US stimulus checks: news summary for 16 April

AS English

COMMENT

US Stimulus checks: live updates on 16 April 2021

Headlines:

Fourth stimulus check: where does Joe Biden stand? (here's where)

Third stimulus check: $372 billion has now been paid out to 159 million recipients with the latest round

US stimulus model inspires French minister for European version

- New Child Tax Credit system will be in place for July, IRS chief confirms

- Stimulus check 'plus-up' payments will continue in weekly bursts as tax returns are processed

- Veterans still awaiting third stimulus check should receive money by Wednesday 14 April, IRS says

- G20 finance officials poised to back a $650 billion stimulus boost in the IMF's emergency reserves

- 4 out 5 of Google Trends top searches related to stimulus check: "fifth stimulus check"

- Track your stimulus check using the IRS' Get My Payment tool (more info)

US covid-19: 31.5 million cases / 565,353 deaths (live updates from JHU)

Scroll through our related articles:

Continued calls for new Child Tax Credit to be made permanent

The new Child Tax Credit (CTC) expansion is one of the key inclusions in the American Rescue Plan that was passed last month. The White House hope that the new monthly payments will cut childhood poverty in the US in half over the next year but there are currently no plans to extend it beyond those 12 months. 

However a group of Democratic lawmakers, most notably Sens. Michael Bennet, Sherrod Brown and Cory Brooker, have called for Biden to make the federal support permanent. The new system provides a monthly payment worth up to $300 per child for American families. 

Dept. of Commerce confirms stimulus check spending boost

A recent report released by the Department of Commerce has noted a considerable rise in retail spending compared to last year. March 2021 saw an increase of 9.8% in comparison to March 2020, suggesting that the stimulus checks are having their intended impact. 

This will be good news for businesses and the US prepares to reopen in the coming months after a year of varying lockdown restrictions. It may also strengthen calls for a fourth stimulus check, to further boost the pandemic-hit economy. 

CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECKS

Fourth stimulus check: how are negotiations going and when will it be discussed in the Senate?

Calls for recurring stimulus checks have been promoted by progressives for months, with President Biden so far unwilling to push for another round of direct payments. He only narrowly passed the American Rescue Plan last month, and may prefer to concentrate on other priorities for now. 

However a group of over 50 Democratic House Representatives led by Representative Ilhan Omar has sent a letter to the Biden administration to call for additional direct payments stating “A one-time payment of $2,000 is simply not enough. The American people are counting on us to deliver transformative change, and we need to meet the moment by delivering monthly payments of $2,000.”

 

Read more

Petition calls for Child Tax Credit change to be made permanent

Non-profit group Humanity Forward has been a prominent supporter of the new Child Tax Credit (CTC) programme, insisting that lawmakers extend the support beyond its current one-year lifespan. The group have shared a petition from Mea, who has two children and is currently unable to work, asking Congress to make the CTC expansion permanent. 

The petition reads: "The expanded child tax credit is expected to cut child poverty by more than half over the next year. I can hardly imagine a better use of the money that we send to Washington each year than to spend it on lifting millions of families out of poverty."

CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECKS

Fourth stimulus check: why could it be unlikely?

Despite the huge popularity of the third stimulus checks, evidence suggests that more may need to be done to fully alleviate the financial stresscaused by the pandemic. A survey by Bankrate found that 61% of respondents thought the $1,400 stimulus check would not last them 3 months, while a third said less it would last less than a month. 

This was pointed out in a letter to President Joe Biden from 21 Senate Democrats in their case to send recurring stimulus checks to American households until the end of the economic crisis. But despite the growing calls for additional direct support, Biden may now choose to focus on more long-term amibitions, such as the new infrastructure bill. 

Read more

Calls for recurring stimulus checks as 40% face income cuts

The recent studies suggest that around two-thirds of the money distributed by the federal government in the form of stimulus checks is being spent on essentials like rent, utilities payments and food. This comes as analysts warn that nearly half of American households have had their income hit by the pandemic. 

