Some people who have already received a third stimulus check are receiving an additional payment from the IRS. Is there a check with your name on it?
If you’ve already received a third stimulus check, you might find an additional check from the IRS in your mailbox in the coming weeks — especially if you filed your 2020 tax return near the May 17 deadline. . The IRS calls these additional checks “plus-up” payments, and more than 9 million Americans have already received the additional payment. More than 900,000 additional payments have been sent in the past six weeks alone, with more to be sent in the weeks and months to come as the IRS continues to process 2020 tax returns. The big question is : will you have one?
The IRS is sending increased payments to people who received a third-round stimulus check based on information from their 2019 federal tax return or another source, but are eligible for a larger payment based on a declaration for 2020 that is filed and/or subsequently processed. This could happen, for example, if you had a new baby last year who is reported as a dependent for the first time on your 2020 return (see below for other possible reasons).
So, if you recently filed your 2020 return, you could soon receive an increased payment. If you’ve requested a filing extension and haven’t yet filed your 2020 return, there’s an added incentive to do so quickly (i.e., don’t wait until October 15 to file your return). Your 2020 return must be filed and processed by the IRS before August 16, 2021, if you wish to obtain an increased payment. This means you still have time to act if you got an extension – but not too much time! Also, the sooner you file, the sooner you will receive your “plus-up” payment (plus any other tax refunds the IRS owes you).
How stimulus payments are calculated
Most eligible Americans have already received their third stimulus check. The “basic amount” is $1,400 ($2,800 for married couples filing a joint tax return). Plus, for each dependent in your family, the IRS adds an additional $1,400. Unlike previous stimulus payments, the dependent’s age is irrelevant.
However, round three stimulus checks are then “eliminated” (i.e. reduced) for people whose adjusted gross income (AGI) exceeds a certain amount. If you filed your last tax return as a single filer, your payment is reduced if your AGI exceeds $75,000. It is completely removed if your AGI is $80,000 or more. For head of household filers, the phase-out begins when the AGI reaches $112,500 and payments are reduced to zero when the AGI reaches $120,000. Married couples who file a joint return will see their third stimulus check drop if their AGI exceeds $150,000 and disappear altogether when the AGI is $160,000 or more.
The IRS reviews your 2019 or 2020 tax return to determine your filing status, AGI, and information about your dependents. If you don’t file a 2019 or 2020 return, the IRS can sometimes get the information it needs from another source. For example, he obtained information from the Social Security Administration, the Railroad Retirement Board, or the Veterans Administration for people currently receiving benefits from one of these federal agencies (although the IRS may not have not got all the information they need to send a full payment). If you provided the IRS information last year through its online tool for non-filers or by submitting a special simplified tax return, the tax authorities may also use this information.
If your 2020 tax return is not filed and processed by the time it begins processing your third stimulus check, the IRS will base your payment on your 2019 return or any other available information. If your 2020 return is already filed and processed, your stimulus check will be based on that return. If, however, your 2020 return is not filed and/or processed by the time the IRS sends your third stimulus check, but by August 16, this is when the IRS will send you an increased payment for the difference between what your payment should have been if it was based on your 2020 return and the payment actually sent that was based on your 2019 return or other data.
(Note: The IRS has experienced delays in processing tax returns this year. So even if you submitted your 2020 statement before your third stimulus check was sent, your stimulus payment may still be based on your 2019 statement because your 2020 statement was not processed on time. Electronically filed returns are generally processed faster than paper returns.)
If for some reason you don’t receive an increased payment, you’ll still get your money back if a payment based on your 2020 tax return is more than the payment you actually received – but you’ll have to wait until the year next to get it. In this case, you can claim the difference as a recovery rebate credit on your 2021 tax return, which you won’t file until 2022.
[Use our Third Stimulus Check Calculator to compare your payment if it’s based on your 2019 return vs. your 2020 return. Just answer three easy questions to get a customized estimate.]
Who will receive an additional “plus-up” payment
Again, you’ll only get an additional “plus-up” payment if you received a third stimulus check based on your 2019 tax return or other information, but you would have gotten a bigger check if the IRS had it based on your 2020 filing. So who falls into this category? Of course, it depends on your particular situation. However, to give you a general idea, here are some examples of hypothetical taxpayers who should receive an increased payment.
