Stimulus Check Update: Latest Batch Includes Extra Money for Some Recipients

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Some stimulus recipients may get an extra windfall in the newest batch of payments.

The IRS has been busy pumping out stimulus checks ever since the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan was signed into law in mid-March. More than 130 million payments have been sent out already for a total of roughly $335 billion, and more money is still on the way.

The most recent batch of stimulus payments should've hit recipients' bank accounts by March 31, while checks from that batch may take longer to trickle in. And some people may be getting more money than expected under this latest batch.

Extra stimulus cash is en route

Some people receiving a stimulus as part of the latest batch may be eligible for what federal officials are calling a "plus up." These payments are extra money for those who received a stimulus payment in March based on their 2019 tax returns, but are now eligible for a higher payment due to a change in their income or household size.

When stimulus payments were first issued in mid-March, it was only about one month into the tax-filing season, and so many people hadn't gotten around to completing their 2020 tax returns at that point. But in the weeks since, the IRS has been receiving more and more 2020 returns. If a person's income changed in 2020, that could result in a "plus up" stimulus payment.

Here's how that may have played out. For the most recent stimulus round, payments started to phase out for individuals with incomes above $75,000. If someone reported an income of $78,000 on a 2019 tax return, the IRS may have used that sum to calculate an initial stimulus payment. But if that same person then filed a 2020 tax return indicating just $74,000 of income, that person would be entitled to a full stimulus -- hence the "plus up" payment.

Also included in the most recent batch of stimulus checks were payments for people who didn't previously register for a stimulus with the IRS, but who recently filed a 2020 tax return.

When will more stimulus payments go out?

A lot of people have already gotten a stimulus check, but many more are still in limbo waiting on that money. Since the IRS is issuing payments in large batches at a time, some people may have to sit tight until it's their turn to be included in a payment blast. Furthermore, those awaiting a check or debit card in the mail may not see their money until later this month or even beyond, since the IRS can only issue a limited number of physical payments at a time.

The IRS has put together a Get My Payment tool that allows stimulus recipients to check up on the status of their money. In many cases, the IRS will provide a date for a stimulus to be sent electronically or by mail, though in some cases, the agency won't have a payment date available yet. Those who aren't eligible for a stimulus check, meanwhile, will simply be told that their payment status isn't available.

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