“More than 40% of households are earning less now than they were prior to the pandemic,” said Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate. “And while that's highest among lower income households, higher income households have not been immune from that.”

Optimism about Child Tax Credit potential

The new-look Child Tax Credit (CTC) programme was not the most highly anticipated element of the new stimulus bill, but lawmakers have high hopes for its impact once the payments start in July. The new system would see monthly sums of up to $300 per child sent to parents to help with the cost of childcare, and could see childhood poverty in the US halved. 

That is the hope of Californian Sen. Alex Padilla who describes the move as one that will "single-handedly change the lives" of recipients. 

 

CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECK

How many people have received their third stimulus checks?

The IRS has made every effort to get the $1,400 direct payments out to eligible Americans as quickly as possible, but doing so in the middle of a busy tax season has not proved easy. And yet, little over a month after the American Rescue Plan was signed into law it seems that the vast majority of recipients have been sent the money. 

Here's what we know so far about the stimulus check rollout, and what may be causing the delay if you are yet to receive yours. 

Read more

Retail flourishes after stimulus check cash injection

The stimulus checks distributed in the last month have been credited with sparking a retail renaissance that saw consumer spending up by 9.8% in comparison to last year. One company tp benefit from the influx was Bed, Bath & Beyond who have noted a sizeable increase. 

Bed Bath & Beyond's CEO Mark Tritton told Yahoo Finance: "We have seen overall growth, February was strong. We saw the [retail sales] results in March come out about 10% growth. We are dramatically exceeding that growth rate in the month of March."

CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECKS

Can veterans receive a third stimulus check if they get VA payments?

Earlier this week the IRS confirmed that over 320,000 payments had been sent to recipients of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits who don’t normally file a tax return. This came a week after Social Security beneficiaries in the same situation began to see their stimulus checks.

Any veteran who received VA benefits in 2020 and their dependents are eligible for a third stimulus check. Normally no action is needed for these recipients to get their Economic Impact Payment, except in the case they added a new dependent that they are able to claim.

Read more

How to track California stimulus check payment

Earlier this year, while lawmakers in Washington will still seeking to find agreement on the American Rescue Plan, California Gov. Gavin Newsom spearheaded a state-specific relief package. The Golden State Stimulus bill, as it was known, included much needed support for the state's struggling businesses as well as a round of $600 stimulus checks. 

The direct payments went to residents with an annual income of less than $30,000, but there have been some issues with the distribution. If you're not sure where your payment is, this handy article has all the information. 

Everything you need to know about the third stimulus check

Although the distribution of the $1,400 stimulus checks has seen over 159 million people receive the direct payments, there are still some who will have questions about the process. To help clear things up, Sen Jon Ossoff of Georgia and the White House's Bharat Ramamurti discuss what's going on. 

They cover the plus-up payments, eligibility requirements and the importance of getting your tax returns in to ensure that you receive your full stimulus check entitlement. 

Greater explanation needed for the new Child Tax Credit system

Speaking in Congress, Rep Sean Casten of Illinois' 6th district warned that many families are unlikely to receive the new Child Tax Credit provision because they  are not fully aware of the programme.

The new system will see monthly payments worth up to $300 per child sent to eligible families, but it may require an additional filing with the IRS to trigger the payments. Casten warns that it could be low-income families who are most likely to miss out on the CTC support. 

For more information on how to claim the Child Tax Credit, check out: What to know about $3,600 Child Tax credit

Stimulus check investor reap cryptocurrency rewards

Not for the first time, it seems that the latest round of stimulus check payments are provided impetus for a cryptocurrency boom. Earlier this year the $600 emergency stimulus checks were held partly responsible for a Bitcoin rally that took the dollar value to new heights. 

Now it seems that the much-maligned Dogecoin is seeing similar gains, and is now among the top five most valuable cryptocurrencies in the world. It has seen its price nearly quadruple in the last 24 hours alone. 

