Fourth stimulus check news summary: 10 June 2021

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US stimulus checks latest news live: Thursday 10 June 2021

Headlines:

- IRS confirms another 2.3 million stimulus check payments have been sent out this week

- World Bank boosts growth forecasts as US stimulus, vaccines stoke demand

- Stocks close near highs as bond yields dip

- White House cool on possibility of fourth stimulus check in immediate future (full story)

- Monthly payments as part of new, expanded Child Tax Credit due to begin on 15 July

- First responders and teachers in Florida set to receive $1,000 stimulus check (full story)

- IRS leak shows how little wealthiest Americans pay in federal income tax (full story)

- Next round of adjusted tax returns for unemployment exclusion to go out mid-June (full story)

- Study shows that American households significantly helped by stimulus checks

- Petitions for recurring $2,000 stimulus checks pick up over 2.6m signatures

- You can track your third stimulus check by using the IRS' online Get My Payment tool

- Check out all the latest news and information on vaccines (live blog)

Have a read of some of our related news articles:

dollars

Dollar marooned as investors shrug off inflation spike

After a week of anxious waiting, markets got the high U.S. inflation number they dreaded, then shrugged it off and moved on - leaving the U.S. dollar under pressure and most majors stuck in ranges.

Early in the Asia session the greenback nursed small losses, as traders figured there were enough one-offs in last month's 0.6% rise in consumer prices to support the Federal Reserve's insistence that inflation was likely to be transitory.

The dollar bought 109.44 yen and was headed for a small weekly loss. It was also on track for modest weekly losses on the Aussie dollar and British pound, last trading at $0.7752 per Aussie and $1.41825 per pound.

IRS to host Digital Day webinar

The Internal Revenue Service will host the web event on 17 June showcasing their range of digital services.

On 10 June, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen testified before the House Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations. 

Sec. Yellen opened her testimony with an optimistic tone saying that when she took over the post she was concerned that during the economic recovery "high-income households rebounded quickly – or even emerged better-off – while low- and middle-income families suffered for a very long time." However, Sec. Yellen highlighted the important impacts the American Rescue Plan has had on ensuring a more equitable recovery. 

Read the full testimony here. 

 

Benefits Data Trust release report in conjunction with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities that shows that "a declining share of eligible families" are receiving benefits through the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Researchers analyzed the efficacy of alerting mothers through text messages of their eligibility status to see if there were increases in the number that claimed the benefits. According to the report, "several recent pilot programs have shown it may help increase awareness about and enrollment in the program." 

Read full report here. 

US News

IRS sending unemployment tax refund: how to contact IRS if missing

IRS sending unemployment tax refund: how to contact IRS if missing

Changes to the US tax code under the American Rescue Plan allowed those on unemployment to reduce the amount of their benefits able to be counted as "income." Those still waiting for their return can use tools provided by the IRS to check the status of their return.

Read our full coverage for more information. 

CHILD TAX CREDIT

What are the differences between the 2021 Advanced Child Tax Credit and the Additional Child Tax Credit?

The IRS has announced that it has begun sending letters to all eligible households informing them that they will be receiving the new Child Tax Credit from next month. The White House estimates that around 88% of American children will be covered by the new programme.

In the past the Child Tax Credit was exactly that; a single tax credit which could be used to lower your tax bill at the end of each year. However this meant that low-income filers, who therefore paid little or no tax, were not given the full benefits. Here's how the new programme will change all that...

Read more

Tax refunds are on their way for unemployment benefits recipients

The IRS is in the process of sending out tax refunds for anyone who mistakenly paid tax on unemployment benefits received during 2020. Usually these payments would be taxable but the American Rescue Plan made jobless support tax-exempt for a year. 

However as the ARP was only passed in March this year, millions of Americans had already filed their returns and paid their tax bill by that point. The refund process has been delayed as the IRS attempts to distribute the third round of stimulus checks and introduce the new Child Tax Credit system, but those payments are on their way. 

US NEWS

What states are paying out stimulus checks on top of the third federal payment?

While Americans wait for news on the prospect of a fourth stimulus check, some states are taking matters into their own hands and are passing legislation that will provide extra support for residents. 

