CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECKS

How filing a tax return could help you get third stimulus check plus-up payments

The IRS is continuing to make the direct payments as more Americans file their tax returns. Could you be eligible for more than you have received so far?

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How filing tax returns can help you get third stimulus check plus-up payments

Despite having sent out over 165 million payments, the IRS is still in the process of distributing the third round of stimulus checks to eligible Americans. The $1,400 direct payments were included in the American Rescue Plan but, for some, things have been complicated by the ongoing tax filing season.

Now that the vast majority have received their money the IRS is focusing on sending out the ‘plus-up’ payments; supplementary stimulus checks for those who were initially underpaid. For those who experienced a loss of income during 2020 the recent tax filing may have made then eligible for a larger stimulus payment.

Make sure to submit a tax return to receive your full stimulus check entitlement

As with previous rounds of the direct support, the eligibility requirements for the third stimulus checks were based on information provided in IRS tax returns. Things like Adjusted Gross Income, marital status and number of tax dependents are all used to decide how much an individual is given.

The IRS calculated the entitlement using the most recent tax filings that they had on record for everyone. However because the stimulus bill was passed in March, in the middle of the filing season, some were based on 2019’s tax returns, and others on 2020’s.

For those who have had a change of status since their last tax filing, the 2020 tax returns will have offered more up to date information which could have made them eligible for a stimulus check for the first time. The deadline for tax returns this year is Monday 17 May, but even if you miss that date the IRS will continue to send out plus-up payments for the rest of 2021.

New batch of payments sees nearly one million stimulus checks sent out

As mentioned, although most recipients have had their full entitlement the IRS is continuing to make payments on a weekly basis. On Wednesday, the tax authority confirmed that they had sent out another 960,000 stimulus check payments, worth an estimated $1.8 billion.

Of those, around 460,000 were plus-up payments based on recent tax filings. That equates to more than $800 million that was sent out in supplementary payments in the last week alone. The other 500,000 checks were sent to people for whom the IRS did not previously have details on record but who had filed a tax return.

Both of these groups would have missed out on the money unless they submitted their 2020 tax returns with the IRS. Make sure you complete yours as soon as possible to ensure you are sent your full stimulus check entitlement.