Round 3: Stimulus checks are here! Here’s what it means for you

  • The third round of stimulus payments brings the total amount of payments to $391 billion.
  • This round is reported to be over $3.5 billion and includes approximately 1.8 million payments.
  • Most of these are plus-up payments for taxpayers who have money due on their tax returns.

NEEHARA SANJIVI

The new set of stimulus payments have been processed and over 1.8 million checks for $1,400 have been mailed out in the last two weeks. The stimulus checks are part of the American Rescue Plan proposed by President Joe Biden in March this year. 

The third round of stimulus checks tops off the previous $600 checks distributed in the second round of payments as part of a $1.9 trillion relief package. 

Am I eligible for these payments?

Your eligibility for the stimulus payments are based on your tax filing status and how much you receive in the third round is calculated on your 2019 and 2020 tax returns. However, if you make over $80,000 per year and if you and your spouse make over $160,000 per year, you may be left out of the third round of stimulus payments

How will I receive these payments?

Your stimulus payments depend on the payment method you chose while filing your tax returns. A majority of the payments made so far have been through direct deposit. So, if you’re unsure of whether you have received your stimulus payments, you may want to check your bank account for any pending deposits. 

What about adult dependents?

If your annual income falls under the limit stated above, the plan pays out $1,400 for each qualifying dependent. Qualifying adult dependents include disabled adults, college students and elderly family members. 

Will the stimulus payments affect my tax refunds?

The stimulus payments are not regarded as income and are therefore not taxable. So, the amount you receive will have no impact on your tax refunds. 

A bigger payment on your 2019 tax returns?

The third round of stimulus payments also includes plus-up payments for people whose 2019 tax returns were used to calculate the stimulus payment they received in 2020. The payments disbursed now would be the difference between the amount received in 2020 and the one currently implemented. Additionally, you could also receive a larger tax return if you had a dependent added to your 2020 tax return. 

How can I track my stimulus payment? 

If you haven’t received your stimulus payment yet, the IRS has an online tool that can help you track it. The Get My Payment tool can give you an update on your payment by filling out your Social Security number, date of birth, street address, and ZIP code. 

You can check if payment has been issued, if it’s on the way, or scheduled to be sent to you on a particular date. However, this tool can only be used to track your stimulus payments and not your plus up payments. 

In case of a paper check, you can use the USPS app to track its delivery and even receive a notification when it’s about to be delivered. 

Will there be a fourth round of payments?

There is still some ambiguity around the possibility of the fourth round of stimulus payments, and for the most part, this seems unlikely. The primary reason for this is the increase in inoculations across the country. Additionally, with other aid such as the child and dependent tax credit payments right around the corner, the chances of the fourth round of stimulus checks seem unlikely despite it strongly being recommended by several members of Congress.