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Where’s my stimulus check? Everything you need to know, and what’s still to come (August 2021)

August 24th, 2021 at 6:10 PM
Where's my stimulus check

Now that the stimulus checks have started flowing again, this is a good opportunity to pause and take stock. So much has happened along these lines since President Biden took office and signed an almost incomprehensibly massive $1.9 trillion stimulus package into law. Do you want a recap of what stimulus steps have been taken so far this year? Or maybe you just want to know, “Where’s my stimulus check?” Keep reading, because this post is for you. And we’ll also explain what’s still to come over the rest of the year, and why.

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Background

Before we answer the “Where’s my stimulus check” question, let’s take a quick look at how we got here.

The new $1.9 trillion stimulus package is called the “American Rescue Plan”. It rushed through Congress and landed on President Biden’s desk less than two months after he took office. It was a follow-up, of sorts, to the stimulus package signed by then-President Trump in December. That one gave Americans a new round of $600 stimulus checks.

In the American Rescue Plan, which Biden signed on March 11, stimulus checks, again, are a centerpiece of the legislation. In, actually, more than one way.

First, the legislation authorized the IRS to send out a new wave of stimulus checks, generally for $1,400. This, for those of you keeping score, would be the third such one-and-done direct coronavirus relief payment from the federal government since the start of the pandemic. The two previous amounts were for $1,200, and then the winter’s $600 check.

More stimulus checks

Also authorized in the American Rescue Plan was an expansion of the federal child tax credit, which normally maxed out at $2,000. Because of the pandemic, that amount got bumped up to $3,600 — but, here, the legislators also got creative. The credit is structured so that recipients get half of it this year and half next year. When you normally get credits, by claiming them when you file your taxes. But you can also get half of it as an advance, now. Spread over six monthly checks that will come through the end of this year.

Note: Because these checks are spread out over an extended period of time, Democrats might have boxed themselves into a political corner regarding the possibility of a fourth stimulus check. Which is something that many are already calling for. But it will no doubt prove to be difficult to muster support for such a thing when there’s an existing wave of stimulus checks. One that will be ongoing for an extended period of time.

Are you eligible for a new stimulus check?

If you have children in your household, then the answer is — probably.

Not every parent or family, however, is eligible. One of the big indicators of eligibility is income.

The full amount of the credit is available for couples with children under age 17 who file their federal income taxes jointly and who have an adjusted gross income less than $150,000. For an individual parent, the amount is $75,000. Above those amounts, the enhanced credit starts to phase out.

Also, not all children are eligible. Parents will get the full $3,600 for each child under the age of six. And $3,000 for each child between ages six and 17.

Where’s my stimulus check?

Those amounts (half of either $3,600 or $3,000) will be equally split between six checks. And the first of those six was sent out by either direct deposit or in paper form on July 15.

If you were eligible for one of these payments, and if the IRS has your bank details, you should have received a direct deposit by now. More than one, in fact. After July 15, the remaining payment dates are as follows: August 13, September 15, October 15, November 15, and December 15.

If you add up all six check amounts that you receive, you’ll also receive a tax credit for that same amount next year when you file your federal taxes. That will represent the second half of your child tax credit amount. And, for now, that will be the end of the enhanced credit. President Biden, however, has said he wants the enhanced tax credit to continue for the next four years. Some Democrats also want to make it permanent.

Web portals

If you find yourself wondering “Where’s my stimulus check,” meanwhile, the IRS has a couple of destination portals for you to check out:

The “Get My Payment” tool can help you track the status of your third stimulus check (the one for $1,400). And regarding the child tax credit stimulus payments, head to this IRS link. There, you can check if you’re enrolled to receive the payments. You can also un-enroll at that link to stop getting advance payments (if you prefer instead to get one giant tax credit next year). And you can provide or update your bank account information for monthly payments.

Updates

New stimulus check updates pop up all the time, which is why we’ve created this informative roundup. Make sure you check back here often because we’ll provide new stimulus check updates anytime new info becomes available.

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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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