020 and was active duty US military at some point in 2020. In this case, the surviving spouse would receive their $1,400 and the $1,400 for the deceased partner. 

If your loved one died in 2021, they qualify for the $1,400 stimulus if they met all the other requirements.

Biden

Income requirements for the third stimulus payment

Forbes - The IRS uses your tax filing status and the adjusted gross income (AGI) from your latest tax return to determine your stimulus payment amount. According to the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), you and your dependents qualify for the full $1,400 payment if: 

You’re an individual with an AGI of up to $75,000

You’re a head of household with an AGI of up to $112,500 

You’re a couple filing jointly with an AGI up to $150,000

To put this into context: A couple that earns $100,000 and files jointly, with two children, will receive $5,600—that’s $2,800 for both adults and $2,800 for both children.  

Here’s who is eligible for the third stimulus checks

President Biden signed the American Rescue Act Plan into law on March 11. This new law provides a third round of stimulus payments of $1,400 for each qualifying tax filer and each qualifying dependent. This amount is intended to top off the December $600 stimulus payments and fulfill President Joe Biden’s promise of $2,000 in combined aid. 

Nearly all Americans will qualify for some kind of windfall: More than 158 million American households will receive a stimulus check. And in this round, more dependents qualify for the checks, however, the income levels at which you no longer qualify for a payment have been reduced from previous rounds. 

Full story via Forbes

 

IRS sending stimulus checks to banks, in the mail: when your $1,400 payment could come

Third stimulus checks are on their way to your bank account or mailbox. 

Stimulus checks for up to $1,400 per person are coming as part of President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion relief package. In fact, over 90 million payments have gone out through direct deposit and 150,000 paper checks have been processed and sent on their way, the IRS said Wednesday.

But tens of millions more payments are yet to come, including for people receiving EIP cards and stimulus checks for Social Security recipients and that could take weeks. In some cases, it may take months for some people to receive their stimulus check total, especially if the IRS uses your 2019 taxes to calculate your stimulus total, and you wind up needing to claim the rest later in 2021 or even 2022.

How California will spend pandemic relief bill’s $150 billion

California will be a case study in how the massive transfer of money that the federal government is borrowing from buyers of its bonds and treasury notes plays out.

California is expected to receive the nation’s largest single share of the pot, at least $150 billion. Nearly half will be in the form of cash payments to families ($40 billion) and supplemental payments to the roughly 800,000 unemployed workers now drawing unemployment insurance benefits ($30 billion). Most of that money, it’s assumed, will go directly into the consumer economy, plus another $3.8 billion for direct assistance on rent, food and other necessities.

The remainder of the $150 billion will mostly go to state and local agencies as both unrestricted revenue and money for specific purposes, such as $15.9 billion to help schools reopen, $5 billion for colleges, $4 billion for mass transit services, and $3.9 billion for child care.

$10,200 unemployment tax break: IRS plans to automatically process refunds

The IRS plans to automatically process refunds for taxpayers who had unemployment income in 2020 and filed their tax returns before legislation passed that made those benefits tax-free.

The American Rescue Plan, which was signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 11, made the first $10,200 of unemployment income tax-free for people with adjusted gross income of less than $150,000 in 2020. (The break is $20,400 for two workers in a married couple filing taxes jointly.)

But by the time the law passed, in the middle of tax season, some people who received unemployment income in 2020 had already filed and paid taxes on those benefits.

Full story:

STIMULUS CHECKS

What proposals have there been for fourth stimulus check? How much would it be?

Democrats were able to pass the third stimulus check without Republican support by using a mechanism called 'budget reconciliation', which requires only a simple majority in the upper house. But this process can only be executed once per fiscal year, meaning that Democrats would have to wait until after October 1 to use it again.

As such, if a fourth stimulus check comes, it will probably not come until then, as Democrats will unlikely be unable to count on Republican support for a fourth payment, despite the overwhelming approval another payment would have among voters.

But, of course, the hope is that in six months the economy will have rebounded, the majority of Americans will be vaccinated and the country will be on its way towards opening fully again, lessening the need for a fourth stimulus check.

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.

Full story.

US NEWS

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

President Joe Biden has signed the latest economic relief package into law and the IRS is already sending the third round of stimulus checks through direct deposit. In the new $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package plan eligible adults qualify for a $1,400 check and their dependents would add to the family's overall total, even those left out of the first two rounds of payments.

