Despite the lack of new notices sent out by the Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department, know that the two agencies are still busy at work disbursing millions of new $1,400 coronavirus stimulus checks that are an essential part of President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan.
According to the most up-to-date estimates, approximately one hundred sixty-nine million checks—representing a hefty value of $395 billion—have headed out to eligible Americans over the past three months. This means that there are still roughly 10 percent of checks earmarked for the third round of stimulus that have yet to be sent out.
Do take note that earlier this month, the IRS announced that more than 2.3 million payments were issued, and of them, more than 1.2 million were disbursed via direct deposit, while the rest were delivered as paper checks or prepaid debit cards.
Keep in mind that many of those who recently filed taxes were able to see the money land in their bank accounts. The IRS is urging Americans to file an extension and complete their federal tax returns if they haven’t already.
“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 agency writes.
Also, be aware that more than a million of the so-called “plus-up” or supplemental checks were included in the latest tranche. These particular funds are for individuals “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,” the IRS notes, adding that more than eight million such checks have been sent out so far this year.
Amid the winding down of the third round of stimulus checks, both lawmakers and ordinary citizens have been voicing concerns that many people are still financially struggling due to the ongoing pandemic.
Perhaps a fourth and even a fifth round of stimulus is in the offing? It appears that several members of the House Ways and Means Committee would like that to become a reality.
“The pandemic has served as a stark reminder that families and workers need certainty in a crisis,” they wrote in a recent letter to Biden.
“They deserve to know they can put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads,” they added.
Moreover, nearly 2.5 million people have signed a Change.org petition that is demanding recurring monthly stimulus checks until the health crisis ends.
“I’m calling on Congress to support families with a $2,000 payment for adults and a $1,000 payment for kids immediately, and continuing regular checks for the duration of the crisis,” said the petition, which was started by Colorado restaurant owner Stephanie Bonin.
“Otherwise, laid-off workers, furloughed workers, the self-employed, and workers dealing with reduced hours will struggle to pay their rent or put food on the table,” it added.
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.