Third stimulus check updates: April 29 March

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Third stimulus check updates: IRS mail by post, 4th payment possible dates, tracker & child tax credit | Live, today

Stimulus checks: live updates Mon 29 March

Headlines:

- Growing Congressional support for recurring fourth stimulus check (full story)

- IRS issues information on stimulus checks arriving by mail (full story)

- Republicans seek to have $1,400 payments to inmates redirected to victims

- Combined wealth of US billionaires increases by $1.3 trillion during pandemic

- 41 Democratic senators call for Child Tax Credit expansion to be made permanent

- Congress enjoys 10-year high in popularity polls after American Rescue Plan enacted

- SSA provides information to IRS to unlock stimulus checks for 30 million social security claimants (what happened?)

- US president unveils new $3 trillion employment package (full story)

- IRS has issued nearly 130 million stimulus checks to date, with 160 million households in the US set to receive $1,400 per person payment (who qualifies?)

- You can track your stimulus check using the IRS Get My Payment Tool

- US covid-19 cases/deaths: 30.29 million/549,664 (live updates from Johns Hopkins University)

Related articles:

Democrats will ask Biden for fourth stimulus check and more 

Senate Democrats are going to send a letter to the White House on Tuesday, urging President Joe Biden to support recurring monthly payments. The letter was originally written at the beginning of March but the authors wanted more lawmakers to sign on.

The legislators want recurring direct payments and automatic unemployment extensions tied to economic conditions added to the $4 trillion infrastructure plan the President will announce on Wednesday. 

Child

Will the $3,600 child tax credit be paid monthly? 

This year families with children will be looking forward to a bit of extra help covering the cost of raising their children. The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan enacted in March included an enhanced Child Tax Credit that could see families receiving up to $1,800 in direct payments before the end of the year. 

The American Rescue Plan calls for the 2021 Child Tax Credit to be paid out monthly starting in July, however the IRS has warned that might not be possible. 

Read the full story here.

Could paid family leave be part of Biden’s next bill? 

President Joe Biden will announce parts of his "Build Back Better" package Wednesday in Pittsburgh. The administration, although it sees the new spending as urgent it hopes to work across the aisle with Republicans and pass the bill this summer. The ambitious plan aims to make generational investments in infrastructure, skills training, revive domestic manufacturing, combat climate change and keep the United States competitive with China. 

There is a push to make paid family leave part of the sweeping $4 trillion infrastructure plan. Biden campaigned on ensuring 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave through a national program.

Covid-19 stimulus and relief measures reduced bankruptcies 

The number of people seeking bankruptcy fell sharply during the pandemic despite predictions to the contrary by analysts and economists. Government actions have kept households from having to meet housing and student-loan obligations and has now sent three rounds of direct stimulus payments to Americans. 

Bankruptcy filings by consumers under chapter 7 were down 22% last year compared with 2019, while individual filings under chapter 13 fell 46%. By contrast, commercial bankruptcy filings rose 29%, with more than 7,100 businesses seeking chapter 11 protection last year. 

Read the full story at the Wall Street Journal. 

Stimulus checks push higher cannabis sales 

St. Patrick’s Day saw the highest cannabis sales so far this year, the same day the first batch of $1,400 stimulus payments landed in accounts. Dispensaries across the country showed a total of over $89,000,000 in sales, 50% higher than the average sales on Wednesdays this year. This wasn’t a one-off event, with cannabis sales jumping 63% when the last round of stimulus checks were distributed in April of 2020. 

Read the full story at Forbes. 

Child tax credit "projected to cut the child poverty rate in half" - Yellen

In this White House video outlining the benefits of the expanded child tax credit, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has lauded the reducing effect President Biden’s $1.9tn stimulus bill is set to have on child poverty in the US.

As part of the bill, the new child tax credit gives qualifying parents up to $3,000 per child aged six to 17, and up to $3,600 per child under six.

“Pre-covid, about one in seven children were living below the poverty line. But the pandemic spiked that number to more than one in five,” Yellen said. “The American Rescue Plan […] is projected to cut the child poverty rate in half through a big expansion of the child tax credit.

