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Fourth stimulus check deadline is 2 weeks away: New $1,400 payments coming soon

Published Dec 15th, 2021 1:47PM EST
Stimulus check
Image: cabania/Adobe

Now that the sixth and final child tax credit stimulus payment of 2021 is making its way out to millions of recipients, here’s one update you don’t want to overlook about all this. There’s actually one more check after this one that the IRS is sending out over the final weeks of 2021. And we’ve got all the details about it below so that you don’t have to wonder “where’s my stimulus check?” or when it will arrive.

The payments we’re referring to are the final so-called “plus-up” payments of the year. And they come at a pivotal time for the stimulus check effort in the US. The Biden administration’s push to extend the monthly child tax credit payments into 2022, for example, is currently stalled in the Senate. Meanwhile, the results of a new survey are out that provides important context around the payments — and what might happen if they don’t continue.

Where’s my stimulus check?

The IRS describes these as “supplemental payments for people who … received payments based on their 2019 tax returns but are eligible for a new or larger payment based on their recently processed 2020 tax returns.”

The trigger for these getting sent out, in other words, is a big change in someone’s income picture revealed by their 2020 federal tax return. The plus-up payments could include a situation where a person’s income slipped in 2020 compared to 2019. Or if a person had a new child or dependent listed on their latest tax return, among other situations.

As with most of the stimulus checks we’ve gotten over the course of this year, recipients don’t have to do anything to get one of the plus-up payments. Well, aside from filing a 2020 federal tax return (something you had to do anyway). The IRS automatically makes note of any triggering events, and it sends out these checks accordingly.

Child tax credit survey

Wednesday, meanwhile, marked the distribution of the final child tax credit payment. The IRS has said that Congress needs to pass President Biden’s $1.9 trillion spending plan that’s currently languishing in the Senate by the end of this month in order for the tax agency to have time to get set up for more child tax credit checks come January 15.

Along these lines, ParentsTogether, a national parents advocacy group with more than 2 million members nationwide, has released the results of a new survey of parents. Its findings, among other things:

  • When asked what would happen to their family’s finances if the child tax credit payments stopped after this month? 50% of respondents said it will be more difficult for them to meet their family’s basic needs. And 36% said they will no longer be able to meet their family’s basic needs.
  • 1 in 3 respondents said if the child tax credit checks stop, they won’t be able to afford enough food.
  • 76% of respondents said the monthly checks have made them less anxious about their finances.
  • 81% of respondents said it’s “extremely important” for their families that the checks continue past this year. That’s up from 73% in September.
Andy Meek
Andy Meek Trending News Reporter

Andy Meek is a reporter who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming. Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.