The majority of Californians can expect to receive a state-funded stimulus check in the coming weeks after Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a significant tax surplus after 2020's filings. These Golden State Stimulus checks are far from the only payments that have been agreed and people across the country may start to see them landing in their bank accounts fairly soon. 

Read more

Calls for replacement stimulus checks to be sent to domestic abuse victims

Throughout the pandemic the IRS has attempted to get the direct payments out to everyone who is eligible to receive one, but there is concern that domestic abuse survivors may not have received their payments. Unfortunately the pandemic has exacerbated some issues with domestic abuse and reports suggest that some victims had their stimulus check payments taken by the abuser. 

Rep. Grem Moore is calling on Congres to pass new legislation that would empower the IRS to send out replacement payments to victims. This would require the IRS to be in contact with local police forces, but there is hope that a solution to the stimulus check issue can be found. 

More stimulus checks go out this week

The IRS has confirmed that another 2.4 million stimulus check payments were sent out on Wednesday as part of the ongoing distribution effort. Although the vast majority of eligible Americans have now received their full entitlement, as the IRS works through the backlog of tax returns more individuals are in line for a payment.

This includes some who are now entitled to greater payment and so are now receiving a 'plus-up' stimulus check. Other payments are going to those who the IRS have only recently received personal details for, allowing them to finally send out the stimulus check money. 

CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECK

Fourth stimulus check: what did Jen Psaki say about a new payment from the Biden administration?

In a recent White House press conference, Biden's spokesperson Jen Psaki was tight-lipped on the prospect of a fourth stimulus check in the near future, adding that the President is focusing on a number of priorities at the moment. Neither of the two outstanding legislative package that the White House is pushing include a fourth direct payment but there is growing support for more financial relief. 

The news comes after a recent report from the University of Michigan found that the three previous rounds of stimulus checks had had a positive impact on recipients’ access to food and healthcare, mental wellbeing and financial stability.

Read more

How does the Child Tax Credit work?

The new Child Tax Credit offers a huge increase on the previous support for families, providing monthly payments of up to $300 for children younger than six and $250 for those aged between six and 17. 

An estimated 88% of American children will be covered by the payments, but not all families will receive the full amount. As with the stimulus checks, the amount on offer will gradually phase out above certain income thresholds. 

If you're unsure of how much you could get, this handy graphic breaks down the thresholds...

CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECKS

New batch of third stimulus checks: who is receiving the payments?

The IRS has confirmed that the latest batch of stimulus check payments saw another 2.3 million people get the financial support, taking the total number of payments to 169 million. 

Even though the vast majority of Americans have now received their full entitlement, the IRS is continuing to make 'plus-up' stimulus check payments on a weekly basis for the duration of 2021. 

Read more

Who will get the new-look Child Tax Credit?

The American Rescue Plan introduced a complete overhaul of the existing federal support for parents. From 15 July onwards roughly 88% of American children will be covered by a new programme that will see their parents sent a monthly payment worth up to $300 per child for the rest of the year. 

With little over a month until the new system starts, many families are still unaware that they are eligible for the direct payments. This handy video from the IRS has everything you need to know... 

 

IRS sends out another 2.3 million stimulus checks

The tax authority has confirmed that on Wednesday they made another 2.3 million stimulus check payments, with a total value of roughly $4.2 billion, as part of the ongoing distribution process. This takes the total number sent out as part of the third stimulus check to 169 million. 

The IRS is currently working through a huge backlog of tax returns which have made some filers newly eligible for a payment, or a larger payment than originally thought. This process will continue for the rest of 2021 with weekly stimulus check payments going out to eligible Americans. 

More support for expanded Child Tax Credit

As President Biden looks to build bipartisan support for his upcoming spending proposals, Democrats in Congress are pushing for Republicans to agree to some key elements of the American Families Plan. 

The recent stimulus bill provides a monthly direct payment for Child Tax Credit recipients, but that support will only last for 12 months. The AFP would see that programme extended through 2025 but many in Congress are calling for the reformed Child Tax Credit to be made permanent. 

Will new inflation data give Fed pause about continuing stimulus? 

