The IRS has been regularly sending out stimulus checks in batches. These payments also included plus-up payments to those who had received less than they were entitled to.
President Biden has vowed to deliver a more equal economic recovery. But getting money into the hands of millions who remain without work or are being forced to work lesser hours, remains a challenge.
The latest batch of stimulus payments went out to 2.3 million individuals and families as part of the American Rescue Plan. These Economic Impact Payments, or stimulus checks, have gone out to more than 169 million individuals and families giving out a total of $395 billion. The last batch of checks is worth 4.2 billion.
Some Had To Wait for Longer For Their Stimulus Checks
The first batch of stimulus checks went out after March 12 and people began receiving them in their accounts within days. But others have had to wait for weeks and even months for their payments.
Initially, the IRS sent payments based on the 2019 and later the 2020 tax returns. They had all the relevant details and were able to quickly check their eligibility and knew where to send the payment.
But it had been a long wait for many who weren’t regular tax filers. Even the last batch contains 900,000 payments to people who have never filed tax returns before. 1.1 million were plus-up payments for those who qualified for a larger amount based on revised calculations.
1.2 million of the payments went through direct bank transfers and the remaining 1.1 million went through the US postal service as prepaid debit cards or paper checks.
Non-Filer Tool Return With The Child Tax Credit Payments Set To Start
For the first time since the start of the third stimulus checks, the non-filers tool made a comeback. The tool is a convenient way for IRS to pay people who are absent from their records.
People who sign up on this tool will get the Child Tax Credit payment set to begin on July 15. But the IRS said that the system will also enable those who do not need to file returns to get their stimulus check.
The non-filer tool that has been enabled by the IRS is only for those who are not required to file their tax returns. People who did not access the portal last year can also log in to this tool. This will help them to upload the requisite information about their family.
Homeless people will also benefit from this portal. The IRS has appealed to individuals and groups to spread the word about this portal, even for those without a stable address.
More People Can Now Get Paid Thanks To The Non-Filers Tool
The non-filers tool has been primarily designed for those who do not earn enough to require them to file returns. The tool would help such people enter the data necessary to get relief under the American Rescue Act. They only need to enter their names, address, and their Social Security numbers. The IRS will send them the stimulus check calculated based on such details.
The IRS will calculate and issue the first of the advance payment under the Child Tax Credit scheme. Families with children below 17 will qualify for the CTC.
You Can Even Claim Pending Amount From The First And Second Stimulus Check
Individuals and families who haven’t received their third stimulus payment will also get the $1,400 or more check.
Moreover, you can even file the Recovery Rebate Credit for 2020. This will enable you to claim any pending stimulus checks from the first and second rounds of payments that were sent out in 2020.
Who Should Or Should Not Use The Non-Filer Sign-Up Tool
This tool is to be used for reporting children born before 2021. You can use this tool only if you are not required to file the income tax return for 2020. You also should have a main home in the United States for over a year and a half.
You should not use this tool if you have filed or about to file your 2020 income tax returns. If you have claimed the stimulus check for all your qualifying dependents, you should not use this tool.
An End To State Unemployment Aid
The decision by 25 states to cut off enhanced unemployment benefits. This will deny the weekly unemployment funds to millions of jobless. While the states have argued that the unemployment payments were discouraging people from returning to work, the reality seems different. It will be long before the economy goes back to pre-pandemic levels.
Many sectors of the economy continue to remain closed, like tourism and the hospitality business. And giving the weekly unemployment check seemed reasonable under the circumstances.
The federal top-up of $300 per week is set to end on September 6, 2021. And with no sign of any further stimulus payments, the picture is pretty grim for a large number of Americans.
The unemployment rate is high at 5.8% as families struggle to cope with the financial hit due to the pandemic. That is way higher than the pre-pandemic levels of 3.5%. Around 25% of Americans continue to struggle to fay for essentials as per Census data for the week starting May 26.
And a third of households continue to struggle with drastically reduced income. And it will be a long haul before the employment levels are back to pre-pandemic levels.
Demand For A Fourth Stimulus Check Justified Feel Many Lawmakers
Many Democratic lawmakers have written to the President demanding more stimulus checks. They said that people continue to struggle to put food on the table. The third stimulus check money has dried out in most households within a couple of months, and the pandemic has its grips on the economy still.
Claiming Pending Stimulus Amount
Many people got their stimulus payments based n 2019 returns. Filing the tax returns for 2020 led to follow-up payments or plus-up payments for many. But many are still to get the full amount. And if you feel that you are owed more than you received under the Economic Impact Payment, it is time you claimed your missing stimulus amount.
The Get My Payment tracker of the IRS is your first point of reference. This tool will give you the date your payment was dispatched and the mode of payment. If it is a bank transfer, your stimulus check should be hitting your bank in a week of being dispatched. It takes anywhere between 4 and 6 weeks for a mail to arrive. So if you have waited longer than this, you need to file for a payment trace.
To request a trace, you can call the IRS or mail Form 3911, Taxpayer Statement Regarding Refund (PDF). The phone number is 800-919-9835. You will have to wait to get connected to an operator.
There are a few instructions to be followed while filling up Form 3911. You need to write EIP3 on the form and answer all the questions related to your payment. The Type of Return has to be marked ‘Individual’, in item 7, section 1. The tax period is 2021. Keep the Date Filled point-blank.