Homeless can apply for all 3 stimulus payments 

Many Americans experiencing homelessness qualify to get all 3 stimulus payments. Those who have not yet received any payments should check their tax filing options and claim the Recovery Rebate Credit. 

Children and parents come out winning in stimulus bill 

CNN - The Biden administration is funneling $39 billion in relief funds to states to help child care providers stay in business or reopen, which it says is the single largest investment in child care in US history. The money, which comes from the $1.9 trillion relief package that President Joe Biden signed last month, also will assist women in getting back to work and strengthen the economic revival, the White House said. 

The administration is also working on a massive "care economy" package that will provide more money for child care, care-giving, universal pre-K and workers hit hardest by the pandemic-fueled economic upheaval.

$1,400 stimulus checks boosting spirits 

As the weather warms up so too is the US economy on the back of stimulus checks and increasing vaccination rates. Retail sales overshot expectations to jump almost 10% in March driven largely by the fresh injection of stimulus money with the federal government sending out $1,400 stimulus checks to eligible Americans. Last week first-time unemployment claims plunged by nearly 200,000 from the previous week a new pandemic-era low. 

The consumer sentiment index rose to 86.5 in April from 84.9 in the prior month, according to a preliminary survey by the University of Michigan. That’s the highest level since the pandemic erupted in the US in March 2020. The index had touched a 16-year high of 101 just a month earlier.

Check out the full story from Jeffry Bartash at Market Watch.

Stimulus money in the stock market 

As a new wave of retail investors joined the market in recent months, special purpose acquisition companies have launched at a record pace and some stocks, like GameStop and Discovery, have seen wild swings after being bid up by traders on Reddit or hedge funds. 

The over-the-counter stock market, often referred to as pink sheets and penny stocks, have historically been a risky place for investors. Shares of penny stocks have also soared in recent months. 

See how one New Jersey Deli has seen its value soar at CNBC 

Depending on how and when will determine when you receive your Golden State Stimulus 

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a coronavirus stimulus package into law on February 23 that includes one-time direct payments of $600 to millions of qualifying residents across the state. 

Some 5.7 million Californians are eligible for the payments, including people receiving California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC), or Golden State stimulus, along with those who currently qualify under multiple existing federal assistance programs. 

While some residents have already begun receiving the $600 direct payments starting on April 15, others might have to wait up to six weeks or longer. 

Find out when you will receive your Golden State Stimulus at Newsweek

Entertainment venues waiting for stimulus relief

CNN -They were the first businesses to close and will be some of the last to reopen, yet owners of independent theaters and live music venues have been waiting nearly four months for a $16 billion federal emergency grant program to launch. 

The funding for what's known as the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program was approved by Congress in December as part of a sweeping $900 billion Covid relief package. In mid-March, the Small Business Administration finally announced that it would launch the application portal on April 8 -- but it crashed within hours due to technical problems and remains offline. 

The agency has yet to set a reopening date, and a spokesperson said that it found additional problems it's working to resolve. 

See how this is affecting entertainment venues, full story here 

TAX SEASON 2021

IRS tax refunds on $10,200 in unemployment benefits: when it's coming?

The IRS has sent out almost 68 million tax refunds already this year. However if you received unemployment compensation you may have to wait for your refund. 

Read here to find out more

US News: Coronavirus

What are the maximum unemployment benefits per state?

Each month, millions of workers in the United States pay into state-run unemployment systems in the case that one day they need to claim those benefits.

When millions of US workers lost their jobs due to the covid-19 pandemic, many learned the truth about the country’s broken unemployment insurance system. 

Roughly 40 million people received unemployment benefits in 2020, according to a Century Foundation report.  

Read here to find out what the maximum unemployment benefits around the US.

$1,400 stimulus check will buy a plane ticket to Greece and have still have money to spare

Greece is rumored to reopen its doors to US travelers. Although the Greek embassy still says that US citizens along with other third-country citizens can only enter the country for a limited number of reasons, high-level officials have spoken of intentions to facilitate summer 2021 tourism to Greece. 

