Fourth stimulus check live updates: child tax credit date, plus up payments in third check, how to claim
US Stimulus checks: live updates on 17 April 2021
- What has President Biden said about a fourth stimulus check? (read more)
- Over $372 billion has now been paid out to 159 million recipients of the third stimulus check
- French minister considers US-inspired European stimulus push
- IRS chief confirms new Child Tax Credit system will be in place for July
- Golden State Stimulus checks begin distribution to CalEITC recipients (read more)
- Stimulus check 'plus-up' payments will continue in weekly bursts as tax returns are processed
- 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: 31.6 million cases / 566,873 deaths (live updates from JHU)
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The IRS has been working to distribute the $1,400 direct payments since the American Rescue Plan was signed last month, with close to $400 billion sent out.
Recipients of Veterans Affairs benefits were among the last to have their stimulus check payments processed by the IRS. Already over 159 million direct payments have been sent out by the tax authority but there are concerns that some are still missing out.
Last week the IRS announced that they would “begin processing these VA payment files at the end of this week. Because the majority of these payments will be disbursed electronically, they would be received on the official payment date of April 14.”
If this applies to you but you have not yet received the stimulus check payment, it may be worth checking out if you need to claim a missing payment from the IRS.
Although the stimulus checks have gone a long way toward relieving 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. But is there any chance that Biden will choose to dedicate precious Senate time to pursuing another stimulus check, while he has other priorities in sight?
Stimulus checks boost household savings
New research from Bloomberg shows what an impact the three rounds of stimulus checks in the last 13 months have had on American households. Eligible Americans will have received up to $3,200 in direct payments over the course of the pandemic, and many have decided to save at least part of that money to stave off financial insecurity.
Another factor in the decision to save may have been the lack of options for much of the last year, with shops, bars, restaurants and holiday destinations all suffering from restrictions to stem the spread of covid-19. As the country begins to return to some semblance of normality, some may decide to loosen the purse strings.
Fed Reserve report shows benefits of stimulus check support
A new report issued earlier this week by the Federal Reserve suggests that the $1,400 stimulus check payments have spurred the US's economic recovery. An article, shared by Rep. Colin Allred of Texas, draws a direct link from the direct payments to the improvement.
"The survey credited a range of factors, from vaccinations to the payments of up to $1,400 for individuals from the $1.9 trillion relief package that President Joe Biden pushed through Congress last month."
How much money has been sent out in stimulus checks?
Throughout the pandemic the US government has issued trillions of dollars worth of federal support to help stimulate the economy and provide a vital lifeline to individual Americans. Central to that effort is the stimulus checks, the direct payments issued to those who earn below a certain threshold.
Humanity Forward, a nonprofit organization that advocates for a universal basic income, breaks down the total amount dispersed by the IRS in the last 13 months. The recent third stimulus check was the most generous to date, with payments worth up to $1,400 per person.
The IRS is closing in on the end of a particularly busy tax season that has seen the federal body tasked with additional work to help get pandemic-related support out to those in need.
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. With all this to contend with, when is the new Child Tax Credit likely to arrive?
Do stimulus checks count as taxable income?
After a range of new forms of federal relief were introduce to help deal with the pandmeic, it can be difficult to keep track of them all. With the tax return deadline for 2021 now just a month away (17 May), how should you reconcile stimulus checks on your tax filing?
The good news is that stimulus checks do not count as taxable income, so you will not have to declare them on your returns. Furthermore, if you can show that you have suffered a loss of income since last year's filing you may be in line to receive an additional stimulus check, worth up to $3,200 in the form of a 'plus-up' payment.
In February the Golden State Stimulus bill was signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom, who proudly announced: “As we continue to fight the pandemic and recover, I’m grateful for the Legislature’s partnership to provide urgent relief and support for California families and small businesses where it’s needed most.”
Included in the $7.6 billion state-wide relief package was a round of $600 stimulus checks for low-income Californians. It took a while for the state to get the direct payments processed, but they should finally be on their way. Here's what you need to know about the Golden State Stimulus checks, and when they will arrive.
Markets enjoy stimulus check and vaccine boost
After over a year of pandemic-related uncertainy, there are signs that the US economy is beginning to grow in confidence as things return to normal. The distribution of the third stimulus check comes as states are starting to loosen coronavirus restrictions, giving recipients more chance to spend the federal support.
In recent days the Department of Commerce announced that retail spending in March was up 9.8% compared to the same month last year, suggesting that the stimulus checks have provided fresh impetus for consumers.
Anyone who received Veterans Affairs benefits in 2020 is eligible for a third stimulus check. The IRS has said that veterans 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. Veterans who do not usually file income taxes may need to if the number of dependents changed in 2020, as this 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 how long until those direct payments start to land in bank accounts?
In America, child care should be readily available and affordable for all of those who need it, child care workers should be paid fairly and treated with dignity and respect, and small business owners who run child care centers must be fully supported.
