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US stimulus checks | News summary for 25 January

Update:
All the latest news and information on direct payments, financial relief programmes and everything you need to know to submit your filing for tax season 2022.

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CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECKS

How many stimulus checks were issued in 2021?

First introduced in the CARES Act of March 2020, Economic Impact Payments (more commonly known as stimulus checks) were a direct cash injection into the bank accounts of individual people. As we approach one year since the last round of the payments was approved, we take a look back at the stimulus checks in 2021…

Read more.

Biden on Build Back Better warpath

President Biden is set to meet with corporate executives on Wednesday to discuss his Build Back Better proposal, which has been dead in the water since Joe Manchin killed it at the end of last year.

Biden is expected to discuss with them how the agenda “will make the US economy more competitive, increase worker productivity and workforce participation, lower inflation over the long-term, and strengthen business growth.” 

While he may be able to convince them, it is his own party members that he needs to convince if the bill is to get on to his desk.

SOCIAL SECURITY

Social Security 2022: disability benefits pay chart and payment schedule

The Social Security Administration (SSA) oversees a number of programmes designed to provide additional financial support for close to 70 million Americans.

For Americans with disabilities, the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) both play a vital role in providing financial support. 

Read more.

Child poverty to have a big rise in January

According to research by the Center on Poverty and Social Policy at Columbia University, childhood poverty is to increase from 12 percent to 17 percent by the end of January, the highest amount since December 2020. For black and latino children, this rises to 1 in 4 children below the poverty line.

“The power of what the child tax credit did was getting funds directly to those kids who need them, there is simply no policy that is as effective as that,” said Andrew Stettner, a senior fellow at The Century Foundation, “The reductions were historic and it is criminal that it’s so controversial to take a simple step to rectify the inequality our modern economy causes.”

TAX SEASON 2022

Missing Stimulus Check: What is letter 6475? Am I eligible to claim rebate credit?

One important letter that you should have received from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is Letter 6475. If you received a 'Third Economic Impact Payment', better known as a stimulus check, in 2021, then the letter will tell you whether you are eligible for some more money in the form of the Recovery Rebate Credit.

This payment is available for people that were eligible for the stimulus check but missed it when it was sent back in March, or if they received less than the correct amount. This year's tax season gives these people the opportunity to file their taxes and receive the money as a tax deduction or refund.

Read more.

Businesses encouraged by end of vaccine mandate plans

The Biden administration on Tuesday said it is withdrawing its vaccine-or-test mandate for businesses with at least 100 employees after the Supreme Court earlier this month blocked the requirement from being enforced.

This means the end of plans for a federal testing mandate.

CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECKS

How much were the first, second and third stimulus checks and when were they sent out?

In a recent press release the Internal Revenue Service put out its annual report highlighting the efforts of its employees in 2021. One of the accomplishments touted by the agency has been successfully delivering “more than $1.5 trillion to people across the nation through Economic Impact Payments, tax refunds and advance Child Tax Credit payments.” Here's a look at the three Economic Impact Payments, better known as stimulus checks.

Read more.

When will Social Security payments arrive?

Beneficiaries of any of the support programmes overseen by the Social Security Administration (SSA) will get a payment increase from January onwards as a result of the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) boost. The annual COLA increase is designed to keep the benefits payments in line with inflation rates, which soared in the second half of 2021. Here's when your boosted Social Security payments should arrive...

Expect delays from the IRS this tax season

“I think the IRS has done a service by warning people upfront about what the process is going to be like this year... But it’s not the position that anyone would want their tax agency to be in.”

Janet Holtzblatt, Senior fellow at Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center.

“It’s critical this year to avoid a paper tax return whenever possible and file electronically with direct deposit... And it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re filing an accurate tax return.”

Charles Rettig, IRS Commissioner

US NEWS

Can inflation affect your 2021 tax bill?

Inflation in the United States pushed the consumer price index up by around 7% across 2021 and the spiralling cost of essentials is now one of the major issues facing the US economy. One of the sharpest price rises in decades, this trend has many economist worried about the prospects of inflation not being a result of transitory effects from the economic recovery. As tax season begins, many could see the impacts of inflation reflected in their tax returns.

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How to include Child Tax Credit payments in your tax return

Yahoo Live’s Zack Guzman and Todd Simmens,BDO's National Managing Partner of Tax Risk Management, discuss what's new for tax season 2022. As was the case last year, the various forms of financial stimulus provided by the federal government may confuse things slightly, but there is still the opportunity to claim missing Child Tax Credit or stimulus check payments in your tax refund. 

What to expect this tax season

Filing tax returns is no one's favourite pastime but for several groups this year's submission could be even less appealing than normal. The IRS has a backlog of around six million unprocessed tax returns from previous tax seasons, meaning that anyone waiting for a tax refund in 2022 could have a longer than usual delay. Here's what that could mean for people waiting to claim the Child Tax Credit payments or unemployment support...

US NEWS

When will SSI checks be deposited for January?