Currently a plane ticket from New York direct to Greece costs under $700. 

However, you will have to meet some conditions in order to travel to Greece.

American Rescue Plan

When will child tax credit be sent?

Many families in the United States are awaiting their child tax credit, one of the most significant components of the American Rescue Plan passed by Congress in March. Payments for this new tax credit should begin to reach eligible families in July 2021. Under the new law, individuals making $75,000 or less or families with a combined earned income of $150,0000 or less will be eligible for payments of up to $3000 for children over the age of six and $3,600 for those six or younger.

Expected payment dates for child tax credit in the US

TAX SEASON 2021

Why is my tax return still being processed?

Over 159 million stimulus check payments had been made at the last count, and the IRS is also in charge of introducing the new-look Child Tax Credit by July. With greater confusion than ever surrounding new income types like stimulus checks and additional unemployment benefits, the IRS has had a huge workload.

IRS confirms tax return backlog from 2019

CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECKS

Fourth stimulus check: how are negotiations going and when will it be discussed in the Senate?

Congressional Democrats have asked President Biden to back recurring stimulus checks in his Build Back Better plan, but so far the White House has been quiet about where the President stands. 

But what are lawmakers in Congress doing to bring about recurring payments? Read to find out 

The homeless qualify for all 3 stimulus payments

Many Americans experiencing homelessness qualify to get all 3 stimulus payments. Those who have not yet received any payments should check their tax filing options and claim the Recovery Rebate Credit.

CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECKS

Third stimulus check: who could have to return the money and why?

The past year has seen the federal government dole out hundreds of billions in stimulus money to prop up families severely affected by the covid-19 pandemic. The latest round saw all eligible Americans receive up to $1,400 to help see them through economic hardship.

Some people that have received the extra money are trying to return it to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), out of guilt because they don’t need the money. Others because they were not in favor of the measure so they feel that they shouldn’t keep it. But there are cases where people received a check when they shouldn’t have, these people will have to return the money. 

Read more: Who could have to return money and why?

Fourth stimulus check confirmed? Google search for more payments surges

Google searches for a fourth economic relief payment surged on Thursday, an indication that many Americans are counting on President Joe Biden to include another round of stimulus checks as part of his upcoming infrastructure bill. 

The increase in people searching for signs that more "stimulus" will arrive comes after a third round of economic impact payments, either from checks or direct deposits, reached American families and individuals beginning in mid-March.  

Searches for “4th stimulus check confirmed” increased by 2,750% last week and searches for a fifth check surged by 900%, Google said. Full story via IBTimes.

How to contact IRS for missing stimulus check: phone number, fax, email...

It can be frustrating when looking for answers and you want to talk to a real person, either face to face or over the phone. If you have questions regarding stimulus checks the Internal Revenue Service says "Do not call the IRS. Our phone assistors don't have information beyond what's available on IRS.gov."

The IRS has already sent out over 156 million stimulus payments since the third round was authorized in March, with another batch due on Wednesday. There are a number of reasons that your stimulus check hasn’t arrived yet or if it did that it wasn’t for the expected amount. The IRS recommends using the agency’s Get My Payment tool to track your Economic Impact Payment (EIP).

Read the full story.

IRS sending more ‘plus-up' stimulus payments to taxpayers who already filed their 2020 tax returns

NECN - More than 700,000 Americans will receive a supplemental stimulus payment this week as the IRS continues to process 2020 tax returns, the agency said Wednesday.

These "plus-up" payments, as the IRS calls them, will be sent to taxpayers who received a third stimulus check based on 2019 income, but qualify for more money based on their 2020 returns. The agency estimates it will send out more than $1.2 billion in supplemental payments, many of which should have hit bank accounts by April 14.

