Stimulus checks update – Calls for fourth cash payment from IRS rumble on

CALLS for a fourth stimulus check continue as Congress and the White House have made little progress on the issue.

Despite calls for more relief, the Press Secretary has insisted that President Joe Biden has already proposed plans he believes will be "most effective for the short term."

Meanwhile, a new stimulus check tool has made it easier for hard-hit families to sign up for $300 relief cash.

Parents can now easily enroll for the new direct payments or opt-out of them as a result of the temporary expansion of the child tax credit.

The "child tax credit update portal" allows families to see if they're eligible for the enhanced child credit and how to monitor their payments accordingly.

IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said: “IRS employees continue to work hard to help people receive this important credit."

Read our live blog below for the latest on stimulus checks...

  • Julia Fields

    FEARS OF AFFLUENT INDIVIDUALS HOLDING ONTO STIMULUS CHECKS

    This comes in addition to fears that the most affluent of eligible recipients would hold on to any of the savings they accumulated during the pandemic and from federal funds, which could in turn trigger another economic downturn. 

    In the meantime, the Biden administration is focused on passing two other stimulus bills – an infrastructure and families plan – which so far do not call for direct payments to in-need Americans. 

    It is, however, still possible for Biden to extend or introduce more money through direct payments for specific groups of recipients, such as parents who earn below a certain income threshold or someone who is out of work.

  • Julia Fields

    BIGGEST CONCERN OF MORE STIMULUS CHECKS IS INFLATION

    Testifying in a hearing before a US House of Representatives panel last week, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said that inflation had already increased “notably”.

    Economists have raised another concern that if the private sector cannot pick up the economic burden from the government then upcoming quarters will see a subtraction in economic growth, the New York Times reported.

  • Julia Fields

    PRESS SECRETARY SAYS BIDEN IS OPEN TO MORE STIMULUS CHECKS

    White House Press Secretary insisted in a press conference just weeks ago that Biden would be “open” to hearing ideas about a fourth round of aid.

    "The president is certainly open to a range of ideas," Psaki said on June 3. "He's happy to hear from a range of ideas on what would be most effective and what's most important to the economy moving forward."

    Psaki, however, insisted that any such decision on more payments would ultimately have to be made by Congress. 

  • Julia Fields

    TREASURY SECRETARY SUPPORTS AUTOMATIC STABILIZERS

    Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said earlier this month that she is supportive of the idea.

    "It's something I think we should analyze and discuss more. I'm broadly supportive of the idea of making it more automatic," Yellen said.

    She added that the stabilizers could be "based on movements in the economy quickly like the unemployment rate when it rises."

  • Julia Fields

    SOME LAWMAKERS PROPOSE 'AUTOMATIC STABILIZERS'

    Additionally, some lawmakers have proposed “automatic stabilizers” be put in place for extended unemployment benefits and stimulus checks should the country encounter significant economic turbulence again in the near future.

    The stabilizers would be actioned automatically when certain economic triggers were hit, meaning stimulus payments could be deployed again without the need for Congressional approval to help speed up the process.

  • Julia Fields

    DEMOCRATS PUSH FOR MORE STIMULUS CHECKS

    However, dozens of Democratic lawmakers have pushed for more stimulus cash in recent months – and the support continues to grow, even as the economy shows signs it’s rebounding.

    Since last June, more than 80 lawmakers have sent letters to President Biden to urge him to approve either a fourth round of payments or even recurring monthly payments until the pandemic passes.

    The lawmakers argued that the additional funds would help vulnerable families keep roofs over their heads as the nation navigates through the virus’ aftermath, in addition to helping lift upwards of seven million above the poverty line. 

  • Julia Fields

    IRS CONTINUES TO SEND STIMULUS CHECKS IN WEEKLY BATCHES

    The IRS is expected to continue issuing third stimulus checks and plus-up payments through the summer as American families also begin to receive the $300 monthly Child Tax Credit payment from July 15.

    The agency is continuing to send out the payments in weekly batches even though it has cut down its updates to once every two weeks.

    It remains unclear if there will be a fourth, or even a fifth, stimulus check.

  • Julia Fields

    HOW MANY THIRD ROUND STIMULUS CHECKS HAVE BEEN SENT OUT THUS FAR?

    It also confirmed that more than 169 million third-round stimulus checks, totaling about $395 billion, have been sent out.

    It continues to urge those who have not received a stimulus check and believe they are eligible to file a 2020 tax return, if they have not done so already, so the agency has their updated information.

  • Julia Fields

    HOW MANY PAYMENTS HAVE BEEN ISSUED IN THE LAST BATCH?

    In its most recent update on stimulus checks, the IRS said that more than 8million plus-up payments had been issued as of June 9.

    It issued more than 900,000 payments, valued at $1.9 billion, in the last batch.

    Many of those were to people who had just filed a 2020 tax return.

  • Julia Fields

    IRUS URGES ALL AMERICANS TO FILE 2020 TAX RETURN

    This applies to those who do not generally file a tax return, generally if their income is too low.

    The IRS urged all Americans to file a tax return for 2020 regardless of their income to ensure they receive speedy payments if they are eligible.

  • Julia Fields

    WHAT ARE PLUS-UP PAYMENTS?

    It is expected to announce that it has issued more third stimulus checks, as well as "plus-up" payments to those who did not initially receive the full amount.

