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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Got Your Plus-Up Stimulus Check? 8 Million People Have Already Received Theirs

The IRS has not let up its pace in sending out the stimulus checks every week. Another 2.3 million stimulus checks have been sent out over the past couple of weeks. And that includes a substantial number of plus-up payments from the IRS.

The figure will be around 1.1 million plus-up or follow-up payments this time. Half the checks were sent through direct deposit. The rest will go out through the US postal service as either paper checks or prepaid debit cards.

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The plus-up payments were first announced at the beginning of April 2021. They continue to go out along with the regular stimulus checks in each batch. As most payments post-March 24 have been sent through the US postal service, you can expect to get yours either as a prepaid debit card or a paper check.

You Could Get A Plus-up Stimulus Check For Various Reasons

1.8 million payments were sent out in the previous round. The total now stands at more than 169 million payments or around $395 billion. And you might be in line for another installment of the third stimulus check if you have filed your 2020 returns and had a drop in income.

You could also be up for an additional stimulus check if you welcomed a baby home in 2020, or reported a dependent for the first time. And there are several other reasons you might get a follow-up check.

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Over 6 million plus-up payments had already been sent in the previous rounds to American citizens. It has a combined worth of more than $13 billion.

Filing Your 2020 Returns Might Get You A Follow-Up Check

Stimulus Check
Stimulus Check

Many Americans have availed of the extended deadline on May 17 and filed their 2020 tax returns. But if you still haven’t filed yours, you should request an extension for filing, you need to file quickly so that the IRS processes it earlier. An automatic tax extension will allow you to file the tax returns by October 15. And do not wait for the extended date as the quicker you file the 2020 returns, the earlier you will receive any plus-up payment.

Making Sense Of The Stimulus Payment Calculation

While the base amount is $1,400 for every individual, the stimulus check amount gets reduced for every increase in AGI (adjusted gross income) above a certain amount. For individuals, it is $75,000 and the stimulus check amount is reduced to zero once the AGI crossed $80,000. For married couples filing jointly, the corresponding figures are $150,000 and $160,000, and for the head of household, they are $112,500 and $120,000.  

Your Last Tax Filing Counts For Calculating Your Stimulus Check

For those who haven’t submitted the 2020 returns or did so just before the extended last date, the IRS sent the stimulus check based on previous returns.

The IRS depended on other sources too. Social Security recipients, veterans, and Railroad pensioners had their details sent to the IRS by their respective boards. The IRS   also used the information submitted in the Non-Filers tool that was used last year. The IRS has opted not to activate this portal for the third stimulus check.

 If your stimulus check was processed before you submitted your tax returns, the amount you receive in your plus-up check will be the difference between the amount that you should have got based on your 2020 returns and the amount you got based on previous records.

The third stimulus check payments dates have clashed with the 2020 tax return season. So even if you have submitted your returns before the stimulus check was dispatched, your stimulus check might be based on previous returns or details submitted.

If you are still up for payment but haven’t received a plus-up check, you can claim the amount by filing a Recovery Rebate Credit on the 2021 income tax returns that you file in 2022.

What Makes You Eligible For A Stimulus Payment?

Stimulus Check
Stimulus Check

While you get a plus-up stimulus check if your initial stimulus payment was based on your 2019 returns, several factors are linked to your stimulus check.

You get a follow-up payment only if there was a drop in your income in 2020. So if you had an adjusted gross income of $78,000, your initial check would have been less than the maximum of $1,400. And if it goes down to below $70,000 in 2020, you will get the remaining amount as a plus-up payment.

If a baby was born into your family in 2020, you will receive an additional $1,400 for the baby.

Getting married in 2020 could make you eligible for additional payments. If the individual earnings were above the threshold limit of any one spouse, they might have not been eligible for a stimulus check. but a combined tax filing could bring them within the limit for a full stimulus check.

For instance, a couple earning $90,000 and $50,000 in 2019 would have individually received only $1,400 based on the 2019 returns. But a combined filing as a couple will make them eligible for the full amount of $2,800 as their combined earnings are within the limit of $150,000 for married couples.

An older child could also add up to $1,400 to the total amount received by the family. Children above 16 did not qualify for the second round of stimulus checks.

Payments Based On Data Supplied By Agencies Could Also Make You Eligible

If your initial payment was based on details supplied by other agencies, say the Dept. of Veteran Affairs, you could be in for a check. At times the information contained only the details of the main recipient. Children and other dependents might have been left out but have been included in the 2020 tax returns. So you would get an additional $1,400 for each child.

Additional Payments That You Could Receive In 2021

There are other benefits in filing your 2020 income tax returns. They include tax credits, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the Child Tax Credit. Filling the tax returns for 2020 will help the authorities determine whether you are eligible for an advance payment of the Child Tax Credit that could earn you up to $300 per month through December.

The Child Tax Credit installments are set to start with monthly installments going out starting July 2021. The installments of up to $300 will continue through December 2021. Families are eligible for a child tax credit of up to $3,600 per child below 6 and $3,000 for children between 7 and 17. You will get half of the total amount in monthly payments and the rest has to be claimed through tax credits against the 2021 income tax returns that will be filed in the 2022 tax season.

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