Stimulus Check Update: 165 Million Payments Sent to Date

by Maurie Backman | Updated July 25, 2021 - First published on May 14, 2021

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A stimulus check from the U.S. Treasury on a computer keyboard.

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Here's the latest on stimulus checks -- including who's gotten paid and what to do if you haven't.

At this point, it's been more than two months since the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan was signed into law, and that means a lot of stimulus payments have hit recipients' bank accounts. This week, the IRS continued its system of sending out payments in large batches.

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Who got paid this past week?

The IRS has now issued a total of 165 million stimulus checks totaling $388 billion. This latest batch payment included over 960,000 payments amounting to more than $1.8 billion.

Meanwhile, 460,000 of those payments came in the form of plus-ups -- extra money paid to individuals who received a lower stimulus than they should've gotten before the IRS had their updated tax and income details on file. In fact, the IRS has made over 6 million plus-up payments this year.

This recent batch -- the ninth one so far, for those keeping track -- also included nearly 500,000 direct deposit payments with a total value of $946 million. All other individual payments were sent out in the mail.

What to do if you're still waiting on a stimulus

If you've yet to receive your $1,400 check, or whatever amount you're entitled to, filing your 2020 taxes could be your ticket to getting that money. It may be the case that your income dropped in 2020 compared to 2019, and in light of that, you're entitled to a stimulus. But until the IRS sees your most recent return, it won't know to send you that money.

In fact, if you haven't received any stimulus funds -- including the two rounds that were approved last year -- and you believe your income is low enough to render you eligible (that generally means earning $75,000 or less as an individual or $150,000 or less as a married couple, though earners above these thresholds may be entitled to phased-out stimulus payments as well), then it's especially important that you file your 2020 tax return. That way, in addition to alerting the IRS to the fact that you're entitled to a $1,400 payment, you can also claim the Recovery Rebate Credit, which could be your ticket to collecting stimulus funds from last year.

The first stimulus round that went out in 2020 was worth up to $1,200 per adult, while the second round was worth up to $600. All told, you may be entitled to up to $3,200 in stimulus funds if you've received nothing to date, so be sure to get moving on your tax return.

The deadline to file your 2020 return is Monday, May 17, though there's actually no penalty for filing late if you don't owe the IRS any money. If you miss the deadline, make a point to get your taxes in as soon as possible so you can get the money you're entitled to. If you earn $72,000 or less, you won't have to pay a dime to file your taxes, either, so there's no reason not to submit a return and snag your stimulus cash.

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