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Third Round of Stimulus Payments – Here’s What’s Happening

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Updates for a third IRS stimulus check, unemployment benefits, and student loan forgiveness. We’ll continue to update this article as we learn more. Here’s what we know so far.

Blurred image of check with word stimulus stamped.

March 12, 2021 Update:

President Biden signed the latest COVID-19 relief bill into law yesterday. Among other things, the American Rescue Plan provides a round of $1,400 stimulus payments for eligible taxpayers. Here’s what you need to know about your payment:

  • The IRS says they expect to send the first round of payments via direct deposit this morning for payment on Wednesday, March 17, 2021. You may see the direct deposit payments as pending or as provisional payment in your account before the scheduled payment date of March 17, 2021, which is the official date funds are available as per the IRS.
  • According to the American Bankers Association, the fastest way to receive your payment is through direct deposit to your bank account or a reloadable prepaid debit card.
  • The IRS says they will begin to process mailed checks and prepaid cards today. The government will send prepaid debit cards via the U.S. Postal Service. Given the amount of checks the government will distribute, there are fixed capacity limits for mailing, so some recipients will wait weeks for the government to mail their check.
  • The IRS also said they are working on updating its "Get My Payment” tool, which provides a status update for taxpayers who filed their 2019 or 2020 tax return with direct deposit. In addition, the IRS says they are currently updating the FAQs about economic impact payments to provide additional information to taxpayers and payment processors.

We encourage you to visit government websites for the most accurate and up-to-date information. Here are a few resources:

Please remember the government will not contact you by phone, text message, or email about this payment. Be wary of fraudsters attempting to scam you out of your payment.

March 11, 2021 Update:

The House of Representatives voted to pass the latest COVID-19 relief bill yesterday, which includes a third round of stimulus payments in the amount of $1,400. The bill now moves to the White House, where President Biden can elect to sign the bill into law. The American Rescue Plan would also extend unemployment benefits, as the current unemployment benefits expire March 14, 2021, and includes tax relief for out-of-work employees. In addition, the bill increases the current child tax credit for 2021, along with additional aid for state and local governments.

March 8, 2021 Update:

The Senate approved a $1.9 trillion Coronavirus Relief Bill in a vote of 50 to 49. The bill includes a round of stimulus payments in the amount of $1,400 to eligible recipients. The bill now moves back to the House of Representatives, where members are expected to vote on the amended version by Tuesday, March 9, 2021.

March 4, 2021 Update:

Senate Leaders and President Biden agreed to change the income restrictions for the stimulus checks on the latest COVID-19 relief bill.[1] The new proposed limits are:

  • Single filers with an annual income less than $75,000 to receive the full stimulus payment, and phasing out payments for those earning $80,000 and more.
  • Joint filers with an annual income of less than $150,000 to receive the full stimulus payment, but those earning more than 160,000 would not receive a check.
  • Those filing as Head of Household who make less than $112,500 would receive the full amount, and phase out payments for those earning more than $120,000.

The House of Representatives passed a $1.9 trillion stimulus aid plan called the American Rescue Plan to provide payments and extend unemployment benefits. The bill now moves to the Senate for voting. Leaders in the House and Senate say they would like to send the bill to the President by March 14, 2021.[2]

The proposed plan would give direct stimulus payments in the amount of $1,400 to eligible individuals, including dependents of any age, and $2,800 to married couples filing jointly.

Here’s What the American Rescue Plan Would Include [3]:

  • $1,400 stimulus payments for individuals, and $2,800 for couples filing jointly, subject to income limits
  • $400 a week in extra federal unemployment through September 2021
  • Rent and utility assistance from a $30 billion fund, and a grant program for restaurants

Who Qualifies for Receiving a Stimulus Payment?

Anyone with a Social Security number, who meets the income requirements, is eligible.

The income limits are:

  • Eligible individuals earning between $75,000 and $100,000
  • Married couples filing jointly earning between $150,000 and $200,000
  • Head-of-household filers earning between $112,500 and $150,000

The amount is based on your adjusted gross income on your 2019 tax return, unless the IRS processes your 2020 return by the time payments are sent.

Also different from the previous stimulus payments, is taxpayers with an adjusted gross income less than $75,000 to get the full $1,400 payment, including dependents of any age. Previous payments did not include money for dependents age 17 and older, but rather included smaller amounts for children.

Those who are not required to file income tax returns could receive payments. The IRS has a non-filers tool to gather information for these recipients. In addition, Social Security retirement, disability beneficiaries, and Supplemental Security Income recipients are likely eligible for payments.[4]

What is the Timeline for Receiving a Stimulus Payment?

After the House and Senate pass the bill, the President will need to sign the bill into law. Once the bill is signed into law, stimulus checks would likely begin to deposit in accounts within a few days.[5] The Treasury Department previously initiated direct-deposit for the first and second stimulus payments using information on your tax return. The Treasury Department mailed checks and debit cards to recipients in the following weeks.

The current weekly addition of $300 in unemployment benefits is set to expire March 14, 2021. Lawmakers say they are on track to prevent additional benefits from expiring before that date, so it’s possible payments would be available in mid-March.[3]

What About Student Loan Forgiveness?

Lawmakers proposed a separate plan to forgive $50,000 of federal student loan debt per person. This would cancel out the debt of roughly 80% of federal student loan debtors.

We will continue to update this article as we receive information. We encourage you to consult government websites for the most up-to-date information.

Sources:

Coronavirus Economic Impact Payments, ABA

[1] Democrats narrow who gets $1,400 checks in COVID-19 relief bill, Los Angeles Times

[2] House passes $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill, sends it to Senate, CNBC

[3] Biden stimulus update: When is my third IRS check, unemployment, or student loan forgiveness coming?, Fast Company

[4] All your questions about a 3rd stimulus check answered, Business Insider

[5] Third stimulus check update: House Democrats’ new plan wouldn’t lower eligibility for $1,400 checks, Fortune

Third stimulus check update: Biden backs full $1,400 payment if you make up to $75,000. Here’s the latest., NJ

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