As of July 21, the IRS and the Treasury Department had sent 2.2 million additional Economic Impact Payments, over the course of the last six weeks. For months, the IRS issued such reports every week, but of late has been putting them out much less frequently.
Those 2.2 million payments represent a total value of more than $4 billion. Of those, about 1.3 million went to “eligible individuals for whom the IRS previously did not have information to issue an Economic Impact Payment but who recently filed a tax return.”
The latest tranche of checks also includes more than 900,000 “plus-up” payments, which are described as “additional ongoing supplemental payments for people who earlier this year 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.” There have now been a total of 9 million of those payments, bringing the total to $18.5 billion.
The total amount of stimulus payments sent out by the government has now reached more than 171 million, with a total value of more than $400 billion.
Every indication is that the IRS is nearly finished distributing the payments, although the agency did, in the announcement, including the boilerplate language about how “the IRS will continue to disburse Economic Impact Payments on a weekly basis. Ongoing payments will be sent to eligible individuals for whom the IRS previously did not have information to issue a payment but who recently filed a tax return, as well to people who qualify for “plus-up payments.”
The government has since moved on to the latest payment from the American Rescue Plan, the expanded child tax credit, with the first such payments going out on July 15, and additional payments scheduled for the next several months.
However, it appears highly unlikely that another round of $1,400 stimulus checks will be going out this year. Despite petitions calling for more stimulus, and members of Congress issuing letters calling for them, there appears to be little appetite among elected officials for such payments, and the Biden Administration has not expressed its support.
None of the current negotiations taking place in either house of Congress over infrastructure packages, whether the bipartisan talks or the Democrats-only reconciliation package, have additional stimulus checks included among the provisions, and the Biden Administration did not include such checks in its first proposal for the federal budget. However, the Biden Administration has proposed an extension of the child tax credit.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.