Earlier this week, the Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department confirmed that nearly one million more $1,400 coronavirus stimulus checks were issued as part of the ninth batch of payments under President Joe Biden’s ambitious American Rescue Plan.
Stimulus Check Update
The newest batch was able to increase the total number sent out to approximately one hundred sixty-five million—with a hefty value of $388 billion. That represents more than 86 percent of the $450 billion total earmarked for the current third round of stimulus money—meaning that only 14 percent of the funds have yet to be disbursed.
The tax agency’s press release further revealed that out of the roughly one million payments worth $1.8 billion, about five hundred thousand were sent out via direct deposits and the remainder as paper checks or prepaid debit cards.
For individuals who have been waiting for about two months for their stimulus checks, take note that the ninth batch began processing on Friday, May 7, with an official payment date of May 12. There have been reports that some individuals have received their checks earlier if direct deposit was an option. For others, keep in mind that they could be in transit if they were mailed off via USPS.
Who Was Paid
Once again, the majority of the new payments—about five hundred thousand—targeted recent tax filers who previously did not have the necessary information on file at the IRS.
“Although payments are automatic for most people, the IRS continues to urge people who don’t normally file a tax return and haven’t received Economic Impact Payments to file a 2020 tax return to get all the benefits they’re entitled to under the law, including tax credits such as the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit, the Child Tax Credit, and the Earned Income Tax Credit,” the IRS stated.
“Filing a 2020 tax return will also assist the IRS in determining whether someone is eligible for an advance payment of the 2021 Child Tax Credit, which will begin to be disbursed this summer,” the agency added.
In addition, the ninth batch included four hundred sixty thousand so-called “plus-up” checks. According to the IRS, these payments are “for people who earlier in March received payments based on their 2019 tax returns but are eligible for a new or larger payment based on their recently processed 2020 tax returns.”
More Money on the Way
Be aware that also arriving this month are tax refunds from 2020 unemployment benefits. Biden’s legislation was able to waive federal tax on up to $10,200 of unemployment benefits, or $20,400 for married couples filing jointly, that were collected last year. The IRS has stated that the first of these refund checks are expected to be sent out some time this month and will continue throughout the summer.
According to a recent Treasury report, more than seven million tax returns processed by the IRS qualify for these new tax refunds.
“Of the 7.4 million tax returns, nearly 7.3 million—or 98.6 percent—had modified adjusted gross income of less than $150,000 and would likely qualify for the exclusion,” the report wrote.
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Minneapolis-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.