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Forget a 4th stimulus check – here’s how to get $3,600 in ‘plus-up’ stimulus payments

Published Apr 27th, 2021 1:46PM EDT
New stimulus check
Image: WINDSONG/Adobe

We’ve said it before, that the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief law that was packed with stimulus-related relief benefits for Americans and which President Biden signed into law early in March is going to have ramifications that continue to be felt for easily the rest of 2021. That’s on account of not just the one-time, $1,400 stimulus payments made possible by the legislation, but also this $8,000 tax credit for working families that we told you about yesterday, as well as an expanded federal child tax credit that could give families as much as $3,600 in new stimulus checks for each eligible child. And, again, a lot of this will all unfold and be paid out over the balance of 2021, meaning the Biden stimulus bill is very much not a one-and-done thing.

And as if all that wasn’t enough, there’s still something else to be aware of — yet another benefit that Biden’s $1.9 trillion legislation made possible. They’re called “plus-up” payments, and here’s everything you need to know about them.

What are they?

A few weeks ago, the IRS started sending out these so-called “plus-up” payments to a few million taxpayers, to start with. Basically, these include “the first of ongoing supplemental payments for people who earlier in March 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 plus-up payments could also include a situation where a person’s income slipped in 2020 compared to 2019, or a person had a new child or dependent listed on their 2020 tax return, among other situations.

These payments will continue to be sent out on a weekly basis going forward.

Additional details

These disbursements also include stimulus payments for people for whom the IRS did not have sufficient information before that the agency could use to issue them a payment — even though those recipients had recently filed a tax return and did qualify for a stimulus check. Payments to all of the recipients are going to continue on a weekly basis going forward, according to the IRS, as the tax agency processes tax returns for 2019 as well as for 2020 (remember, the deadline for filing the latter has been extended one month, to May 17).

No need for individuals to take any steps

“Plus-up” payment recipients don’t need to take any proactive steps themselves in order to receive their payment under this new round of stimulus check disbursements. However, you can check the IRS’ Get My Payment tool on the tax agency’s website to see when or if your payment has been scheduled to be sent out. Also, as a reminder, that portal on the IRS website is updated once a day, so there’s no need to check it more than once a day.

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.