The IRS has made impressive headway on the distribution of stimulus checks over the last month. As of the first week of April, the IRS had sent out more than 130 million stimulus checks or deposited them into qualifying recipients’ bank accounts. And millions more were added to the count last week after the federal agency sent out another batch of checks.
In total, roughly $345 billion worth of stimulus funds had been distributed to Americans as of last week, and the IRS isn’t done yet. This, and any subsequent money that is sent out, will help to fill pantries, pay essential bills, and tide over those facing serious financial hardships due to the fallout from the pandemic.
Additional payments are still on their way, along with supplemental payments, known as “plus-up” payments, for some Americans. This is good news for veterans and other groups who have seen long delays with distribution of their payments. If you think you may qualify for a plus-up supplemental payment, or if you’re a veteran (or anyone else) still waiting for your stimulus check, here are the answers to your questions on this round of stimulus money.
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1. What are plus-up payments? And who qualifies for this extra cash?
Let’s start with what plus-up payments are. According to the IRS, plus-up payments are “the first of ongoing supplemental payments for people who earlier in March received payments based on their 2019 tax returns but are eligible for a new or larger payment based on their recently processed 2020 tax returns.”
The third round of stimulus checks was rolled out at the start of tax season, which meant that in most cases, your stimulus money was determined by your 2019 tax information. The problem with that is that many people and households had drastic income drops or changes in circumstances from 2019 and 2020. If that’s the case with you, you may be eligible for more money after filing your 2020 tax return — otherwise known as a plus-up payment.
This plus-up money is the stimulus money that you would have been eligible for if your stimulus had been issued on your 2020 income or life circumstances; not your 2019 circumstances.
That answer is a lot more simple. There are three different reasons you may qualify for a plus-up payment:
1. Your income took a significant hit during 2020
You may have lost your job, taken a significant pay cut, taken a lower-paying job after a job loss, or still be unemployed.
Basically, anything that would have caused your income level to drop below the maximum threshold for this round of stimulus payments is likely going to qualify you for a plus-up payment.
2. You had a new baby to claim in 2020
New babies are awesome — and expensive. If you had a new baby to claim on your taxes for 2020, it may make you eligible for an extra $1,400 for your new dependent. That’s because the third stimulus bill included $1,400 payments for each qualifying adult and dependent you claimed on your tax returns, and a new baby qualifies for the money, too (but only if you qualify for the stimulus money, of course).
So, if your 2020 tax return claims a baby that wasn’t on your 2019 tax return, you might be seeing a plus-up payment in the mail or in your bank account in the near future.
3. You claimed an elderly or disabled dependent on your taxes in 2020
The difference between the third stimulus bill and the prior two is that the third bill allotted stimulus money to all dependents in your care. This includes money for any type of dependent, whether it was college students, elderly relatives, or disabled relatives under your care.
That means that if you claimed a new dependent in 2020 — and you qualified for the stimulus money on your 2020 tax return — you may be in line for a plus-up payment in the near future.
2. Can I claim my plus-up payment?
Want to get a jump start on claiming your plus-up payment? Unfortunately, you can’t. That said, you don’t have to worry about doing anything extra to qualify on your end — other than file your 2020 tax return, that is.
The IRS will be the one determining whether or not you receive a plus-up payment by using your 2020 tax information. So, once you have filed your 2020 taxes — and once the IRS deems you eligible — your plus-up payment will be initiated by the IRS.
Well, it depends, If you regularly file your taxes and plan to file for 2020 (or have already filed for 2020), you don’t have to take any extra steps.
If you’re a federal benefit recipient who doesn’t normally file your taxes, you will need to do that to qualify for your plus-up payment. The IRS should automatically issue your stimulus in many of these cases, but also notes on its website that some federal benefits recipients may need to file a 2020 tax return to receive the full amount they qualify for.
While this extra step may add some work on your end, it will also give the IRS the information it needs in order to send plus-up payments for any qualified dependent. If you fall into this category, you should file a 2020 tax return as soon as possible to receive your plus-up dependent payment.
They’re already on it. The IRS started sending out plus-up payments earlier this month. Don’t panic if you still need to file your 2020 taxes, though. You haven’t missed the window. The federal agency will continue to send out these supplemental checks as it processes 2020 tax returns and determines who is eligible for the extra money.
5. I want to track my plus-up payment. Can I?
Yes! As with the stimulus payments, you can use the IRS’s Get My Payment tool to see the status of your plus-up payments. If you are eligible, the tool will tell you how and when the money will be sent to you.
6. What’s happening with the delayed veterans’ stimulus payments? Any updates?
Veterans have had to wait an extra long time for this round of stimulus checks. These delays aren’t ideal, but the good news is that the stimulus checks for Veterans Affairs benefit recipients should start showing up in bank accounts starting today, April 14, 2021.
The Internal Revenue Service stated last week that it was reviewing files from the VA to issue payments to those who don’t normally file a tax return. This includes not only veterans, but any beneficiaries who receive Compensation and Pension (C&P). So, if you’re a member of this group and haven’t seen your stimulus check, you may not have to file for 2020 to receive your money or a plus-up payment. The IRS and VA are handling it.
The majority of these checks will be directly deposited into qualifying accounts starting today, with more being processed by the end of the week. There will also be paper checks mailed out in the near future for those without bank account information on file with the IRS.
View more information: https://www.fool.com/the-ascent/personal-finance/articles/stimulus-check-update-have-questions-about-your-veteran-stimulus-money-or-plus-up-payments-we-have-answers/