“The law helps the families of 66 million children - it’s a big bill, with a lot in it,” she added.

More information about the expanded child tax credit

Biden

Could a fourth stimulus check happen in April?

Nearly 130 million third stimulus checks have so far been distributed as part of President Joe Biden’s $1.9tn coronavirus relief package, the IRS said in a statement last week.

In all, around 160 million households in the US are to receive a check, with qualifying individuals getting a direct payment of up to $1,400 and extra credits of $1,400 also available for dependents of any age.

But as the process of distributing stimulus checks - officially known as Economic Impact Payments or EIPs - continues, talk is already turning to whether or not Americans can expect to receive a fourth such check, too.

Full story: Will a fourth stimulus check happen and, if so, could it be approved in April?

(Photo: Jim Watson/AFP)

 

CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECK

Third stimulus check: how to check its status with the IRS Get My Payment tool

You can use the IRS’ Get My Payment tool to track the status of your third stimulus check. The portal is updated once a day, usually at night, with the latest information.

Access the Get My Payment tool

More information about the Get My Payment tool

Don't fall for stimulus-check scammers

The IRS continues to warn Americans about the dangers of scammers attempting to con them out of their stimulus check. The agency will only get in touch with you by letter, so do not give out personal details if anyone contacts you by phone or email.

CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECK

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

Millions of people didn't receive their stimulus check in either the first or second rounds of direct payments. If you were one of them, don’t despair - when you file your tax return you can claim yours.

Find out how you can claim your missing stimulus check

US NEWS

$1,400 third stimulus check: do I qualify for a direct payment?

The eligibility requirements for the third stimulus check, which is being distributed as part of President Joe Biden’s $1.9tn coronavirus relief bill, are very similar to those applied to the first and second direct payments.

Full details on who qualifies for the third stimulus check

Stimulus law may block covid tax break: California

Gov. Gavin Newsom and California legislators want to use federal stimulus money to give tax breaks to small and essential businesses for certain expenses during the pandemic - but they’re worried that they can’t because of certain provisions in the new covid relief law.

Newsom wants to match a federal tax policy that would make sure loans that businesses received through the Paycheck Protection Program are not taxable. 

If California cannot bring its tax code into conformity with federal law, businesses might owe hundreds of thousands in taxes because state law counts forgiven loans as income.

Stimulus spending update: Montana

Today a Montana legislative committee is expected to finish putting together a massive bill that will authorize the spending of several billion dollars in federal covid-19 relief and stimulus money.

The House Appropriations Committee will take action on House Bill 632, sponsored by Rep. Frank Garner, a Republican from Kalispell.

As far as we are aware, there have been no official votes on what will go into the bill yet. Instead, lawmakers have put the proposed text into a series of amendments they will consider in today’s committee meeting.

Stimulus funds: animosity grows in Wisconsin

More on the story we brought you earlier about Gov. Tony Evers, who killed a bill on Monday that would have given Republican legislators oversight of Wisconsin's share of billions of dollars in federal covid-19 relief funds, and instead announced his own plan for distributing the money.

US NEWS

How much can a parent gift a child tax-free in 2021?

The gift tax is a federally-levied tax that affects transfers of money or property when the donor is getting nothing, or less than the full value, in return. The gift tax only kicks in for individuals who are making considerable donations, but there are plans to alter the tax-free allocation.

In 2020 and 2021 the IRS’s annual gift tax exclusion was $15,000 per recipient, with an $11.58 million lifetime exclusion. This means that any gift transfers that fall beneath these thresholds would not be subject to federal taxation.

If this is something that you're interested in, read more.

Stimulus, relief, infrastructure, covid, Biden...

Watch live as White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki gives an update on everything that's interesting the gathered media today.

Stimulus bill aimed to support arts through pandemic

“There is no telling when the live music industry will return to normal or when patrons will even feel comfortable attending events once we’re cleared to hold them,” Liz Berlin, founder and musician with Rusted Root and co-owner of Mr. Smalls Theatre in Millvale, said.

