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Stimulus checks news summary | 26 February 2023

The US economy grew at a slower rate than expected in the final quarter of 2022, suggesting that the rising interest rates may be damaging the economy.

US Finance News: Latest Updates

Headlines: Sunday, 26 February 2023

- US economy grew at slower rate than estimated last quarter, 2.7% instead of 2.9%

- Unemployment rate for disabled workers fell to 7.2 percent in 2022

- Initial unemployment claims fell to 192,000 last week, down 3,000 from the week prior

- Differences between a stimulus checkand a disaster relief check

- Federal government pushes to enroll seniors in SNAP benefits, formally known as food stamps, as inflation cut into retirement benefits 

A few cities are piloting universal basic income to evaluate the policy and its various structures better.

Austin, Texas leads US capitals in terms of falling home prices: where else are prices falling? 

2023 Tax Season 

- Which states are still sending relief checks in 2023?

- Did you receive a state stimulus check? No need to report the payment as income to the IRS. 

Read more from AS USA:

IRS Tax Refund chaos: Who are the affected taxpayers?

At the start of February the IRS told recipients to hold off on submitting their tax returns while it decided whether or not to tax the various support payments sent out last year. On 10 February the tax agency issued new guidance, confirming that most taxpayers will not need to report the payments on their 2022 tax returns.

The IRS was criticised for leaving this decision so late, forcing filers to delay their submission and extend the wait for tax refunds. However, the tax agency has finally arrived at a resolution that will please most people affected.

Here is what they did.


Do universal basic income plans work?

Criticism of the idea comes from the extra governmental spending needed to pay for it as well as thinking it could disincetivise work. However, researchers at MIT and Harvard found that programmes like UBI had little impact on employment behaviour. Plans such as those espoused by Andrew Yang in the 2020 presidential elections would have given Americans $12,000 a year which, while not being enough to live on, would give Americans a financial backstop if they were made redundant.

UBI in a different form was shown in the stimulus checks and enhanced Child Tax Credit that supported Americans in the covid-19 pandemic. The money kept Americans afloat when they needed support the most.

We have more than enough data now to prove that cash works,” says Michael Tubbs, mayor of Stockto, California and an early adopter of UBI trials. “What is the data or talking points that we need to get to the policymakers ... to move their hearts?”

Which US cities have Basic Income programs with checks up to $500 and who qualifies?

Universal basic income (UBI), sometimes known as guaranteed income, would provide a regular payment to citizens whether they were in work or not.

The idea behind it is that it would decrease poverty and allow people to have a level of money without any dictation from salary or benefits. Outside of raw economics it would give people the chance to work less and live more fulfilling lives in being able to choose jobs they want to do rather than what they have to do to survive.

Here are the US cities invovled in UBI programmes.

Is a ‘disaster distribution’ the same as a ‘stimulus check’? Differences that you should to know

During the pandemic there have been a number of financial relief programs designed to support Americans through a tumultuous time for the US economy. The three rounds of federal stimulus checks were the most well-known of these efforts but there were countless other examples throughout the pandemic emergency declaration.

Under the emergency declaration, most recipients will not be taxed on the payments that they received. But there are still some major difference between two popular forms of tax-exempt support: disaster distribution and stimulus checks.

Read more

Tax relief checks up to $500 in Georgia: Who qualifies and how to get your payment

A bill to provide a stimulus check worth up to $500 for those who filed their 2021 and 2022 tax return has passed the Georgia House of Representatives. This renewal of a tax credit enacted last year kicked in when both 2020 and 2021 tax returns were submitted.

Now, it is up to the Georgia Senate to determine whether millions will see between $250 and $500 tacked onto their tax refund. The bill passed in the House by a huge margin, 170 to 2, which indicates a high chance of passing in the upper chamber.

The extension of this credit was a key pillar of Republican Governor Brain Kemp’s re-election campaign that he won in November. With Georgia voters delivering him the victory, Gov. Kemp is working to make good on these commitments.

Read more on who qualifies and the amounts would be distributed in our full coverage. 


Details on the Georgian checks

The bill for the tax refunds has been adopted in the House of Representatives, and it will head to the Senate. Last year, the Senate approved the bill on 16 March, meaning lawmakers in that chamber may still be negotiating or revising the legislation. With March nearly here, a vote can be expected in the coming weeks.

If the law is adopted by the Senate, qualifying taxpayers can expect an electronic payment or a physical check “based on the taxpayer’s refund instructions, as indicated on the taxpayer’s tax year 2021 return.”

The way to access IRS transcripts: this is how you will have the fastest tax refund

More information about your tax accounts can be found by accessing your transcripts. There are four types and this is how you access them.:

Tax Return Transcript: This transcript provides a summary of your tax return, including line-by-line information.

Tax Account Transcript: This transcript shows any changes made to your tax account after you filed your return, including any adjustments or payments made.

Record of Account Transcript: This transcript combines the information from both the tax return and tax account transcripts into a single document.

Wage and Income Transcript: This transcript shows the information reported to the IRS about your wages, income, and other payments.

Read more


This is how you will have the fastest tax refund

Once your tax filing has been sent it can be an anxious wait to see if you will be the recipient of a tax refund. The IRS has already briefed that refunds will be lower this year, with the data now released to support this. We are a month into tax season so if you filed your return at the beginning of the season it should have been processed.

If it hasn’t arrived yet it means you have made an error as it should take 21 days for the IRS to send your refund. Making sure all your information is correct is the only guarantee that the refund can be sent as any error will slow down the prcoess.


Good morning and welcome to AS USA

For those joining us bright and early we hope you are enjoying your Sunday morning.

The news is not particularly promising this morning as the announcement of slower than anticipated growth was received. The US economy grew at a 2.7% annual rate in the final three months of the year, less than the previous estimate of 2.9% growth in the quarter.

Aside from the macroeconomics there was little action to deal with price rises that could be celebrated this week, nor was there any announcement of plans to support those struggling the most under them.