The ninth batch of payments from stimulus check 3, totaling more than $1.8 billion (opens in new tab) is hitting the bank accounts and mailboxes of nearly 1 million Americans this week.
The IRS has been processing payments weekly since mid-March, following the passage of the Biden administration's American Rescue Plan. This latest round included full stimulus checks (up to $1,400) for more than 500,000 individuals who did not have enough information on file to qualify for payments prior to filing their 2020 tax return.
Another 460,000 people received "plus-up" payments — supplemental checks for taxpayers who are eligible for more relief based on their 2020 income but whose initial payments were calculated using their 2019 tax returns. This includes individuals who made less money in 2020 as well as those who got married or added dependents.
The IRS reports that it has distributed more than 6 million plus-up checks. So far, stimulus check 3 has totaled approximately $388 billion across 165 million individual payments.
If you haven't yet received your third stimulus payment, be sure to submit your 2020 tax return. Even if you don't normally file a return, this is the best way to claim a relief check.
The IRS is encouraging those who live on disability, pension, and Social Security payments, as well as those who are homeless or have very little income, to file this year. The agency is distributing payments as it processes returns.
The filing deadline is Monday, May 17. However, according to CNBC, you'll still be eligible for your check (opens in new tab) even if you request an additional extension and wait to file until Oct. 15.
Don't forget to claim your Recovery Rebate Credit
The IRS is also allowing taxpayers to claim additional relief from stimulus checks 1 and 2 (opens in new tab) using their 2020 income. Again, this is an opportunity for those who made less in 2020 than in 2019 to get more money. The Recovery Rebate Credit can be found on line 30 of Form 1040 and Form 1040-SR.
If eligible, you'll receive the credit as a refund or applied to taxes you owe.
Depending on your income level, you may qualify for help completing and submitting your 2020 tax return. Individuals earning up to $72,000 qualify for assistance from an IRS Free File partner (opens in new tab), which will provide guidance for completing your return. If you make $57,000 or less, you're eligible for more in-depth tax preparation help via the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (opens in new tab) program.
Taxpayers earning more than $72,000 can use the IRS' free fillable forms (which do not provide guidance) to e-file their returns.