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Fourth stimulus check: You’ll get a new $1,400 payment if you meet this requirement

August 20th, 2021 at 1:35 PM
another stimulus check

There’s a very good chance that the $1,400 stimulus payment that many of us got a few months ago will be the last one-and-done relief check we get during the pandemic from the federal government. We detailed why that’s the case in a previous post — and why the current child tax credit checks don’t count as the new stimulus payment we’re referring to. Nevertheless, there are exceptions to every rule. And for a very narrow demographic, this estimation does not apply. Some of you are definitely getting another stimulus check for $1,400. Albeit, in 2022, and as long as you meet a few important requirements.

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Another stimulus check for $1,400 coming

This might sound like a contradiction of our previous estimation that a fourth stimulus check won’t become a reality. This new payment that we’re referring to definitely counts as a check #4, but — and hear me out — it’s also not really the kind of fourth check we were referring to. Let’s just go ahead and call this one Schrodinger’s stimulus payment.

Let’s also briefly talk about what we meant with our prediction. We’re specifically referring to the potential of Congress approving a bill funding a new round of stimulus checks, along the lines of the first three (which were for $1,200, $600, and $1,400, in that order).

The current child tax credit checks don’t count, because they were already funded out of the March $1.9 trillion stimulus law. And because they’re really one-half of an advance payment of a 2022 tax credit. Meanwhile, there is another stimulus check coming for some of you in 2022, according to Fortune magazine. So, what gives?

Payments for newborns

Giving birth this year is the deciding factor. Parents who welcome a newborn child at any point in 2021 are likely eligible for another stimulus check, for $1,400, in 2022, according to both Fortune and Insider. They would get that check upon filing their federal taxes in 2022.

Why this payment shouldn’t really count as the fourth stimulus check that we said probably wouldn’t come is because this isn’t actually a new check. The funding for this one was already made possible in the March stimulus law. When people talk about whether or not we’ll get another payment, what they mean is whether another one will get approved or not. And right now, with Congress wracked by partisanship and the Biden administration focused on other priorities like infrastructure and Afghanistan, it’s hard to be optimistic about that happening.

Two more points

Meanwhile, there are some important caveats about the new stimulus check for parents to be aware of.

First, it should perhaps come as no surprise that there’s an income threshold. Single filers can’t make more than $75,000 a year in adjusted gross income in order to receive this payment. For couples, their income has to be less than $150,000 to get the full payment. The $1,400 is reduced for incomes above those levels. And it phases out completely for single filers who make more than $80,000, and couples who make more than $160,000.

The $1,400 isn’t the only money these new parents will get, either. Don’t forget about the ongoing child tax credit payments.

Any parent who welcomes a newborn child in 2021 qualifies for the temporarily expanded child tax credit. Which, again, was made possible by the $1.9 trillion stimulus law. Head to the IRS child tax credit portal to make changes to your information, such as adding a new dependent. Depending on when the child is born, such as if it’s in late December, it might be too late to have this year’s monthly child tax credit checks reflect the change. In which case, the parents would get the money next year, after filing their taxes in 2022.

Andy is a reporter in Memphis who also contributes to outlets like Fast Company and The Guardian. When he’s not writing about technology, he can be found hunched protectively over his burgeoning collection of vinyl, as well as nursing his Whovianism and bingeing on a variety of TV shows you probably don’t like.

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