We have lost everything we’ve worked for and those of us who make it through will be starting again, not from scratch, but from a severe disadvantage, having to dig through a mountain of debt acquired just to survive, while at the same time rebuilding the trust and patronage of our customers from nothing.”

The Save Our Stages Act was passed as part of a covid-19 relief bill in December to help with funding for local venues. Berlin said the act led to Shuttered Venue Operators Grants (SVO). Berlin said she is acting as if they won’t get a grant because she isn’t sure how long it might take. It also won’t solve the whole problem.

Joanne Klimovich Harrop and Sean Stipp bring some very sad local examples onto centre stage.

Stimulus and taxing the rich

This is clearly a topic that is going to divide many but, as Greg Sargent argues, it really shouldn't be that divisive...well, apart from those at the very top of the financial food chain and their loyal supporters.

"They're dismissing tax hikes on the rich with rhetoric that hasn't changed in 30 years. And they can't even support a family-friendly child allowance."

Biden green stimulus: lessons learned

As vice president, Joe Biden oversaw a “green jobs” stimulus package that produced notable failures.

This time, with more money and more demand for clean technology, will be different, Democrats say.

Stimulus spending update: Wisconsin

Gov. Tony Evers today announced his 2021-23 budget will invest more than $150 million in:

- increasing access to care

- strengthening student mental health support

- expanding telehealth accessibility

- addressing substance use disorders and the opioid crisis

- ensuring every Wisconsinite has access to affordable, accessible healthcare through expanding BadgerCare. 

Taxing big to aid spending stimulus

We reported earlier on President Biden's plan to make a big play in the tax structure of the United States. Here the Post's take on the proposal, which points to the potential divisions that could lie ahead among some of his key allies.

 

How the mimimum wage still needs stimulus

To the disappointment of many on the left, President Joe Biden’s covid-19 relief package did not include an increase in the federal minimum wage, dimming the prospect of setting a national wage floor at $15. But there is another step the administration can take to push companies to pay more: disclosure. 

There’s a business maxim that goes, “What gets measured, gets managed.” If it’s not possible to pass legislation to impose higher minimum wages, the administration can still put upward pressure on wages by requiring companies to disclose data on their workers’ take-home pay. Pay disclosures would let employers, employees and investors all know if workers are earning enough to support themselves and their families. 

Most Americans believe that anyone who holds down a full-time job ought to be able to support a family on their earnings. Yet all too often, that’s not the case, either because a worker’s wages are too low, they work too few hours or both.

Katie Bach annd Zeynep Ton explain the challenges faced but often not understood or appreciated.

Stimulus and infrastructure

President Biden's plan to continue the spending on infrastructure to help all Americans is hoped to have strong bipartisan support.

"Does this administration commit to making this an infrastructure package for all Americans?" asks Rep. Jeff Van Drew.

And you can listen to Secretary Pete Buttigieg himself explaining why the answer is very much, "Yes!"

POTUS helping halve child poverty

As President Joe Biden tweeted earlier today, this news is rather a big deal.

As well as tackling the public health crisis, much of the funding aims to provide direct financial relief for Americans and small businesses who have had their income streams strangled over the past 12 months. There is a third stimulus check worth $1,400, a complete overhaul of the Child Tax Credit programme and a lengthy extension to the additional unemployment benefits provision.

The White House fact sheet on the American Rescue Plan promised to "deliver immediate relief to working families bearing the brunt of this crisis”; but how much can an average family receive?

1

Third stimulus check: IRS change could make more people eligible

The IRS released guidance last week that could make more taxpayers eligible for a third stimulus check, or a bigger payment, if they already received one.

Included in the recent, $1.9 trillion stimulus package is a provision that waives federal income taxes on up to $10,200 of unemployment income per person for individuals or couples with adjusted gross income (AGI) up to $150,000.

The IRS clarified that income calculations to determine eligibility for the tax break should exclude unemployment compensation. Reducing income subject to tax will make more people qualify for this unemployment tax break - and also for a third stimulus check, said Ed Zollars, CPA and partner at Thomas, Zollars & Lynch.

Full report from Money.

Many Social Security beneficiaries have already received their EIPs [Economic Impact Payments].