Stimulus check advice from Sen. Jon Ossoff
The IRS is still in the process of distributing the third stimulus check payments that were included in the American Rescue Plan. President Biden was only able to pass such an ambitious package because of the Democrats' victories in the Georgia Senate runoff elections, one of which was won by Jon Ossoff.
Here, Sen. Ossoff talks to the White House's Bharat Ramamurti about the ongoing effort to get the direct support out to those in need, with some things to look out for if you're still waiting for your sitmulus payment.
In March, legislation was reintroduced in the House by Representatives Pramila Jayapal and Rashida Tlaib, which would see a fourth stimulus payment of $2,000, followed by $1,000 monthly payments until the pandemic ends.
A letter signed by 21 Senators, including Ron Wyden, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, was also sent to the White House urging the President to include recurring payments and automatic extension of unemployment benefits until the pandemic ended. “Families should not be at the mercy of constantly-shifting legislative timelines and ad hoc solutions,” read the letter.
Although the Senators didn’t state an exact amount both Senators Sanders and Warren have favored $2,000 recurring payments in the past. However to date no formal legislation has been introduced yet in the Senate.
Child Tax Credit will provide support for three million families
Rep Joe Morelle has outlined some of the benefits of the new-look Child Tax Credit (CTC) programme, which the White House claim will help halve the number of children living in poverty over the next year. The new system is set to introduced from the start of July 2021.
The New York Congressman voted in favour of the American Rescue Plan and has also pledged his support to the new infrastructure package proposed by President BIden recently. Morelle is optimistic about the good that the internet investments could do in his constituency: "13% of New York households do not have internet subscriptions and over 30% of New Yorkers live in areas with only one internet provider."
Child Tax Credit update from the IRS
Charles Rettig, Commissioner of the IRS, has confirmed in a Congressional hearing that the tax agency still intends to meet the 1 July target to introduce the new Child Tax Credit (CTC) system. Unlike previous programme, the new-look provision will provide support in the form of a monthyl direct payment for eligible families.
The IRS has been under pressure from lawmakers to get the new system, which will be run through an online portal, up and running as quickly as possible. The ongoing distribution of the thirs stimulus check and the now extended tax return deadline has made it more difficult.
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.
Those that received unemployment benefits during 2020 were given a tax break on up to $10,200 of jobless aid claimed over the year which the IRS will have to retroactively apply to 2020 tax returns already received.
Students who took out private loans struggling
Money has highlighted the problems which many graduates are facing paying off private loans which they took out to fund their education. Outstanding debt from private student loans, along with Perkins loans and Federal Family Education Loans, both of which fall under the gray area of federally guaranteed but privately held loans, makes up approximately $263 billion of the $1.7 trillion total amount owed in the US - almost none of it has been eligible for federal relief.
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
$1,400 stimulus checks helping economy US recover
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.
Stimulus checks sent out to people who have died
During the first round of stimulus payments in April 2020, around 1.1 million payments were mistakenly sent out to people who had passed away. The IRS requested that those checks were returned to the agency by relatives of the deceased.
However, with the current, third round of payments, some family members may be able to keep the stimulus payment of a relative who has recently passed away. Forbes report that if your spouse died during 2020 and was on active duty with the US military in 2020, you are entitled to receive their $1,400 check as long as you filed your taxes jointly. If your spouse died this year (2021) and was eligible for the third stimulus check you will be allowed to keep their payment.
Homeless people can get Economic Impact Payments; permanent address not required
The IRS has sent out a reminder to people who don't have a permanent address or a bank account that they may still qualify for Economic Impact Payments and other tax benefits.
The IRS cannot issue a stimulus payment to eligible Americans when information about them isn't available in the tax agency's data base. The IRS needs information from people who don't usually file a tax return – even if they did not have any income last year or their income was not large enough to require them to file.
The only way for the agency to have that information is for people to file a basic 2020 tax return with the IRS. Once that return is processed, the IRS can quickly send stimulus payments to an address selected by the eligible individual. People do not need a permanent address or a bank account. They don't need to have a job. For eligible individuals, the IRS will still issue the payment even if they haven't filed a tax return in years.
For example, someone experiencing homelessness may list the address of a friend, relative or trusted service provider, such as a shelter, drop-in day center or transitional housing program, on the return filed with the IRS. If they are unable to choose direct deposit, a check or debit card for the tax refund and the third Economic Impact Payment can then be mailed to this address.
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.
In the fourth and final batch of $1,400 stimulus check payments to be sent out last week, US military veterans who don’t normally file a tax return finally saw their payments arrive with most receiving it directly paid into their bank accounts.
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.”
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.”
The IRS has been working to distribute the $1,400 direct payments since the American Rescue Plan was signed last month, with close to $400 billion sent out to date.
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.
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.
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 Saturday 17 April 2021.