New $1,400 stimulus checks include people who filed 2020 tax returns

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A sixth batch of $1,400 stimulus checks has gone out, bringing the total number of payments sent to date to about 161 million.

More than $379 billion has been sent to Americans via direct payments since distribution began in March.

The latest set includes around 2 million checks worth about $3.4 billion. About 900,000 of the payments were issued via direct deposit, while almost 1.1 million were issued via paper check.

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Recipients include people the IRS did not previously have on record. About 700,000 stimulus checks representing more than $1.3 billion were issued to those people in this round after the IRS processed their 2020 tax returns.

The government has encouraged people who do not receive federal benefits nor typically file tax returns to file this year in order to submit their payment information and receive their stimulus money.

That request applies to the recent $1,400 payments, as well as the first two stimulus checks for which people also may be eligible.

A recovery rebate credit has been added to this year’s tax form to let people claim the money from the past stimulus checks, if they have not already received them.

More ‘plus-up’ payments

The new round of stimulus checks also included additional ‘plus-up’ payments to those who are eligible for more money now that their 2020 tax returns have been processed.

About 700,000 of those top-up checks were issued with this round, for a total of about $1.2 billion.

Additional funds may be due to those whose circumstances have changed since they filed their 2019 tax returns, such as if their income dropped last year or they added an additional dependent to their family. If that is the case, the IRS will issue an additional payment once their 2020 return is processed.

Money for federal beneficiaries

The sixth batch of stimulus checks also included about 600,000 payments to Social Security and Supplemental Security Income beneficiaries, including those with foreign addresses.

If you have not yet received your $1,400 stimulus check, or want to claim a direct payment from the previous rounds of up to $1,200 or $600 per individual, the IRS urges you to file a tax return this year.

That includes federal beneficiaries who want to submit information on eligible dependents, as well as homeless individuals.

Tools to help file your taxes

If you make $72,000 or less, you can file your federal tax return for free using the IRS’ Free File program. The IRS provides more information on its website on how to claim your stimulus checks if you are not usually required to file a tax return.

The IRS also offers tax preparation programs including Tax Counseling for the Elderly, as well as Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, or VITA. The VITA program is available to people who have $57,000 or less in income, or who have disabilities or limited ability to speak English. Although many sites offering those services are temporarily closed due to Covid-19, the IRS offers a locator tool on its website.



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