In the last two weeks, Americans have received approximately $4.2 billion in stimulus checks as part of the most recent batches of payments disbursed by the IRS.
Recipients of the June 2 and June 9 payments include more than 900,000 individuals whose tax returns were recently processed, as well as more than 1.1 million "plus-up" checks sent to people whose initial stimulus payments were insufficient. Taxpayers in the latter category became eligible for more money based on the income reported on their 2020 returns.
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Since March 12, the IRS has distributed stimulus check 3 and supplemental payments on a weekly basis as tax returns are submitted and processed. In recent weeks, plus-ups have outnumbered the initial checks.
While the tax deadline has already passed, the IRS is still encouraging those who don't normally file returns — such as individuals who lack a permanent address and those who have little to no income — to do so in order to claim their stimulus money.
Similarly, those who got less than the full amounts with stimulus checks 1 and 2 may be able to claim more money by filing a 2020 tax return and using the Recovery Rebate Credit. Americans have until Oct. 15 to claim stimulus funds.
Individuals who are eligible for plus-up payments based on their 2020 returns should receive them automatically with no additional action needed.
Qualifying for the child-tax credit
Taxpayers with dependent children will begin to see more relief soon, as the expanded child-tax credit is set to be paid out beginning in July. The Biden administration's temporary expansion allows for advance monthly payments of this credit through the end of the year.
Eligible families will receive up to $3,600 per child under 6 and up to $3,000 per child ages 6–17. Up to half of these payments will be made in advance, split up each month from July to December.
Previously, the child tax credit topped out at $2,000 per eligible child. Families who earn more than $75,000 (single filer) or $150,000 (married filers) qualify for this amount.
Families can expect to receive a notification of tentative eligibility in the coming weeks, with a final letter stating their specific credit amount to follow. No action is needed to claim this credit as long as the IRS has a tax return from 2020 or 2019 — or information submitted via the non-filers tool — on file.
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Emily Long is a Utah-based freelance writer who covers consumer technology, privacy and personal finance for Tom's Guide. She has been reporting and writing for nearly 10 years, and her work has appeared in Wirecutter, Lifehacker, NBC BETTER and CN Traveler, among others. When she's not working, you can find her trail running, teaching and practicing yoga, or studying for grad school — all fueled by coffee, obviously.