The 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?

Read the full story

Vehicle bought with stimulus check cash goes on fire

The ways of spending a stimulus check are endless. But one woman 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.

Unfortunately, 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.

Golden Status Stimulus payment

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.

Relief bill challenge over state rights

Republicans are aiming to stir up a legal battle over Biden's pandemic relief bill, targeting a provision in the American Rescue Plan they say is an unconstitutional infringement on states' ability to devise their own tax policies.

A provision in the bill that forbids states from using billions in aid to offset any tax cuts they might implement has sparked a backlash from Republican lawmakers and state attorneys general. Their criticisms could lay the groundwork for a court battle over states' rights and government overreach akin to the Supreme Court case over the fate of ObamaCare.

This time, the GOP appears to be framing the issue as the Biden administration getting in the way of state and local leaders cutting taxes for their own residents.

 Full story:

Stimulus check family strains

"Dear Quentin, how much of the child stimulus money should I give my ex-husband, the father of my one child?"

A divorced mother wrote to Market Watch asking for some advice given her specific situation.

Quentin Fottrell explained her position and options.

 

No 'stimmy' for Biden's West Wing aides

At least one group in America is unlikely to get any money from President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion economic rescue plan - his own top aides.

Most of Biden’s senior West Wing advisers made far more than the threshold that would qualify them for direct payments from the president’s covid-19 relief bill, according to White House financial disclosure forms released Saturday. The disclosure period runs through 2020.

The documents paint a portrait of advisers whose wealth is dwarfed by those that surrounded President Donald Trump but do not quite line up with Biden’s image of “Middle Class Joe.”

Stimulus checks fire up gun sales

“They’re saying, ‘I got my stimmy. I got it. I’m spending it today,’” said online sales manager Nicholas Parish from John Brown’s Armory in Beaver County.

Shotguns, rifles, pistols, ammunition and anything gun related are flying off the shelves. The gun shop first saw an increase in gun sales at the start of the pandemic. Another spike came around Election Day.

“Days before people get them, they are in here. They are shopping to see what we have, how many of them we have, if we have ammunition. And then when the stimulus actually comes, its nonstop for us,” Parish said.

Paying for the stimulus bill

We see a lot of questions doing the rounds about how Presdient Joe Biden's multi-trillion spending project will be paid back. If you haven't already read it, Shawn Tully put this view across for Fortune. Here's an excerpt:

America's 25-year-olds, listen up. You're probably thinking how perfect it is that a $1,400 "stimulus" check—a lot more if you're married with children—is arriving just in time to celebrate the great reopening.

You're grateful to our new President for funding a long weekend on the Florida beaches, backyard swings for your kids, or even paying off your credit card. But be warned that the spending onslaught that's bringing you that windfall is part of a blowout that will effectively saddle you and your spouse with almost $150,000 in federal debt when you reach 35 in 2031.

That nut might be as big as the loan on your starter house.

Check out the full piece below:

Stimulus check: spending ideas

Everyone has their own needs or desires to take care of and the money that is currenlty making its way to Americans can be used as they wish.

Here, though, is WWLP's Kate Wilkinson with her own thoughts on the matter.

Stimulus check scammers: watch out

Remember the three golden rules:

1. The government will never ask you to pay anything up front to get this money. That’s a scam. Every time.

2. The government will not call/text/email/DM you to ask for your Social Security, bank account, or credit card number. Anyone who does is a scammer.

3. Nobody legit will ever - EVER - tell you to pay by gift card, cryptocurrency, or wire transfer through companies like Western Union or MoneyGram. You know who will tell you to pay like that? A scammer.

Stimulus checks drive stock buying

“As much as $170 billion from the latest round of stimulus payments could flow into the stock market.”

As the US government looks to prop up the economy, it could well see the market get a similar boost.

The NYT reports.

US NEWS

$3000/$3600 Child Tax Credit: how many children are eligible per family?

The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act has a provision to help parents with up to $300 per month per child. The bill initially envisioned the payments to start in July 2021, however the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may not be able to meet that expectation due to the extended tax season.

The new system provides a refundable tax credit of $3,000 for children aged from 6-17 and $3,600 for children who are under the age of six for the 2021 fiscal year.