    The IRS issued payments based on 2019 tax returns if a person had not yet filed for 2020, according to Yahoo Finance.

    The "plus-up" payments are being issued to those who then filed a 2020 tax return that confirmed they were eligible for more money under Joe Biden's American Rescue Plan.

    Some Americans have experienced delays in receiving their third stimulus check if the IRS did not have their information.

  • Julia Fields

    BIDEN WANTS TO EXTEND CREDIT TO 2025

    In April, Biden spoke about plans to extend child tax credits to 2025.

    He said: “The American Families Plan puts money directly into the pockets of millions of families.

    “Together, let's extend the Child Tax Credit at least through the end of 2025."

  • Julia Fields

    FAMILIES WILL NEWBORNS CAN CLAIM

    Families with newborn babies can also claim up to $3,600.

  • Julia Fields

    CREDIT AMOUNT DETERMINED BY CHILD'S AGE

    Eligible families will receive $3,600 for each child under the age of six and $3,000 for any children aged between six and 17.

    Your child's age category is based on their age on December 31 which could impact families with kids who are about to turn six years old in the coming months.

  • Julia Fields

    CTC CURRENTLY SET TO END IN 2022

    Joe Biden should make the monthly $300 child tax credit payment permanent, lawmakers say.

    The extra stimulus cash will reach American families around July 15 and households will receive six checks this year.  

    But, the extension is only temporary as it's set to end in 2022.

  • Julia Fields

    CTC PROGRAM DESIGNED TO GET WOMEN BACK TO WORK

    While the possibility of a fourth stimulus payment is yet to be decided on, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki touted expanding the CTC program for the next five years.

    "[Biden] thinks this is a central benefit that will help families, help get women back to work."

    Psaki pointed to the more than a million women who have left the workforce since the coronavirus pandemic hit in March last year.

  • Julia Fields

    HOW IS THE CHILD TAX CREDIT DISTRIBUTED?

    The enhanced Child Tax Credit (CTC) payments will be sent out on July 15 to roughly 36 million American families, accounting for 90 percent of the nation's children.

    Eligible families will receive $3,600 for each child under the age of six and $3,000 for any children aged between six and 17.

    Half of that amount is divided into six payments to be paid out in cash, on a monthly basis through December, and the remaining sum is claimed on your 2021 tax return.

  • Julia Fields

    FAMILIES ABOVE INCOME THRESHOLD CAN STILL QUALIFY

    Families who exceed the designated thresholds will still receive some of the enhanced CTC.

    They will be issued $50 less for every $1,000 over an income threshold until the enhanced payments are phased out for people who earn $20,000 more than those thresholds.

    Families can use the “Child Tax Credit Update Portal" to opt out of payments, see if they qualify, or update their information.

  • Julia Fields

    REPAYMENT EXPECTED IN 2022

    The IRS expects repayment during the 2022 tax season, but can work out installment plans for those without adequate funds.

  • Julia Fields

    SOME AMERICANS WILL HAVE TO REPAY THEIR CHILD TAX CARE PAYMENTS

    With stimulus payments, eligible Americans didn't have to repay the IRS if they received more funds than were meant to.

    But that isn't the case for CTC payments, however.

    "If you are getting money and don't qualify, you need to opt-out of it," Mark Steber, Jackson Hewitt's chief tax information officer told CBS. "You will have to pay that money back."

    Last week, the IRS also raised the overpayment issue, writing on its website: "If you receive a total amount of advance Child Tax Credit payments that exceed the amount of Child Tax Credit that you can properly claim on your 2021 tax year, you may need to repay to the IRS some or all of that excess payment."

  • Julia Fields

    CREDIT AMOUNT BASED ON INCOME

    Two-parent families who make up to $150,000 combined will be eligible for the credit, as will families with a single "head of household" who makes up to $112,500 a year.

    Single parents who make up to $75,000 will also be eligible for the credit.

    Other factors such as citizenship and joint custody of children can play a role, so be sure to review the rules of the initiative.

  • Julia Fields

    CHILD TAX CREDIT CALCULATOR

    The fastest way to determine eligibility is to use the child tax credit calculator to estimate if you qualify and how much assistance you will receive.

    The credit amount is based on the family's yearly income.

  • Julia Fields

    IRS ONLINE TOOLS

    The IRS has launched online portals to help families determine if they are eligible for the child tax credit.

    The portal for nonfilers opened last week and an interactive eligibility assistant also launched for families to confirm that they qualify.

    These tools can help families update their banking information, opt out of payments, and stay up to date on their checks.

  • Julia Fields

    HOW CAN NONFILERS APPLY FOR THE CREDIT?

    Families who file a tax return and for whom the IRS has banking information will not have to act in order to receive the tax credit.

    Yet those who do no generally file a tax return will need to register their information with the IRS to find out if they are eligible and to receive the relief payments.

    This applies to low-income families that earn too little to have filed a 2020 tax return.

    An IRS portal allowing non-filers to register information to receive the credit when first payments are issued on July 15 opened this week.

  • Julia Fields

    CHILD TAX CREDIT AWARENESS DAY

    The White House announced Child Tax Credit Awareness Day on Monday to raise awareness about the extra stimulus funds for families.

    The child tax credit for up to $3,600 comes under Biden's American Rescue Plan, signed in March.

    Instead of families waiting until filing 2021 tax returns, the Biden administration announced that the credit will be issued in monthly $300 payments between July and December.

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