WSJ - The recent inflation surge gives Federal Reserve officials further reason to begin discussing an eventual wind-down of their pandemic-driven easy-money policies at their meeting next week. 

A growing number of economists are becoming concerned that the Fed could fall behind the curve on inflation as it seeks to aid the labor market’s recovery. If that happened, the central bank would have to tighten policy more abruptly than economists and market participants currently anticipate, dealing a potential blow to the economy and fueling market volatility. 

“The intensity of the current inflation and the current bottlenecks in supply chains and labor markets is greater than I had anticipated,” said former Fed Vice Chairman Donald Kohn, adding that he still shares the central bank’s belief that the inflation pickup is temporary. “But it also could be that the underlying demand-supply balance will not correct as readily or as comfortably as the Fed and I had expected earlier. It’s got my inflation antenna quivering.” 

Full story at Wall Street Journal

Senators urge implementation of stimulus measure for rural hospitals to be prioritized 

Senators Charles Grassley and Amy Klobuchar call on he Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to prioritize the implementation of a new Rural Emergency Hospital designation for rural hospitals. The measure, buried deep in the covid-19 relief bill signed at the end of last year, calls for small rural hospitals to end their money-losing in-patient operations and retool standalone emergency rooms with some outpatient services. The hospitals that undergo the transformation would have access to around $750,000 in additional funding under the program, on average.

Potential staggering thief of stimulus funds 

Axios reports that America has lost $400 billion to fraudulent claims and that as much as 50 percent of unemployment claims might have been stolen according to Blake Hall, the CEO of ID.me. Blake also says that perhaps 70 percent of those stolen funds have now left the country with criminals using “mules” to withdraw funds from ATMs and then transferring them to foreign destinations.  

Read more

Alabama inmates’ stimulus checks garnished 

In Alabama, the vast majority of state inmates are not paid for work they perform in prison, like other states around the US. Yet incarcerated people in this state consistently report that they need funds to purchase commissary items vital to their physical health, hygiene and nutrition, from supplementary food items to toiletries and even clothing. 

But many incarcerated people have little or no access to such items, as they rely on often-meager personal savings and the generosity of family members and friends. With the latest round of stimulus checks sent out, inmates are finding that the state is withholding money to cover fines, fees and restitution. These financial obligations are typically required to be paid in monthly installments after inmates are released from prison.

Annual interest rate jumps in May 

Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Thursday that consumer prices soared in May rising faster than economists had predicted. Inflation rose 5% in the 12-months ending in May. The core inflation rate, once food and energy costs were excluded, stood at 3.8%, the biggest rise since 1992. On a seasonally adjusted basis the May rise in inflation, 0.6%, was slightly lower than in April.

Aside from the third federal stimulus checks worth $1,400, some US citizens have or are set to receive payments from state governments offering further financial relief beyond that approved in Washington. So far, two states have recently approved budgets that will see some citizens receive stimulus payments aside from the $1,400 federal payment under the American Rescue Plan. 

Full details

Enhanced Child Tax Credit, Democratic spending spree or an invest in America’s future 

The changes to the child tax credit were pushed by Representatives Rosa DeLauro, Suzan DelBene, and Ritchie Torres to be included in the American Rescue Plan. Rep. DeLauro has been working on the proposal for over two decades. Now those enhancements which include a nearly doubling of the credit and monthly advance payments are slated to be included in the American Family Plan. President Biden would like to extend it at least until 2025, congressional Democrats would like to make it permanent.  

The measure will cost the Treasury roughly $110 billion this year, if made permanent it would cost upwards of $1 trillion over a decade. To some this may seem as wasteful spending, but Dahleen Glanton would like you to take a look at some other numbers.  

The United States has one of the highest poverty rates among the world’s wealthiest nations. One in seven children lives in poverty. That’s 11 million kids. The child poverty rate is 1½ times higher than that for adults.

Growing up impoverish and without enough to eat causes developmental problems which in the long run cost society not just in having to deal with the consequences but also all the potential that isn’t achieved due to a hardship which could be alleviated. 

Read the full story

Expectations on ECB and European stimulus pan out 

The European Central Bank will maintain its generous flow of stimulus to avoid higher borrowing costs which could smother a still nascent recovery. The ECB has been buying private and public sector securities as part of its Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme (PEPP).