Social Security recipients got some good news towards the end of last year when the SSA announced a massive 5.9% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) increase for payments received in 2022. This notable increase is designed to reflect the annual rate of inflation and after significant price rises in recent months a large increase was needed. 

Here's when to expect those boosted payments to arrive...

Read more

Claim missing Child Tax Credit payments on new IRS website

To help deal with the huge workload expected over tax season 2022 the IRS has introduced a new website, childtaxcredit.gov, for those who have not received their child support from 2021. Last year the IRS sent out six months' of monthly direct payments to eligible families but not everyone who should have received the money did. However they can still request that the outstanding payments are added to their tax refund. 

Democrats maintain Child Tax Credit ambitions

“I know that a couple of experts in the field have raised it and I’m certainly looking at it... I have spent a lot of time trying to come up with ideas and approaches on the Child Tax Credit that will get us to 50 votes, and I continue to do that.”

Sen. Ron Wyden, Senate Finance Chair

“One thing that I’d be very, very reluctant to do is to change the full refundability because that’s been so important for working families and poor families."

Sen. Michael Bennet, Senate Finance Member

CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECKS

Fourth Stimulus Check Update 2022: What is the the situation in each state?

As Omicron cases continue to spread across the country there is growing concern that the federal government is not providing the financial support needed to protect Americans during a difficult winter. A number of states have introduced new forms of financial relief for residents, many of which are specificially related to the pandemic and offer cash incentives. 

Here's a full list of the states offering stimulus checks or other direct payments...

Read more

Rep. Clyburn blames Child Tax Credit struggles for polling slump

It is no secret that President Biden has suffered at the polls in recent months as he struggled to get his ambitious legislative agenda through the Houses of Congress. The Democrats had placed a lot of emphasis on the Child Tax Credit last year, highlighting the benefits brought by the programme. However their inability to secure sufficient votes in the Senate has meant that Biden's approval rating has fallen. 

How to file your tax return for 2021

There are already reports that the IRS is struggling with a significant backlog of unprocessed tax returns from previous years so it's important that you get your 2021 returns filed promptly, or risk facing extended delays for your tax refund. This handy guide from NBC News breaks down some of the key things to watch for this filing season. 

Sen. Warnock reiterates support for the Child Tax Credit

One of the key legislative achivements during the first year of the Biden presidency was a huge overhaul of the Child Tax Credit, providing direct monthly payments to parents and guardians for the first time. Although the Democrats were unable to secure an extension to the programme before Christmas there is still a real desire within the party to keep the payments going, as evidenced by Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock here. 

Tax season 2022 begins

Tax filing can be a daunting process for many people but there is plenty of help at hand for those who are unsure how to reconcile the new forms of pandemic support in their tax returns. This helpful guide form NPR gives you all the basics on tax season 2022.

US NEWS

Child tax credit 2022: why did families only receive payments for six months?

Will the monthly Child Tax Credit payments be reintroduced? That is the question of the lips of many American families after the boosted programme was allowed to expire last month. Since July the IRS had been sending out monthly direct payments worth up to $300 per child but Congress was unable to agree to an extension before Christmas. 

After that failure, the White House is now calling on GOP members in the Senate to support a stand-alone Child Tax Credit bill to boost the programme. 

Read more

Huge IRS tax return backlog threatens 2022 filing season

This report from CNN runs through the major issues facing the IRS as tax season 2022 begins. The agency has faced a greatly increased workload during the pandemic with additional programmes like the distribution of stimulus checks to oversee, and there is real concern that it is having an impact on tax return processing. 

Tune in for free pre-filing season tax events

Tax filing time can be a stressful period for many people, attempting to account for the past 12 months' worth of income. This task has become even more difficult in recent years with the various forms of pandemic-era support like stimulus checks and the expanded Child Tax Credit complicating matters. 

If you need a bit of guidance, why not check out the IRS' pre-filing season tax events for free?

US NEWS

Are stimulus checks causing inflation in the United States?

Since the start of the pandemic Congress has approved close to $6 trillion in stimulus spending to help prop up the US economy and ensure that Americans have enough money to pay for essentials. Of that, more than $900 billion went out in the form of Economic Impact Payments, also known as stimulus checks.

But as the US' economy recovery continues, there is concern that the three rounds of stimulus checks may have created more problems...

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Legislative deadlock hurts Congress' polling

After months of negotiation, President Biden was unable to pass his Build Back Better bill before Christmas. The huge $1.9 trillion package had been a central part of his legislative agenda and failure to pass it meant that the Child Tax Credit expansion expired after December's payment. 

The failure to find agreement in the Senate, a key part of Biden's campaign for the presidency, was that he is able to find compromise in Congress As such, Congressional approval ratings have fallen, with "60 percent said they disapproved of Congress, including 30 percent who said they 'strongly disapproved' and another 30 percent who said they 'somewhat disapproved'," according to The Hill. 

Hello and welcome

Good morning! Welcome to the AS USA fourth stimulus check live feed, giving you all the latest news on direct payments and other forms of financial relief available in the United States. We will also keep you up to date on the ongoing tax season 2022 with tips on how to complete your filing. 

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