Covid Relief: The IRS Has Now Issued 156 Million Stimulus Payments Worth $372 Billion – Forbes

Topline

The Internal Revenue Service announced that as of the fourth batch of relief payments that hit bank accounts Wednesday, it has now sent out 156 million payments worth $372 billion since President Biden authorized trillions of dollars in pandemic relief last month.

Key Facts

Much of the latest batch of 25 million payments went to recipients of Social Security, Supplemental Security Income and Railroad Retirement Board benefits who did not file tax returns, according to the IRS.

The IRS began sending “plus-up” payments—supplements for people who received partial $1,400 payments already but are eligible for larger payments based on their 2020 tax returns—last week and continued to do so in the latest batch.

The agency said payments for recipients of Veterans Affairs benefits will hit bank accounts on April 14.

Eligible individuals can track the status of their payments using the IRS’ Get My Payment tool.

Key Background

The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan authorized direct relief payments in the amount of $1,400, in addition to the $600 and $1,200 stimulus payments sent last year. Individuals earning less than $75,000 per year are eligible for the full $1,400 payment, as are heads of household earning less than $112,500 per year and couples filing jointly earning less than $150,000. For most people, the federal government used a 2019 or 2020 tax return to determine eligibility.

Big Number

Earlier this year, the White House estimated that 158.5 million households would receive stimulus checks under the American Rescue Plan. Wednesday’s data means the federal government is on track to meet—and likely exceed—that number. 

Tangent

While the vast majority of stimulus payments have been delivered via direct deposit or mailed paper check, many people without bank accounts or mailing addresses are struggling to access the relief money they are eligible to receive. The New York Times found that some individuals experiencing homelessness are struggling with the bureaucracy involved in filing a 2020 tax return or checking on the status of their payment—or assume they are not eligible for a payment at all.

Further Reading

IRS Will Begin Sending $1,400 Stimulus Payments To Social Security Recipients And Other Non-Filers This Week (Forbes)

Plus-Up Stimulus Payments Start Arriving In Taxpayer Bank Accounts (Forbes)

$1,400 Stimulus Checks Are Already Working As Credit, Debit Spending Surges 45%, BofA Says (Forbes)

90 Million Stimulus Checks Worth $242 Billion Have Been Delivered–Here’s How To Check If You Haven’t Gotten One (Forbes)

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