The final files we sent to IRS [on Thursday morning] will address those recipients who don't normally file a tax return with the IRS."

Social Security Administration, on when Social Security and other federal benefit recipients can expect to see their stimulus payments

US NEWS

How does Biden want to change tax brackets? Who would pay more and less?

With questions remaining over how the stimulus bill will be funded, are the very richest Americans about to play their part?

Having already passed a first burst of federal funding to tackle the pandemic and its effects on the economy, President Biden is reportedly working on a new tax programme that he hopes will address the widening wealth disparity in the United States.

Biden is intent on using stimulus spending to reboot the flailing American economy and has repeatedly stated that he intends to pay for it by raising taxes on the wealthiest.

Throughout his successful election campaign Biden promised that he would NOT raise taxes for anyone earning less than $400,000 per year, but will he keep that promise?

We look into the plans.

Stimulus support: CDC extends eviction ban

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday extended through 30 June a nationwide order to prevent millions of US renters from being evicted amid the economic fallout from the covid-19 pandemic, Reuters report.

The CDC's moratorium on most residential evictions - which the agency justified citing the public health crisis - had been set to expire on Wednesday.

"Keeping people in their homes and out of crowded or congregate settings - like homeless shelters - by preventing evictions is a key step in helping to stop the spread of covid-19," CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said in a statement.

The order was initially issued by the Atlanta-based agency in September during former President Donald Trump's administration. It was extended on 29 January through the end of March after President Joe Biden took office.

The White House noted that as of January one in five US renters was behind on rent. The CDC said a March survey by the US Census Bureau found that more than 4 million adults who are behind on rent fear imminent risk of eviction.

The US Congress approved another $21.5 billion in emergency rental assistance this month on top of $25 billion approved in December.

Recurring direct payments until the economy recovers will ensure that people can meet their basic needs, provide racially equitable solutions, and shorten the length of the recession.

Democrat leaders, The push continues for more to be done.

CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECKS

Third stimulus check: what are the reasons for the delay in the payments?

Where's my stimulus check? here's when your payment should arrive and how to track it

President Joe Biden announced on Tuesday that over 100 million stimulus payments were on their way out to Americans over the course of the week. The second batch of $1,400 payments hit bank accounts 24 March, with the remaining payments sent out as a physical check or debit card.

In the first wave of payments however, some were surprised to see that they didn’t receive the full amount that they were expecting to receive. Even though the IRS told them that they were sent the full amount, what appeared in their bank account came up short.

Find out how to track your payment status.

Are you spending or saving your third stimulus check?

Americans continue to receive cash, with a third round of government stimulus checks being delivered to millions across the country. Enhanced unemployment benefits and other pandemic-related federal aid have been sent out while the majority of people have been largely confined to their homes with the few places to spend it.

The big question: How much of the cash horde will they unleash when the economy almost fully reopens by summer as most people are vaccinated?

The answer will determine how quickly the economy returns to pre-covid output levels and whether the surge in outlays will be robust enough to set off a spike in inflation that jeopardizes the recovery.

Many economists believe the unprecedented circumstances are setting the stage for a historic spending spree. However, spending will be moderated by the inclination of higher-income households to save most of their financial windfalls, and a hesitancy by many Americans to abruptly come out of their covid shells. Full story on USA Today.

72% approve of Biden's handling of pandemic

An ABC-Ipsos poll reveals the latest feeling regarding Joe Biden's start to life as President of the United States.

Stimulus checks helping American families to get through pandemic

When is the tax deadline 2021 and why has it been extended?

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has given Americans an extra month to file their tax returns, with the traditional April 15 deadline pushed back to May 17.

Last year the deadline was postponed to July 15 as the coronavirus pandemic ground life to a halt. While further extensions are possible this year, the IRS hasn't given any indication it will postpone the deadline past May 17 for now.

Full story via Newsweek.

New Child Tax Credit programme will provide monthly payments

The new programme will see monthly payments sent as a direct debit, meaning no more 12-month wait to get the full entitlement. The system will be more like the stimulus check distribution which has proved so popular throughout the pandemic.

