Stimulus Check Breakup: Got The Right Amount In 2021, Or Is An Extra Plus-Up Payment On The Way?

Stimulus checks
Stimulus check

Does the amount of up to $1,400 per individual that you received in your stimulus check match your calculations? Or is there a second plus-up payment on the way? Finally, let’s make sure your calculations were correct.

You had been expecting a particular amount in your stimulus check. But you finally ended up with another. Tallying the two figures might be agonizing if you do not get your calculations right in the first place. It could be a simple calculation error you or the IRS made.

There have also been new rules for the third stimulus check. That could have changed the amount you finally received or deprived you of a check altogether. Or maybe the IRS received additional information after they sent the third stimulus check. You can then expect a second stimulus check as a plus-up payment.

Getting Your Basics Right

The Economic Impact Payment, signed into law by President Biden, has clear-cut rules on how much you will receive out of the $1,400 maximum per individual. The payment amount is primarily based on your Adjusted Gross Income and the number of dependents that you can claim.

Each additional dependent could add an extra $1,400 to the stimuli check amount. And a calculation error could mean the difference between you or your family receiving as much as $5.600, or nothing.

The Facts That You Send To The IRS Determines Your Stimulus Check

Stimulus Check
Stimulus Check

The IRS will base its final calculation on the information that you have sent to them. So make sure you have updated every bit of it, including every child and other dependents in your family, your income. Also, be sure that the IRS has your correct bank details and the right mailing address.

The list of eligible beneficiaries has also been broadened to include older dependents and families of mixed status. Any resident of the United States who pays taxes is eligible for the third stimulus payment. It includes lawful permanent residents and some qualifying resident aliens who have a Social Security number.

Did You File Your 2020 Tax Returns This Year?

The most common reason for not getting your stimulus check amount right could be your returns. The IRS will base your payment on the last returns you made. So you could have received the stimulus check based on the 2019 returns.

So, if you have not filed your returns, you have until May 17 to do the same. The IRS tracker tool will help you determine if the IRS has factored in the 2020 returns while calculating your stimulus check. If they haven’t, you could be missing out on your stimulus check for any of the following reasons.

You might have welcomed a baby into your family in 2020 which should bring more than the $1,400 by way of Child Rebate Tax, which is worth as much as $3,600 per child.

The economic downturn caused by the pandemic could have affected your income. this could increase your stimulus check or even entitle you to one if it brings you within the slot as laid down by the IRS.

You might have other older dependents in your family whom you might have missed out on the last time you claimed.

How Is Your Stimulus Check Calculated?

The basis for calculating your stimulus check is your income. if you are filing as a single taxpayer, you will get the maximum if your Adjusted Gross Income is below $75,000. It phases out gradually and you get nothing if you earn $80,000 and above.

For Heads of household, the corresponding figures are $112,500 and $120,000.

For married couples who file jointly, the amount is between $150,000 and $160,000.

The amount in your stimulus check drops for every addition of $1,000 to your income limit.

Get The Facts On Your Dependents Right

Stimulus Check
Stimulus Check

Getting your entire dependent on the list will multiply your stimulus check as they all could add $1,400 each to your final amount. The only catch is that unlike in the previous two rounds, you will not get any partial payment if your income crosses the upper limit.

Plus-Up Payment Alert: You Could Get One

There are several reasons the IRS could send a second payment as a top-up to your third stimulus check. If you have filed for the first time in 2020, the IRS could send you additional money for any dependent included in the information along with the return.

Your return for 2019 filed last year might also not have included these bits of information, like the addition of a baby in 2020.

Why Should You Expect A Plus-Up Payment?

Be alert and act in advance before you miss out on the dates. The amount you lose could be significant if you do not get your calculations right. The difference with what you received in your stimulus check should be your plus-up payment.

Regularly track the IRS tool. It will give out information if another payment is scheduled to reach you. If your payment is through direct transfer or by Direct Express card, check the balance regularly. If you get your payment through the US postal service, take the help of the USPS tool. And finally, keep the stimulus confirmation letter sent by the IRS. The information in it will help you to get a plus-up check later.

Has The IRS Started The Plus-Up Checks?

The authorities have already started sending out the plus-up checks in April. They have based it on the additional information that they have received as more people file their tax returns before the May 17 deadline.

What If My Earnings Are More In 2020?

If you have received your stimulus check based on your 2019 returns, there are chances that your earnings in 2020 were higher. This could normally lessen the amount on your check, or disqualify you from getting a stimulus payment altogether. But you do not have to return any amount, except under these circumstances.  

You received a check for a deceased person is definitely returnable. If you received a check despite not having a Social Security number, or you are a non-resident alien without a spouse who is a US citizen, you will have to return your check. Or if you wrongly received a check through your AGI was more than the limit.

A Logjam Of Unprocessed Returns

Some paper returns of 2019 are yet to be processed. Missing information, mistakes, or suspected fraud are some of the reasons for the delay. The IRS might contact you for further information. The faster you react, the quicker will your return be processed.

What If You Don’t Get Your Plus-Up Payment?

If your calculations are correct, you should file a claim. Look out for an adjustment window opened by the IRS at the end of this year. It will be on the lines similar to the Recovery Rebate Credit for claim any amount due from the first two stimulus checks.

Just make sure that there are no loose ends on your side, including filing your 2020 returns before the deadline. The process may be delayed but you will ultimately get it.