The IRS promised to send these supplemental payments earlier this year, when the start of tax season coincided with the passage of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) and its provision for a third stimulus payment. Taxpayers who expected a larger stimulus payment based on their 2020 return were encouraged to file their taxes as quickly as possible, but the IRS starting disbursing payments before it processed many returns.

The first plus-up payments were sent earlier this month, and the IRS plans to keep sending them on a rolling basis to everyone who is eligible as it continues to process 2020 returns.

The agency also said that another 2 million payments began processing Friday, April 9, many of which went to veterans who don't normally file taxes, and other taxpayers for whom the agency previously didn't have bank account information for, but filed a tax return this year.

In total, the IRS has sent approximately 159 million payments during the third round of stimulus payments, valued at more than $376 billion.

Stimulus Checks

What ID can I use to cash stimulus checks?

In March 2021, the US Congress passed the American Rescue Plan that included a third stimulus check of $1,400. Checks went out to single Americans who in 2019 or 2020 made $75,000 or less, those who filed as a Head of Household who made $112,500 or less, and married couples who filed their taxes jointly who brought home $150,000 or less.

The payments were issued through various methods, including direct deposit, physical checks, and prepaid visa debit cards. While millions did receive their stimulus paymetns through direct deposit, questions have arisen on how to cash physical checks or transfer funds from the prepaid debit cards, officially known as Economic Impact Payment (EIP) Cards, to their personal bank accounts.

Read more on cashing stimulus checks.

Why a fourth stimulus check is unlikely

The letter from the senators calls for the recurring stimulus checks to be included in the next major piece of legislation in President Biden’s agenda the American Jobs Plan, a $2.3 trillion generational investment in infrastructure. Through the bill the White House hopes to create millions of good-paying jobs and make the US economy greener and more efficient.

Biden has not responded to the letter sent by the senators nor an earlier letter sent by 56 House Democrats led by Representative Ilhan Omar. The inclusion of more stimulus checks would distract the debate even further as Republicans are already criticizing the bill saying that very little money is going toward “traditional” infrastructure, such as roads, bridges and highways. With an evenly divided Senate, Biden will need all 50 Senators that vote Democrat on his side, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tiebreaking vote.

Read the full story.

CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECKS

Fourth stimulus check: why could it be unlikely?

The federal government over the past year has opened the purse strings to prop up the US economy and households. One of the measures that the vast majority of the nation has benefited from is the three rounds of Economic Impact Payments, or stimulus checks.

Although the stimulus checks have gone a long way toward relieving the financial stress of households, in a survey by Bankrate 61 percent of respondents said that the $1,400 stimulus check would not last them 3 months, a third said less than a month. This was pointed out in a letter to President Joe Biden from 21 Senate Democrats in their case to send recurring stimulus checks to American households until the end of the economic crisis.

Read more. 

New batch of $1,400 stimulus checks includes payments to veterans

CNBC - The US government has issued a new set of $1,400 stimulus checks, and this time Veterans Affairs beneficiaries were included.

The latest round marks the fifth batch of direct payments sent since the $1,400 checks were first authorized by Congress through the American Rescue Plan Act in March.

The latest payments bring the number to about 159 million recipients, for a total of more than $376 billion.

The new round includes approximately 2 million stimulus checks for a total of more than $3.4 billion.

This time, the checks include Veterans Affairs beneficiaries who receive Compensation and Pension benefits who do not normally file tax returns and who did not use the IRS non-filer tool last year.

More than 320,000 payments were issued to those beneficiaries for a total of about $450 million.

Social Security beneficiaries who also did not file tax returns for the past two years and who did not use the non filer tool were also among the recipients. About 72,000 checks went to those people.

In addition, people who recently filed tax returns in order to get their information on file were also among the recipients of the new checks. Almost 850,000 payments worth about $1.6 billion went to them.

Read the full story

bill

“Plus-up” payments included

CNBC - The new batch of $1,400 stimulus checks also includes “plus-up” payments for those who are due more money now that their 2020 tax returns have been processed. Those payments totaled more than $1.2 billion.