Full details of family numbers and eligibility

1

Stimulus-supported recovery hinted at by IMF

The No. 2 official at the International Monetary Fund on Saturday pointed to emerging signs of a stronger global economic recovery, but warned that significant risks remained, including the emergence of mutations of the coronavirus.

IMF First Deputy Managing Director Geoffrey Okamoto said that in early April the Fund would update its January forecast for global growth of 5.5% to reflect additional fiscal stimulus spending in the United States, but gave no details.

In a speech to the China Development Forum, Okamoto raised concerns about the growing divergence between advanced economies and emerging markets, with some 90 million people seen falling below the extreme poverty threshold since the pandemic began.

Investment stimulus

A new Yahoo Finance–Harris poll finds that 9% of people expecting to get a $1,400 stimulus check plan to invest some of the money in traditional assets such as stocks, while 7% plan to use the money to buy cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.

Young investors are even more willing to gamble. Among 18- to 24-year-olds, 19% plan to put stimulus money into traditional investments, and 10% plan to buy cryptocurrencies with the cash. The numbers are higher still for millennials aged 25 to 40: 20% are putting stimulus money into traditional investments and 15% are buying crypto. Above the age of 40, the portion planning to use the money for each type of investment drops to single digits.

The numbers come from a survey of 1,052 U.S. adults conducted March 12–15.

EU-US stimulus action comparison

The European Union’s path to joint fiscal stimulus is looking less assured than its monetary guardians would like, casting further clouds over an outlook already stunted by the bloc’s botched vaccination drive.

European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde last week gave a hint of alarm to lawmakers on the slow rollout of the 750 billion-euro ($896 billion) pandemic recovery fund, building on the warning of colleagues. That heaps pressure on the EU’s leadership to get its flagship tool right, especially with other parts of its crisis response faltering.

Full story from Bloomberg

What to do with your stimulus check

While the checks are typically meant for immediate use to shore up budgets and stimulate the economy, people should focus on preparing for more emergencies, according to Suze Orman, host of the “Women & Money” podcast.

Orman says people need to be prepared for at least another year of reduced income.

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.

Fourth stimulus check?

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.

CHILD TAX CREDIT

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

Raising children can be an expensive proposition but the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act has a provision to help parents with up to $300 per month per child. Although the bill envisioned the payments to start in July, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may not be able to meet that expectation due to the extended tax season.

The new system provides a refundable tax credit of $3,000 for children aged from 6-17 and $3,600 for children who are under the age of six for the 2021 fiscal year. In order to receive the enhanced Child Tax Credit in 2021 parents will need to file a 2020 income tax return along with a Schedule 8812 with their 1040 tax form.

Check out the eligibility criteria

Why has my stimulus check not arrived?

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 if you still haven’t received yours, this article by Forbes may point to why.

UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS

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

Unemployment compensation varies widely from state to state across the US. It typically does not cover a full paycheck that a worker received prior to losing their job. Unemployment insurance covers about 45 percent of an individual's income, the national average is less than $500 per week.

Some states are much more generous like Massachusetts where an individual can receive over $800 a week and up to $1,234 with dependents according to Saving to Invest. At the bottom of the states is Mississippi where a worker can get at most $235 per week. Prior to the covid-19 pandemic, most states provided unemployment compensation for 26 weeks but those out of work in Florida could expect at most 12 weeks.

Find out what you could be entitled to.

IRS news: Unemployment tax waiver bonus

Thanks to a provision introduced as part of the American Rescue Plan, Americans who 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. 

Golden State Stimulus payments - California

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.

CORONAVIRUS

What are new CDC guidelines for schools?

Primary and secondary (K-12) schools have been ordered to open in four states, namely, Arkansas, Texas, Iowa and Florida, while they have been left partially closed in California, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, West Virginia and New Mexico.

Full closure is only in effect in Puerto Rico, although pupils in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 12th grades will be allowed to return to classes for two days a week later this month.

Read the full school guidelines.

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.

Unfortunately 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 - Oklahoma

A reminder that the 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:

Regions 'Now Card' - how to load stimulus payment

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.

This service is cost-free.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will need your Now Card information to transfer the payment by direct deposit. Regions Bank 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?

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.

Find out how your state is managing the financial support.

Stimulus check live updates: welcome

Good morning as we begin our live blog on Sunday 21 March 2021.

We will be bringing you all the latest stimulus bill news throughout the day with major US banks having received the 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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