Nearly 2 million more economic impact payments are being sent out via the American Rescue Plan this week, soon bringing the total number of coronavirus stimulus checks disbursed so far to roughly 161 million, the federal government said.
The Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Department of the Treasury, and Bureau of the Fiscal Service announced Thursday they are disbursing the sixth batch of economic impact payments. The 2 million more checks being sent out will bring the total amount of stimulus money administered to Americans since the rollout of the aid began March 12 to more than $379 billion, according to officials.
The sixth batch of direct payments worth nearly $3.4 billion started to be processed last Friday, April 16. Americans were expected to officially receive the checks Thursday, April 21. The aid may have hit certain individual’s bank accounts earlier as provisional or pending deposits, the IRS noted in a statement.
According to the statement, nearly 700,000 of the close to 2 millions payments, totaling more than $1.3 billion, went to individuals who didn’t previously have information on file to be issued a stimulus check but who recently submitted a tax return.
This round of aid also includes around 700,000 “plus-up” payments valued at nearly $1.2 billion for people who received checks earlier this year based on their 2019 tax returns but became eligible for more money based on their recently processed 2020 returns, the IRS noted.
Another 600,000 payments went to Social Security beneficiaries and Supplemental Security Income recipients, including those with foreign addresses, according to the federal government.
In total, the sixth batch of payments includes roughly 900,000 direct deposit payments worth close to $1.5 billion and nearly 1.1 million paper checks worth around $1.8 billion, officials said.
The IRS pointed out it will continue to send out economic impact payments on weekly basis, rolling out checks for eligible individuals who didn’t previously have information on file to be sent the funds but who recently submitted a tax return.
Although payments are automatic for most people, the IRS continues to urge people who don’t normally file a tax return and haven’t received a stimulus payment to submit their 2020 return to get all the benefits they’re entitled to under the law, including tax credits such as the recovery rebate, child tax and earned income credits.
“Filing a 2020 tax return will also assist the IRS in determining whether someone is eligible for an advance payment of the 2021 Child Tax Credit, which will begin to be disbursed this summer,” the IRS added. “For example, some federal benefits recipients may need to file a 2020 tax return — even if they don’t usually file — to provide information the IRS needs to send payments for a qualifying dependent.”
“Eligible individuals in this group should file a 2020 tax return as quickly as possible to be considered for an additional payment for their qualifying dependents,” the federal agency noted.
Per Democratic President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, $1,400 checks were sent to adults who earn less than $75,000 a year and couples who make less than $150,000. Another $1,400 was allocated for dependents. The checks start to phase out once a person’s income reaches $75,000, and there’s a hard cut-off at $80,000 for individuals and $160,000 for couples.
While more than 150 million economic impact payments have been sent out as part of the stimulus package, there were still delays in the IRS’s rollout of the checks, with Veterans Affairs beneficiaries waiting nearly a month for their aid.
Now planning to hire hundreds of workers to ensure the $3,000-plus expanded child tax credit gets sent to millions of parents’ bank accounts beginning in July, the IRS warned last month it didn’t have the staffing necessary to manage sending out another round of stimulus payments, navigating an extended tax filing season and rolling out a new online portal for the distribution of the child tax credit.