In total, the fifth batch of payments included about 1.2 million direct deposit payments and almost 800,000 paper checks.

The payments had an official payment date of Wednesday, April 14. However, the money could have arrived earlier for some people, as the checks began processing on Friday, April 9.

Most people do not need to do anything in order to get a stimulus check. However, the IRS is urging some people to file a tax return in order to receive the money for which they are eligible.

That includes federal beneficiaries who need to submit information on any dependents who may qualify for the money, as well as people who do not normally file tax returns nor receive federal benefits.

If your income is $72,000 or less, you can file your tax return for free using the IRS Free File program.

Filing a 2020 tax return will also enable you to claim a recovery rebate credit if you missed out on the previous $1,200 or $600 stimulus checks.

CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECKS

Third stimulus check: who could have to return the money and why?

The past year has seen the federal government dole out hundreds of billions in stimulus money to prop up families severely affected by the covid-19 pandemic. The latest round saw all eligible Americans receive up to $1,400 to help see them through economic hardship.

Some people that have received the extra money are trying to return it to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), out of guilt because they don’t need the money. Others because they were not in favor of the measure so they feel that they shouldn’t keep it. But there are cases where people received a check when they shouldn’t have, these people will have to return the money.

Read more.

New Jersey Governor proposes $40m in stimulus checks to immigrants 

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is proposing to use $40 million left over funds from the CARES Act to send out one-time stimulus payments to the state’s undocumented immigrants via executive action reports Politico. 

New Jersey has roughly half-million undocumented immigrants who were not eligible for any of the three rounds of Economic Impact Payments that have been sent out so far.

VA beneficiaries finally getting $1,400 stimulus checks

VA disability or pension beneficiaries who don’t normally need to file an income tax return who saw their $1,400 stimulus checks delayed can finally breathe a little easier. Yesterday those payments started showing up in bank accounts around the country arriving in the 5th weekly batch of stimulus payments.

Democrats aren’t taking a pause to make sure the latest recipients and the nation knows exactly who voted for and against the most recent payments. Although the previous two stimulus bills were bipartisan affairs, not a single Republican in Washington voted for the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan

Why can’t stimulus checks arrive faster?

WSJ - In April 2020, the Treasury Department made the first pandemic-related stimulus payments within weeks of the bill being signed into law, instead of months, like similar payments in 2008. By the third round of payments in March 2021, the first wave of money landed in bank accounts within a week of the bill becoming law.

There is an obvious next question: Why can’t it be even faster?

Across the board, money is moving from bank account to bank account more rapidly.

Today, the electronic banking system relies in part on two main networks that allow payments to move from one financial institution to another.

Full story.

This is who will start getting $3,600 in new stimulus checks in July

It was reported yesterday that what may well be the final $1,400 stimulus checks as part of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief legislation have now started to be disbursed and that the political dynamic in Congress right now is such that this will probably be the last new stimulus check stemming from the covid-19 pandemic for a while, maybe ever.

So why are we now saying that even bigger stimulus payments are on their way, and starting in just a couple of months, no less? The answer has to do with a component of the $1.9 trillion stimulus law that we previously wrote about here, regarding a benefit that’s completely separate from the $1.400 stimulus checks which represented the third such direct payment to tens of millions of Americans since the coronavirus pandemic began. This separate benefit we’re referring to provides an expanded child tax credit of up to $3,600 for working families, money that can be thought of as essentially an all-new stimulus payment and that will actually be paid out on a monthly basis. 

Read more

Child Tax Credit payments set to begin in July

The new-look Child Tax Credit programme, which will offer up to $300 per child in monthly direct payments, is set to begin in July despite concerns that the IRS would be unable to hit the deadline. The system will be adminstered using a new online portal that the IRS has been tasked with introducing. 

The American Rescue Plan set ta date of 1 July 2021 for the "periodic" payments to begin, but IRS commissioner Charles Rettig had warned that the tax authority may struggle to get the new system working during a busy tax season. However the latest reports are far more optimistic and eligible families should now begin to see the payments arrive in July as hoped. 