Alongside this alteration, the actual amount on offer will be increased, with low-income families potentially enjoying the biggest improvement. The new Child Tax Credit will be worth up to $300 per month for each child under the age of six, and up to $250 for those aged between six and 17.

The American Rescue Pan also removes the tax threshold for eligibility, which had previously prevented those who pay little or no tax from receiving the full entitlement.

AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN

How will the 2021 Child Tax Credit be distributed?

The American Rescue Plan was President Biden’s first major legislative priority since taking office and provided $1.9 trillion of federal funding, much of which is aimed at helping those who have suffered the most during the pandemic.

Included in that was a complete overhaul of the Child Tax Credit programme that was first introduced in 1976. The new system is a radical departure from the childcare support that went before and the White House believe it will help to cut childhood poverty in the United States in half once up and running.

The new-look Child Tax Credit system is designed to better support low-income families and so a number of crucial changes have been introduced. The biggest change comes in the distribution method, which will no longer be a simple tax refund or rebate at the end of the tax year.

Read the full story.

Biden: Economic outlook is brightening

So far, President Biden has not voiced support for recurring checks and any prospective direct payments would face a legislative challenge. The President stated last week that the economic outlook is brightening thanks to the recent passage of his $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package, and a majority of economists now expect growth this year to exceed six percent.

"Since we passed the American Rescue Plan, we're starting to see new signs of hope in our economy," Biden said during his first press conference since taking office in January. "Since it was passed, a majority ... of economic forecasters have significantly increased their projections on the economic growth that's going to take place this year. They're now projecting it will exceed 6% growth in GDP (gross domestic product)."

US NEWS

Fourth stimulus check: lawmakers support another payment

Many Americans recently saw money deposited into their bank accounts after President Joe Biden signed a new $1.9 trillion covid-19 rescue package that included a third round of direct stimulus payments. However, some Democratic lawmakers are saying the $1,400 checks that most individual Americans received are not enough.

The big question on people's lips now is whether there will be a fourth round of stimulus checks, as the federal government continues to distribute the $1,400 provided in the American Rescue Plan. So far, 64 congressional lawmakers have pushed for recurring direct payments until the pandemic ends.

Read more.

Gas prices could rise on the back of stimulus relief

Market analysts believe that gas prices are set to rise in late spring/ early summer as the US economy picks up on the back of President Biden's $1.9tn American Rescue Plan Act. Gas prices per gallon on average have risen 66 cents in three months - and are currently a dollar higher than the lowest point of the coronavirus crisis. Increased demand will lead to a hike in prices, experts say.

Stimulus aid could be the prelude to tax hikes - for the rich

While President Biden's $1.9tn coronavirus relief package just about made through the Senate, further legislative plans which he plans to unveil in Pittsburgh this week may be harder to get past lawmakers and will be less popular. 

Initial reports suggest that Biden will reveal details of a $3 trillion infrastructure package which will contain funds for roads and bridges, a permanent expansion of the child tax credit, free community college, child care aid and a package of tax increases on wealthy Americans and corporations.

It is expect to meet staunch opposition, with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell arguing that the American Rescue Plan was nothing more than "a Trojan Horse" to appease the electorate before raising taxes.

Biden signs COVID-19 Bankruptcy Relief Extension Act

President Biden has now signed the COVID-19 Bankruptcy Relief Extension Act into law, extending the relief for another two years to families and small businesses facing bankruptcy...

Stimulus checks provide consumer spending boost

Research from the New York Times suggests that the $1,400 direct payments being sent out at the moment could be responsible for a huge spike in consumer spending as the White House looks to boost the ailing economy. 

Scott Galloway,  professor of marketing at the New York University Leonard N. Stern School of Business, cites the combination of widespread savings, government stimulus and asset appreciation as the cause for the generational spending boom. 

Stimulus checks provide consumer spending boost

Research from the New York Times suggests that the $1,400 direct payments being sent out at the moment could be responsible for a huge spike in consumer spending as the White House looks to boost the ailing economy. 

Scott Galloway,  professor of marketing at the New York University Leonard N. Stern School of Business, cites the combination of widespread savings, government stimulus and asset appreciation as the cause for the generational spending boom. 