The ECB in recent months has increased the amount of assets it purchases each month from €62 billion to €80 billion, but said on Thursday that this elevated amount will continue but may be reduced in the future. The ECB indicated it would remain within the range of spending seen so far. The ECB also said PEPP would last until March 2022 to ease worries in markets about any abrupt change in the future.

GoFundMe campaign throws shade at Jeff Bezos for cause

ProPublica obtained 15 years-worth of IRS tax returns from the wealthiest Americans revealing just how little they pay in taxes compared to their immense fortunes. Jeff Bezos stood out in particular for collecting the Child Tax Credit which is designed to help reduce child poverty. The credit begins to phase out for individual taxpayers who earn more than $200,000 a year, $400,000 for married couples, until those earning more than $227,000, or $454,000, would be ineligible.  

According to PorPublica's reporting, in 2011, a year in which his wealth held roughly steady at $18 billion, Bezos filed a tax return reporting he lost money and collected a $4,000 tax credit for his children. 

Using Bezos’ collecting this credit as a rallying cry, Rebecca Gowland has created a GoFundMe page to raise money for the Fight Inequality Alliance, a global movement to counter the excessive concentration of power and wealth in the hands of a small elite and achieve a just, equal and sustainable world. 

Congressional Democrats greatly expanded the credit for 2021 and the enhancements could reduce childhood poverty in half. Monthly advance payments on the credit will begin 15 July. For families that would prefer to claim the full $3,000 or $3,600 credit per child next year, they can opt out of the advance payments.

Extension of the 2021 Child Tax Credit in doubt 

As part of his American Families Plan President Biden has called on Congress to extend until 2025 the tax provision that will send advance payments to parents of children 17 and under. Congressional Democrats would like to see the measure become permanent, but do enough of them feel that way. Sticker shock is the main issue for more centrist Democratic senators who will hold an out-sized sway in the fate of the measure, and currently only 41 Senators have openly called for the credit to be made permanent.

2021 Child Tax Credit

$3,000/$3,600 Child Tax Credit: is IRS contacting families who will receive it? if so, how?

The American Rescue Plan included a major redesign of the Child Tax Credit for the 2021 fiscal year which will include monthly direct payments to parents that choose to receive it in advance. The IRS announced that over 36 million families should be expecting a letter in the mail to inform them about the enhanced tax credit.

Parents with children 17 and under will be looking forward to extra financial help each month starting in July when Child Tax Credit payments begin.

What you'll want to know about the Child Tax Credit

Central banks around the world prepare for eventual end to stimulus 

Once bitten, twice shy would best describe the actions of central bankers outside the US at the moment. The Federal Reserve has said publicly that it will keep interest rates near zero, inflationary pressures could push the Fed to taper stimulus sooner than expected. 

This possibility has central banks in other countries getting ready for that scenario. More vulnerable central banks are fortifying their financial systems to avoid a repeat of 2013 when rumors of the Fed tightening fiscal policy caused a "taper tantrum".

When Americans could see a fourth stimulus check 

Despite much talk about more possible stimulus checks, another one similar to the three previous Economic Impact Payments, or colloquially known as “stimmys”, doesn’t appear anywhere on the horizon just yet. Americans however can begin to take advantage of other stimulus programs set up in the American Rescue Plan and some from earlier covid-19 relief bills, for renters, homeowners, and those who need help paying their internet bill or a new computer. Not to mention one of the biggest payments coming to parents in the form of an advance payment on the 2021 Child Tax Credit.

ECB

ECB to keep money taps wide open even as recovery takes hold

The European Central Bank is all but certain to maintain a generous flow of stimulus when policymakers meet on Thursday,  fearing that higher borrowing costs could smother a still nascent recovery.

Just emerging from a pandemic-induced double-dip recession, the 19-country euro zone economy has relied on unprecedented ECB stimulus to stay afloat. And even as growth surges with the easing of covid-19 restrictions, policymakers appear keen to err on the side of caution.

