Stimulus Check Update: Haven't Gotten Your Third Stimulus Payment? Here's How the IRS Wants You to Claim the $1400

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Waiting on the arrival of your third stimulus payment? Here's what the IRS wants you to do to claim the money.

The stimulus checks that were part of President Joe Biden's American Rescue Plan first started rolling out in March, shortly after the third stimulus bill was signed into law. Over the last month or so, payments from the third round of stimulus checks have been making their way to bank accounts and mailboxes across the nation. In total, the IRS has delivered about 161 million stimulus checks to Americans who qualify, totaling more than $379 billion in direct payments.

But, while this round of checks has been issued at a record pace, there are still millions of Americans who are waiting for their payment to arrive. This round of stimulus money, which includes $1,400 payments for qualifying adults and their dependents, is meant to help Americans who continue to struggle due to the pandemic.

While the labor market is finally showing signs of recovery, we still have a long way to go to recover completely from the effects of the pandemic. Right now, it's more important than ever to ensure that the money is distributed quickly -- and also ends up in the hands of those who have faced financial hardships over the last year. If you haven't received your third stimulus payment yet, don't panic. Here's an update on the status of the check distribution, and what the IRS says you should do if you haven't received your stimulus money yet.

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Who was included in the last batch of stimulus payments?

On Friday, April 16, the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and the Bureau of the Fiscal Service disbursed nearly 2 million more payments. These payments were the sixth batch of stimulus payments that rolled out to Americans since mid-March, and totaled more than $3.4 billion.

These payments primarily went to those who were slated to receive plus-up payments or those who receive Social Security benefits, and included:

  • Nearly 700,000 payments to those who did not initially have enough of their information on file with the IRS to be issued a payment but who recently filed a tax return
  • Supplemental payments for people who were deemed eligible for a plus-up payment (or more stimulus money) after filing taxes; these plus-up payments had a value of nearly $1.2 billion
  • 600,000 payments went to Social Security beneficiaries and Supplemental Security Income recipients, including those with foreign addresses
  • Overall, about 900,000 direct deposit payments (with a total value of $1.5 billion) and nearly 1.1 million paper check payments (with a total value of nearly $1.8 billion)

How many more checks will the IRS issue?

The last batch of payments was only the latest to be rolled out by the IRS. According to the IRS, there are plans to continue issuing the Economic Impact Payments to those who qualify on a weekly basis. That means there will be more batches of payments that roll out in the near future.

That said, the IRS is focusing on getting payments to eligible individuals whose information was not previously on file with the IRS. This includes people who do not regularly file tax returns, or those who received smaller payments than they should have qualified for. Those supplemental payments are known as "plus-up" payments, and will be distributed as the IRS processes 2020 tax returns and determines those who are qualified to receive them.

Plus-up payments are primarily expected to roll out to Americans who saw their income reduced in 2020. This could include those who lost their jobs, had a child, got married, or could no longer be claimed as a dependent last year.

Two ways to claim your stimulus money

If you haven't received your stimulus payment yet but believe you qualify for this or a prior round of payments, the IRS says there are two ways you can claim the money. Both stem from filing your 2020 tax return.

If you are claiming the payment from the first or second stimulus, you'll need to file your taxes and use the recovery rebate worksheet to calculate how much you should receive from the first two rounds of stimulus checks. Once you've determined what you're owed, you'll need to claim that amount on Line 30 of Form 1040 and Form 1040-SR when filing your tax return.

Once your return is processed, the money from the prior two stimulus payments will be sent to you as part of your refund check.

If you're missing money from the third round of stimulus checks, or if you received less money than expected and believe you are in line for a plus-up payment, the IRS wants you to also file a tax return. This includes those who do not normally file their tax returns.

In this case, though, you won't have to file any special forms or use any worksheets to prove you are eligible for the payments. The IRS will automatically determine who should have received a third stimulus payment, and will also determine who got a smaller-than-expected payment.

Those who should receive a plus-up payment to supplement the initial payment will automatically receive their payments via direct deposit or the mail, according to the IRS. The IRS is already processing these payments, which is good news for those who should have received a heftier check than was initially issued.

How to track your stimulus payment

If you're wondering where your plus-up payment or stimulus payment are, you have the ability to track the status to determine whether the IRS believes you are eligible and if the IRS has sent it out yet. As with the stimulus payments, you will use the IRS's Get My Payment tool to see the status of your plus-up payment. If you are eligible, the tool will tell you how and when the money will be sent to you.

You can also use the USPS Informed Delivery system to keep an eye on your mailbox if you're expecting to see a paper check arrive in the mail.

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