US NEWS

What has Biden said about a fourth stimulus check?

What has Biden said about a fourth stimulus check?

US President Joe Biden stated this week that the economic outlook is brightening thanks to the recent passage of his $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package, and a majority of economists now expect growth this year to exceed six percent. See full story above..

West Virginia governor discusses stimulus bill

West Virginia governor Jim Justice disussed the American Rescue Plan with WDVM anchor Tasmin Mahfuz, as well as his state's vaccine drive...

Don’t invest stimulus check into stocks like GameStop, advisors warn

With many Americans planning to invest some or all of their $1,400 stimlus checks in stocks, advisors warn they should avoid popular shares such as GameStop and AMC.

Financial planners generally advise that people use their stimulus checks to shore up personal finances and build for the future.

“As long as they understand that it’s a gamble and not the true path to wealth, that’s okay,” said Jessica Goedtel, a certified financial planner and lead planner at Facet Wealth, registered investment advisor in Baltimore, told CNBC.

“But, times like this are really good opportunities where we can reevaluate where we’re trying to go in life and what we’re trying to do with our money,” she said.

 

Chance to double your stimulus check money

MoneyGram is running a competition allowing you the chance  to $1,400. To enter, all you need to do is tweet #MoneyGramMonday and tag @MoneyGram...

Congress approval at highest rate since 2009

Following the approval of the third stimulus check, Congress' approval rating has reached 36%, the highest level since 2009.

The poll of 1,010 adults found that happiness with Congress fell along party lines, with 59 percent of Democrats supporting the work of lawmakers, while 34 percent of independents and 9 percent of Republicans approved of Congress' performance.

Half of Americans between 25 and 34 they plan to spend 50% of stimulus check in stocks

Half of Americans between the ages of 25 and 34 said they planned to spend 50% of their stimulus payments on stocks, according to a recent survey from Deutsche Bank.

"As you have said, now is the time for boldness. As you prepare your Build Back Better plan for long-term economic recovery, know that we are ready to work with you in support of recurring direct checks and extended unemployment insurance benefits to support Americans who are still struggling during the pandemic,"

11 Democratic Senators , signed letter to Joe Biden

No 4th stimulus check in Biden's $3trn infrastructure plan

Joe Biden is expected to unveil a $3 trillion Build Back Better infrastructure plan that will include money for roads and bridges, as well as new tax increases. So far, there's been no indication that the package will include a fourth stimulus check. However, experts say a fourth stimulus check is "very possible" at some point.

Look out for stimulus check payments in your mail

The IRS have already sent out over 127 million stimulus check payments, the vast majority of which came in the form of direct deposits into recipients' bank accounts. They are now moving on to distribute two of the slower forms of payments, with paper stimulus checks and Economic Impact Payment debit cards currently on their way. Make sure to keep an eye out for the mailman. 

Stimulus check delays for Social Security recipients

Rachel Maddow has spoken about a delay in the Social Security Adminstration that left 30 million Americans without their $1,400 stimulus checks because of an administrative error. The SSA had failed to hand over the relevant details to the IRS, who needed the recipients' details before the payments could be made. 

Growing calls for recurring stimulus checks

The notion of recurring stimulus checks has been mooted for months now and it seems to be finally getting traction in Congress as Biden looks to press ahead with a more progressive agenda than initially thought. 

A letter by Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, and cosigned by another 52 lawmakers, argues that more consistent and reliable support is needed:

Worsening systemic inequities, such as food insecurity and housing instability, are most severe for Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities, who are suffering higher infection and mortality rates of COVID-19 and higher unemployment levels, compared to white Americans."

Stimulus check live updates: welcome

Hello and welcome as we begin our daily live blog on Monday 29 March providing you with updates on the third round of stimulus checks, which is being sent out as part of Joe Biden's $1.9tn American Rescue Plan coronavirus relief package.

We'll also be bringing you updates on a possible fourth stimulus check, and information on other economic-aid measures in Biden's bill, such as an enhanced child tax credit and supplemented unemployment benefits.

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