You had less income in 2020 than in 2019: Kay was unemployed for much of 2020. As a result, her AGI fell from $78,000 in 2019 to $40,000 in 2020. Kay received a third stimulus check of $560 based on her 2019 return ( she is single with no dependents). Because his 2019 AGI was above the phase-out threshold for single filers ($75,000), his payout was reduced. Kay then files her 2020 tax return, which is processed by August 16, 2021. Since Kay’s 2020 AGI is well below the applicable elimination threshold, her third stimulus check would have been $1,400s it was based on her 2020 return. As a result, Kay will receive an increased payment of $840 ($1,400 – $560 = $840).
You had a baby in 2020: Josh and Samantha had their first child in 2020. They have been married for five years and file a joint return every year. Their AGI was $110,000 in 2019 and $120,000 in 2020, both of which are below the phase-out threshold for joint filers ($150,000). The IRS sent Josh and Samantha a third stimulus check for $2,800 based on their 2019 return. They filed their 2020 tax return before the IRS sent payment, but the return did not was processed one week after payment was sent. That’s why the payout was based on their 2019 statement. Since Josh and Samantha claimed their new bundle of joy as dependents of their 2020 return, their stimulus check would have been $4,200 if it was based on their 2020 return (i.e. they would have received an extra $1,400 for their baby). As a result, the IRS will send Josh and Samantha an additional payment of $1,400 ($4,200 – $2,800 = $1,400).
You got married in 2020: Patty and Greg were married in 2020. They had a combined AGI of $150,000 in 2020 and have no dependents. In 2019, as separate single registrants, Patty had an AGI of $72,000 and Greg had an AGI of $78,000. The IRS sent Patty a third stimulus check for $1,400 based on her 2019 return. Since her 2019 AGI was below the phase-out threshold for single filers ($75,000), her payment has not been reduced. The IRS sent Greg a third stimulus check for $560 based on his 2019 return. Because his 2019 AGI was above the phase-out threshold for single filers, his payment was reduced. Between them, they received a total of $1,960 in third stimulus check ($1,400 + $560 = $1,960). After receiving their stimulus checks, Patty and Greg file a joint return for the 2020 tax year which is processed by August 16, 2021. Since the AGI has declared that their 2020 joint return does not exceed the threshold phase-out for joint filers ($150,000), their stimulus check would have been $2,800 if it was based on their 2020 performance (i.e. it wouldn’t have been reduced). As a result, the IRS will send Patty and Greg an additional payment of $840 ($2,800 – $1,960 = $840).
You used the tool for non-filers last year: Mary is single and has two dependent children. One turned 15 and the other turned 18 in 2020. Mary was not required to file a 2019 tax return, but she used the IRS’ Non-Filers tool last year to get a first stimulus check. Since children over the age of 16 were not eligible for the additional $500 payment for first-round payments, Mary only reported her youngest child through the tool. The IRS sent Mary a third stimulus check for $2,800 based on information it received through the Non-Filers tool. Mary then files a 2020 tax return, which is processed by August 16, 2021. She used head of household status, declared an AGI of $15,000, and declared her two children as dependents. For round three stimulus checks, an additional $1,400 is added to the total payment for each dependent, regardless of age. Since Mary’s 2020 AGI is below the phase-out threshold for head of household filers ($112,500), her third stimulus check would have been $4,200 if based on her 2020 filing. As a result, Mary will receive an increased payment of $1,400 ($4,200 – $2,800 = $1,400).
A federal agency provided information to the IRS: Ron is a disabled veteran who receives benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). He is single and has one dependent child. Ron was not required to file a tax return for 2019, but the VA sent information to the IRS about Ron. The VA did not send any information about Ron’s child. Based on the information it had, the IRS sent Ron a third stimulus check for $1,400. After receiving this payment, Ron files a 2020 tax return, which is processed by August 16, 2021. Ron filed as a single person with an AGI of $18,000 and one dependent. Since Ron’s 2020 AGI does not exceed the phase-out threshold for single filers ($75,000), his third stimulus check would have been $2,800 if based on his 2020 return. as a result, the IRS will send Ron an additional payment of $1,400 ($2,800 – $1,400 = $1,400).