personal finance

New batch of $1,400 stimulus checks includes 'plus-up' and first-time payments


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A new batch of $1,400 stimulus checks has been issued to Americans, bringing the total number of payments sent to about 165 million, or $388 billion.

This marks the ninth set of payments since the $1,400 stimulus checks were authorized by Congress in March.

The checks are for up to $1,400 per adult, based on certain income thresholds and other requirements, as well as $1,400 per dependent.

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The new batch included more than 960,000 payments representing more than $1.8 billion. About 500,000 of those payments were made via direct deposit, while the rest were via paper check.

The payments included about 460,000 “plus-up” payments worth more than $800 million to people who were due additional money once the IRS processed their 2020 tax returns.

It also included more than 500,000 checks, representing more than $1 billion, to people who the IRS did not previously have on record, and who recently filed tax returns.

What to do if you’re still missing a payment

If you have not received your $1,400 stimulus check — or the previous two $1,200 or $600 checks — you can still claim the money by filing a federal tax return.

This year, the filing deadline has been extended to Monday, May 17. However, those who choose to pursue an extension until Oct. 15 will still be able to claim the money, the IRS has confirmed. (But keep in mind you will not be able to put off paying anything you owe without potential fees or interest.)

If you have not filed a tax return in the past two years, doing so now can help the IRS process your stimulus check, so long as you are eligible for it.

Your 2020 tax return will also show whether your income dropped since you last filed in 2019, or if you have added a dependent, which could make you eligible for additional funds.

The IRS continues to issue checks each week, including “plus-up” payments to those people whose previous checks fell short.

A section for the recovery rebate credit – line 30 of Forms 1040 or 1040-SR and a worksheet – has also been added to this year’s return to help people claim any missing money from the first $1,200 or second $600 federal stimulus checks.

People who do not normally file tax returns, including the homeless and rural poor, are encouraged to do so this year in order to get their stimulus checks.

Filing a tax return will also help the IRS assess whether you may be eligible for additional funds through the earned income or child tax credits.

Filers who are below certain income thresholds may be eligible for free tax preparation services provided through the IRS.

 



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