For the past three months, the Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department have been working tirelessly to issue tens of millions of $1,400 coronavirus stimulus checks that were approved under President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan.
According to the agencies’ latest count, approximately one hundred sixty-nine million checks, representing a value of $395 billion, have been disbursed to eligible Americans so far. That represents nearly 90 percent of the $450 billion total earmarked for this current round of stimulus.
It appears that since the IRS’ latest release on June 9, stimulus payments have continued to head out for the past couple of weeks and will continue to do so this weekend. Do take note that the last tranche included more than 2.3 million checks.
Also, be aware that there was great news for those still waiting for the so-called “plus-up” or supplemental checks, as the last batch boasted more than a million such payments. According to the agency, these top-off checks 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 has stated that it has made more than eight million such payments so far this year, and they will continue to be issued on a weekly basis throughout the summer.
The agency, once again, is pressing Americans to file an extension and complete their federal tax returns if they haven’t already—noting that “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.”
Filing taxes will also help those who are still trying to collect stimulus money from the first two rounds, as all returns this year come with a handy Recovery Rebate Credit. “If you didn’t get any payments or got less than the full amounts, you may qualify for the Recovery Rebate Credit and must file a 2020 tax return to claim the credit even if you don’t normally file,” the IRS says.
Keep in mind that many Americans have reportedly received a confirmation letter, also known as Notice 1444, from the IRS stating that their check was issued even though they have yet to receive it. In this scenario, they should request an IRS payment trace.
Know that the same trace can be initiated if the IRS “Get My Payment” tool at www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment shows that the funds have been sent out but the money has yet to enter the recipient’s bank account.
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.