Stimulus check spurs consumer spending

Up until this point it was difficult to tell how much of an impact the third stimulus check would have on spending habits, but now that the vast majority of payments have been spent it is possible to see the effect.

Although around 40% of the $372 billion so far distributed has been saved, Associated Press have reported a 9.8% jump in consumer spending across the month of March. Considering that the bill was only signed into law on 11 March and distribution took weeks for some people, it is fair to assume that the economic boost may continue for some time. 

Will I get a stimulus check 'plus-up' payment?

As the IRS approaches the end of stimulus check distribution for the thirs round of payments, they are now moving on to amended payments for those who were underpaid in the past. These payments, known as 'plus-up' payments, are sent to those whose new tax return information means that their stimulus check entitlement has increased. 

The IRS have announced that they will be making these payments on a weekly basis until they have cleared the backlog of tax returns for both 2019 and 2020. For more information on 'plus-up' payments, including eligibility information, check out When are the remaining stimulus check and 'plus-up' payments arriving?

Next stimulus bill to include $400bn for senior care 

Senior care and long-term caregiving in President Joe Biden’s American Jobs Plan may not fall into a traditional definition of “infrastructure,” but it’s one of the most popular provisions in the plan among Democratic and Republican voters alike, according to new polling from Vox and Data for Progress. 

The new poll, which surveyed likely voters about various provisions of Biden’s $2.25 trillion American Jobs Plan, showed that Biden’s investment to improve and lower the cost of long-term care for seniors and those with disabilities has broad support - 73 percent of respondents strongly or somewhat backed the proposal. 

Read more results from the Vox and Data for Progress poll.

Debunking myths about what infrastructure is for Biden’s next stimulus bill 

Lawmakers are working with the framework of President Biden’s American Jobs Plan, a $2.3 trillion infrastructure bill. The President wants to have workable legislation by the summer. 

Republicans plan to oppose the sweeping spending bill with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell saying that it won’t get any votes from his side of the aisle. One of the GOP’s major criticisms of the bill is that very little money goes to traditional infrastructure.  

Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm sits down to debunk some of the myths about what infrastructure is.

Stimulus money gives Americans a chance to build nest egg for the future 

Many of those who didn’t need to cover their basic costs and were cooped up in their homes during the pandemic took to the market. Major brokers are coming off of a banner year in 2020 when a record number of investors entered the market during the covid-19 pandemic.

Charles Schwab had a particularly good start to this year, adding a record 3.2 million new clients in the first quarter of 2021 compared with about 2.4 million new accounts in all of 2020.

IRS urges “Non-Filers” to do a 2020 tax return 

Eligible households could get some helpful tax benefits this year, but they will need to file a 2020 tax return to see them. People who don’t normally report their income, known as “Non-Filers”, because they don’t earn enough will be able to enjoy the full Child Tax Credit that was revamped under the American Rescue Plan. 

The tax credit is now fully refundable and the earning floor was removed allowing low-income families to take advantage of it. The credit was also expanded to from $2,000 to $3,000 for children 6-17 and $3,600 for children under age 6. 

Some of those who have not filed returns may also be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit, but the IRS says it may need to see their 2020 tax return to know.

More stimulus money is coming 

Millions of Americans continue to struggle financially as the economy begins to slowly recover from 2020. While it is unlikely that there will be yet another round of stimulus checks, other forms of economic stimulus and financial relief may be heading your way.  

Forbes lays out some possible ways you can get more stimulus funds. 

TAX SEASON 2021

Why is my tax return still being processed?

Over 159 million stimulus check payments had been made at the last count, and the IRS is also in charge of introducing the new-look Child Tax Credit (CTC) by July. The IRS has had a huge workload and there are fears that the volume of work has affected the tax return process. 

IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig has assured lawmakers that the CTC rollout is on schedule, but admitted that the agency are still attempting to clear a backlog of tax filings from 2019. Here's everything you need to know about the tax return delay, and how it may affect your stimulus check payment. 

Read more

Restaurants experience stimulus check windfall

We are now beginning to see the effect of the $1,400 stimulus checks on elements of the US economy, and it's looking like good news for the struggling hospitality sector. Restaurant Business has noted a 36% year-on-year increase in sales across the country, bringing them close to pre-pandemic levels. 

It should be noted that March 2020 saw some states institute some of the strictest lockdown measure and, for many, caution over the coronavirus was at a high. However there figures are undoubtedly a step in the right direction and prove that the stimulus checks are capable of stimulating sectors and businesses that were badly hit by the pandemic. 

American Rescue Plan

When will child tax credit be sent?

The new-look Child Tax Credit was one of the most significant components of the American Rescue Plan passed by Congress in March. Payments for this new form of support are slated to begin in July 2021, but the IRS face a race against time to get the new system up and running by then. 

Under the new law, individuals making $75,000 or less or families with a combined earned income of $150,0000 or less will be eligible for payments of up to $3,000 for children over the age of six and $3,600 for those six or younger.

On Capitol Hill on Tuesday, IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig provided an update on the preparations being undertaken to ensure that IRS can make these payments. 

Read more

Do you need to pay tax on stimulus check payments?

The New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants runs through a few quick questions on sitmulus checks, including whether or not you need to pay tax on any Economic Impact Payments that you have received over the course of the pandemic. The answer, for all states, is no. 

The IRS states: "The payment is not includible in your gross income.  Therefore, you will not include the payment in your taxable income on your federal income tax return or pay income tax on your payment." 

CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECKS

Veteran third stimulus check: when is it arriving & how much?

Anyone who received Veterans Affairs benefits in 2020 is eligible for a third stimulus check. The IRS has said that recipients should not have to provide any additional information to receive their third check, unless there has been a change in the number of dependents they are able to claim.

For those who do not usually file income taxes, they may need to do so if the number of dependents changed in 2020 because the new information may impact the amount of money they are entitled to.

On 7 April, the IRS announced that it expected “to begin processing these VA payment files at the end of this week,” but some groups may have to wait longer due to administrative delays and a wait for physical payments to arrive in the mail. 

Read more

Warren praises stimulus checks for economic boost

Progressive Sen. Elizabeth Warren has shared an AP article which points to the third round of stimulus checks as a key factor in the 9.8% increase in consumer spending last month. The $1,400 direct payments have led to a sharp rise in retail spending and could signify a gradual return to normality. 

Warren has been a vocal supporter of providing greater financial relief to the American people throughout the pandemic, and was one of 21 Democrat senators who signed a letter calling on President Biden to introduce recurring stimulus checks. She argued that such spending "lifts up our whole economy."

IRS answers Child Tax Credit questioning

In a committee exchange with Senator Michal Bennet, IRS commissioner Charles Rettig confirmed that the tax authority are still intending to get the new Child Tax Credit (CTC) system up and running by July. 

The IRS has faced an increased workload this year with a particularly busy tax season compounded by the ongoing distribution of the third round of stimulus checks. They have nearly completed the stimulus check distribution and there is now just one month until the tax return deadline. 

One year of stimulus checks

The third stimulus check has nearly finished distribution, exactly one year since the first round of direct payments was sent out by the Trump administration. Chris Hughes, co-chair of the Economic Security Project, cites a study that suggests more than 10 million people have been lifted out of poverty by the payments. 

Such evidence will strengthen calls for a fourth stimulus check, possibly providing recurring payments, to be considered by Congress in the near future. The federal support has undoubtedly been a vital lifeline for millions, but Biden must weigh the benefits against potential spending on the new infrastructure package announced last month. 

Hello and welcome: US stimulus checks

Hello and welcome to our live daily coverage of all the latest news and information on the US stimulus checks on 16 April 2021.

.