Around 90 million payments have been disbursed in less than a week since President Joe Biden signed the latest $1.9 trillion stimulus deal into law, according to the Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department.
"As of today, all recipients of this first batch of direct deposit payments will have access to their funds," the Treasury Department said in a statement on Wednesday. "The first batch of payments were mostly sent by direct deposit, which some recipients started receiving this past weekend."
The first batch of payments is worth approximately $242 billion, or more than half of the $450 billion earmarked for stimulus payments. The IRS began processing payments on Friday. While some Americans saw them deposited over the weekend, the IRS chose March 17 for the settlements to occur.
The first batch went to taxpayers who have direct deposit information on file at the IRS, either from their 2019 or 2020 tax or returns from those who used the IRS Non-Filers tool in 2020. The majority of payments will go out by direct deposit, but around 150,000 paper checks — worth approximately $442 million — have been mailed so far.
This round is $1,400 per eligible individual plus $1,400 bonus per dependent. Around 158.5 million households are expected to receive a payment under the new stimulus deal, according to the White House.
Here’s what you need to know about the third round of stimulus checks.
Who gets a stimulus check?
Under the latest amended bill, a single filer making up to $75,000 will receive the full payment, while those earning up to $80,000 will get a reduced amount. Joint filers making up to $150,000 will get the full $2,800, while those earning up to $160,000 will receive a smaller amount. Previously, the phase-out thresholds were $100,000 for single filers and $200,000 for joint filers in the House version.
Eligibility will be based on your most recent tax return and your adjusted gross income. For the third round of checks, the Internal Revenue Service will use your 2019 or 2020 tax return to determine if you qualify for the direct payment.
Social Security beneficiaries, Disability Insurance beneficiaries, Supplemental Security Income recipients, Railroad Retirement Board beneficiaries, and Veterans Administration beneficiaries all are eligible for the payment even if they didn’t file a 2019 or 2020 tax return.
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Eligible taxpayers who used the IRS Non-Filer tool for the first round of checks will be treated as providing returns and will also receive payments.
Additionally, Americans who qualify for the stimulus payment and have dependents will get an additional $1,400 per dependent. Now the bonus can be claimed for college students, disabled adults, and other adults who are dependents. Previously, parents or guardians could only claim the bonus for child dependents under 17.
Deceased people may also receive a payment. Checks will go to all eligible taxpayers who were alive as of Jan. 1, 2021.
Who doesn't get a check?
Those without a Social Security number and nonresident aliens — those who aren’t U.S. citizens or U.S. nationals and don’t have a green card or have not passed the substantial presence test — are not eligible for the direct payment.
Married taxpayers who file jointly where one spouse has a Social Security number and the other doesn’t will get one $1,400 payment, in addition to $1,400 for any child with a Social Security number.
Taxpayers with Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN) aren't eligible for the payments.
How will the government send you the stimulus check?
The IRS will use the direct deposit information you provided from the taxes you’ve filed for 2019 or 2020.
You may be able to use the IRS’ Non-Filers tool to provide your information like the first round. But so far, the IRS has not announced whether that tool will be available if this stimulus bill is passed.
The tool was for eligible U.S. citizens or permanent residents who had gross income below $12,200 ($24,400 for married couples) for 2019 and weren’t required to file a 2019 federal tax return.
If you have no direct deposit information on file or if the account provided is now closed, the IRS will mail you a check or pre-paid debit card instead.
If you received no payment and you think you’re eligible or you got the wrong amount, you’ll be able to claim it on your 2021 tax return.
How can I track my payment?
Americans can now check the status of their third stimulus check using the Internal Revenue Service’s online tracking tool ‘Get My Payment.’
The tool allows Americans to follow the scheduled payment date for either a direct deposit or mailed payment. It’s an online app that works on desktops, phones, or tablets and doesn’t need to be downloaded from an app store. To use the tool, you need to provide basic information:
Social Security number or Individual Tax ID Number (ITIN)
Date of birth
The tracking tool will no longer show the status of the first or second round of stimulus checks — the $1,200 payment under the CARES Act and the $600 payments under the December $900 billion stimulus deal. To find the status of those previous rounds, you must create an account.
If your payment is delivered by direct deposit, the tool will show when the direct deposit is expected to be made or when it was delivered along with the bank account it went into.
If you receive the message “Payment Status Not Available,” the IRS may not have processed your payment yet or you may not be eligible for a payment.
Will I get the dependent bonus for a newborn?
If you had a baby in 2021 and meet the rest of the eligibility criteria, you can claim the additional $1,400 per child when you file your 2021 taxes.
If you had a child in 2020 and your return has been processed, you should automatically get the additional payment. If you haven't yet filed your 2020 taxes or they haven't been processed by the IRS by the time the payments are issued, you can claim the dependent bonus on your 2021 taxes
Do you have to pay back the stimulus check?
No, you don’t have to pay it back. It also doesn’t reduce any refund you would otherwise receive.
“No, there is no provision in the law requiring repayment of an Economic Impact Payment,” the IRS website said about the first round of checks.
If your income dropped in 2020 compared with 2019, you may now be eligible for the payment or a bigger payment if you have already filed your taxes and they have been processed by the IRS.
If your payment is too high based on your 2020 income and you still haven't filed your 2020 taxes, you’re not responsible for paying back the difference.
Denitsa is a writer for Yahoo Finance and Cashay, a new personal finance website. Follow her on Twitter @denitsa_tsekova
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