Recent comments from ECB President Christine Lagarde and board member Fabio Panetta suggest the June discussion effectively ended even before Thursday's meeting, with a cut in bond purchases unlikely, even if policymakers acknowledge an improvement in growth prospects and the rapid pace of vaccinations.

pfizer

Biden to donate 500 million Pfizer doses

U.S. President Joe Biden plans to buy and donate 500 million doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine to more than 90 countries, while calling on the world's democracies to do their part to help end the deadly pandemic, the White House said.

The announcement of the vaccine donation - the largest ever by a single country - comes ahead of Biden's meeting with leaders of the other Group of Seven advanced economies - Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan - in Cornwall, England.

"The goal of today's donation is to save lives and end the pandemic and will provide the foundation for additional actions to be announced in the coming days," the White House said.

U.S. drugmaker Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech confirmed they will provide 200 million doses in 2021 and 300 million doses in the first half of 2022, which the United States will then distribute to 92 lower-income countries and the African Union.

Jen

Fourth stimulus check schedule

President Biden has been fairly non committal on his position regarding a fourth stimulus check, if Congress were to pass one, preferring that both chambers focus on passing other priorities on his agenda. Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary said that Biden is “happy to hear from a range of ideas on what would be most effective and what's most important to the economy moving forward.”

But went on to add: "But he's also proposed what he thinks is going to be the most effective for the short term for putting people back to work, to getting through this pivotal period of time, and also to making us more competitive over the long term."

IRS advises against social media 'fakes'

The Internal Revenue System advises users against false social media accounts looking to secure important personal and provate details.

jobs

US weekly jobless claims seen falling; consumer prices expected to rise further

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits likely fell last week to the lowest level in nearly 15 months, while consumer prices increased further in May as the pandemic's easing grip on the economy continues to boost demand.

The Labor Department is likely to report on Thursday that initial claims for state unemployment benefits totaled a seasonally adjusted 370,000 for the week ended June 5, compared to 385,000 in the prior week, according to a Reuters survey of economists.

That would be the lowest since mid-March 2020 when the first wave of covid-19 infections barreled through the country, leading to closures of nonessential businesses, and mark the sixth straight weekly decline.

Layoffs are abating, with employers scrambling for labor as millions of unemployed Americans remain at home because of trouble securing child care, generous unemployment benefits and lingering fears of the virus even though vaccines are now widely accessible.

At least half of the adult U.S. population has been vaccinated against the virus, allowing for broader economic re-engagement. But the pent-up demand unleashed by the resumption of business operations is straining the supply chain and fanning inflation pressures.

Economists expect another report from the Labor Department on Thursday will likely to show the consumer price index increased 0.4% last month after surging 0.8% in April, which was the largest gain since June 2009.

dollar

Dollar hovers near 5-month low

The dollar hovered near a five-month low versus major peers on Thursday as investors looked to U.S. inflation data and a European Central Bank meeting later in the day, while an index of volatility among major currencies dropped to new lows.

Putin to arrive in Geneva on June 16 for Biden summit

Russian President Vladimir Putin will arrive in Geneva on June 16, the same day he is set to meet U.S. President Joe Biden there, Russia's TASS news agency quoted his spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying on Thursday.

UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS

How to get a Keystone ID to claim Pennsylvania unemployment benefits

Pennsylvania unemployment benefits: The state's Unemployment Compensation process has been updated with a new online portal that went live this week, but some residents are having issues with the system.

US News

$3600/3000 Child Tax Credit Calculator: how much will I receive per child?

With payments beginning next month, many families are curious how much they will receive as a part of the enhanced child tax credit this year. 

CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECKS

$1,000 Florida stimulus check for teachers and first responders: how to claim it

Governor Ron DeSantis signed Florida’s $101.5 billion budget on Wednesday which includes $1,000 direct payments for first responders and educators.

Stimulus checks live updates: welcome

Hello and welcome to our daily blog on stimulus checks for Thursday 10 June 2021.

Here you'll find updates on a possible fourth stimulus check, plus information on the third round of checks, which has seen the IRS send out $391 billion in direct payments since March.

We'll also provide info on schemes such as the expanded Child Tax Credit, which enables qualifying families to claim up to $3,600 per child per year, and everything else related to President Joe Biden's relief program.

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