Stimulus Check Update: The IRS Just Sent Out More Than 1.8 Million Additional Checks

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Will you be getting a check in the mail or a payment in your bank account?

When the American Rescue Plan Act was signed into law by President Joe Biden in March of 2021, the IRS became responsible for distributing the third stimulus check the plan authorized. This third direct payment was for $1,400 per eligible adult and dependent, which was the largest coronavirus stimulus payment yet.

The agency has been steadily sending out this money for months, and recently the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced that an additional 1.8 million payments had been disbursed. Much of the money was sent via direct deposit into people's bank accounts, but there were paper checks mailed out as well. And some of the payments went to people who had already received part of the third stimulus check.

Here's what you need to know about this latest round of stimulus funding the IRS has distributed.

Stimulus checks are still being distributed to millions of Americans

According to the Treasury Department, the latest round of 1.8 million payments were sent out over the two week period ending May 26, 2021. The total value of the payments made during this time period exceeded $3.5 billion.

Many of the payments -- a total of $1.9 billion worth -- went to people who had recently filed a tax return and provided the IRS with their information for the first time. A substantial number of Americans who hadn't filed recent returns opted to do so in 2020, with many taking this action solely to give the IRS the necessary details to calculate and distribute the generous stimulus payments lawmakers made available during the COVID-19 crisis.

However, some of the money the IRS recently sent out went to people who had received partial third stimulus payments, but not the full amount due. The supplemental payments the IRS made are called "plus-up" payments. They are going out to individuals whose initial stimulus payment was calculated using their 2019 tax information but who have since filed 2020 tax returns, which showed they were owed more.

Many people saw their incomes fall in 2020, while others added new dependents to their family. As a result, they may not have received the full amount of the $1,400 stimulus funds they were entitled to if the IRS used outdated 2019 tax info. As the IRS processes 2020 returns (which were recently due in mid-May), it is sending out plus-up payments if the updated tax data justifies them.

The value of this most recent round of plus-up payments is substantial. An estimated 900,000 people were sent a plus-up payment in this latest round of stimulus checks. The total value of these payments was $1.6 billion. This brings the total number of supplemental payments issued in 2019 to more than 7 million.

The Treasury Department has indicated that the IRS will be continuing to distribute both plus-up payments as well as first-time payments to eligible individuals as it works through processing 2020 returns. If you believe you may be entitled to one, be sure to watch your bank account or mailbox for your funds.

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