Stimulus Check Update: More Than 2.2 Million Checks Distributed in the Past 6 Weeks

The American Rescue Plan Act passed in March, shortly after President Joe Biden took office. The coronavirus stimulus plan entitled most Americans to receive $1,400 stimulus checks that were intended to help them cope with the dire financial consequences resulting from COVID-19 lockdowns.

While many people received the full amount of their payments within weeks of the act being signed into law, not everyone did. And the IRS is continuing to work diligently to make sure people get the money they were due. This includes both individuals and families who did not receive the initial payment at all, as well as people who received too little money.

The IRS recently made an announcement that suggests it has made some good progress over the past six weeks in distributing unclaimed stimulus funds. In fact, on Wednesday July 21, the agency announced it had made an additional 2.2 million stimulus payments.

The IRS paid out billions over the past six weeks

According to the IRS, the 2.2 million stimulus payments that the agency distributed over the past several weeks had a combined total value exceeding $4 billion. This included:

  • 1.3 million payments valued at $2.6 billion, which went to people who hadn't received an Economic Impact Payment. These were individuals who the IRS previously lacked essential information about and who recently filed a tax return giving the agency the details needed for a payment to be issued.
  • More than 900,000 "plus-up" payments valued at $1.6 billion. These were payments made to people who received an initial Economic Impact Payment based on their 2019 tax returns but who were actually entitled to more money. The IRS is sending plus-up payments as it processes 2020 tax returns and receives updated information about the amount of money that individuals and families are due. In total, the IRS has paid out $18.5 billion in plus-up payments to approximately 9 million taxpayers.

Although these additional 2.2 million payments have enabled many more people to get the help that the American Rescue Plan Act provided, there are still many people who have not yet received their funds or who have received the incorrect amount.

The IRS is urging people who do not normally file a tax return to make sure they submit a 2020 return as soon as possible.

Submitting a 2020 tax return could enable them to claim a 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit, which is a tax credit for the value of the two stimulus checks paid out by the Trump administration in 2020. It could also provide the IRS with the necessary information to send the third stimulus payment that was authorized by the American Rescue Act, and to pay out an expanded Child Tax Credit which this act also provided.

While filing a 2020 return can be a hassle, it is definitely worth doing to access all of this government support if you haven't yet received a direct deposit into your bank account or a check from the government since the start of the pandemic and you feel you are eligible.

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