High-income individuals get $1,400 stimulus check: Who has received it according to the IRS?

The third round of stimulus checks was supposed to provide support for struggling households but the IRS has confirmed that some earning more than $200,000 received a payment.

High-income individuals get $1,400 stimulus check: Who has received it according to the IRS?

As the IRS continues to distribute payments as part of the third round of stimulus checks, we are now beginning to see a clearer picture of how that process has gone so far.

The tax authority have confirmed that 163.5 million payments have been made since the American Rescue Plan was signed into law in March, costing the federal government a total of $389.9 billion.

A new report from the IRS has also shown how the payments have been distributed, with a surprising amount going to households that most would consider ‘high-earners’. In total, 127,751 stimulus check payments have gone to filers with an adjusted gross income (AGI) of more than $200,000 on their most recent tax return.

This group has received a total of $392.3 million from the IRS, but why have high-income households been able to receive the money?

Why are high earners getting stimulus check payments?

The first thing to point out is that while these wealthier households did get a payment, it may not have been the full $1,400 per person maximum. For individuals the amount on offer began to phase out for those with an AGI of more than $75,000; that figure was $150,000 for married couples.

Above that the payments were supposed to end entirely for individuals earning above $80,000 and for couples who earn more than $160,000. However an IRS spokesperson has confirmed that households with enough qualifying dependents would have been able to retain some of their stimulus check entitlement.

It is also true that some may have qualified for a stimulus check on the basis of their 2019 tax returns. The third round of stimulus checks was signed into law in mid-March, in the middle of tax season.

If a filer had not submitted their returns by that point the IRS would have based their earning on their information from 2019. After receiving the payment they would not be required to pay back their stimulus check, even if their 2020 tax return showed their AGI to be much higher.

How much have different groups received from the third stimulus check?

The IRS has also released figures relating to the amount that other groups received in the stimulus check payments. The Treasury Department confirmed last week that 52% of the stimulus check funds sent before 4 June went to households with an AGI of less than $50,000.

Another 10% of the total amount spent on stimulus payments went to those who did not file taxes in either 2019 or 2020 because their household income was too low to require it. In total, around 85% of the cost of the third round of stimulus checks has gone to households earning less than $100,000.