A few months have passed since the third stimulus checks began in March, but a group of lawmakers are already lobbying for the fourth stimulus check.
The third stimulus check was the largest amount, compared to the first two distributions. It paid up to $1,400 for each individual and up to $2,800 for married couples. For those that were financially impacted the most by the pandemic, it helped!
What is a stimulus check?
A stimulus check is a non-taxable Economic Impact Payment that the government sends you by direct deposit, check or debit card. It is available to all qualified Americans as part of the American rescue plan.
They can be used for any purpose and do not need to be returned to the government even if you get more than you are expected to.
Some people call these payments tax rebates and recovery rebate credits.
Is there a 4th Stimulu Check?
While most of the third stimulus checks have already been sent and many American households are becoming financially better, millions of Americans are still suffering from financial difficulties. From March 17-29th, over 30% of American households could not cover all of their household expenses.
So the question on everyone’s mind is will there be a 4th stimulus check? Here’s what we know so far for the available options:
1. $2,000 Stimulus Check Every Month
Unlike a one-time $1,400 stimulus check, a proposed $2,000 stimulus check every month could be available until the pandemic is over.
A direct payment is particularly helpful as in today’s world, there are many people who don’t qualify for unemployment insurance but have had their hours cut or left their job to take care of family members during the pandemic.
Direct payments help these people in need, providing them with cash benefits or resources such as medical care.
Recent reports from the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center show that direct payments help reduce poverty. A fourth stimulus check would specifically help about 6 million people get out of poverty.
2. Child Tax Credit Permanent
President Biden suggests the government give $300 checks every month for kids. This will be up to $3,600 for children under 6, and up to $3,000 for children ages 6-17. The checks are only temporary. Rather than paying monthly, Congress could make the child tax credit permanent. This would help many people when they have children.
3. Parent Tax Credit
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) proposed new legislation with the parent tax credit, which is a tax cut up to $12,000 per year. It is intended for parents who want to raise children and work at the same time. The credit helps people with childcare costs and provides them with the opportunity to stay home with their children while still receiving a tax break. There would be no income phase out because it would still cover people who earn more than minimum wage but less than $12,000 per year.
4. Extend Unemployment Insurance
In September, the temporary federal unemployment benefits will end. If Congress extends the benefits, it will be a good thing because the benefits help people who are unemployed. The temporary benefit is like a recurring stimulus check for people who are unemployed.
5. Student Loan Cancellation by Executive Order
President Biden wants to cancel loans for students. He can do it by executive order, but he doesn’t think that is the right way. He also thinks Congress should cancel student loans of $10,000. But he might have the power to do it himself in a stimulus package or if he decides.
6. Increase Minimum Wage
Some critics continue to look for ways to bolster the federal minimum wage, which presently rests at $7.25 per hour. In his speech before Congress, president Joe Biden called on lawmakers to raise the minimum wage to $15. Senators Romney and Kyrsten Sinema have also pitched a wage increase.
What about the pandemic relief money already decided for 2021? (1st, 2nd, & 3rd Stimulus Checks)
While we are still waiting for more updates on the fourth stimulus check, here are some of the most common questions regarding the previous stimulus check:
How to track your third stimulus payment status?
By April 1, more than 130 million payments had gone out, the government said, with most being deposited electronically. The IRS said it issued about 5 million paper checks and 15 million prepaid debit cards on March 24, which will take longer to clear through the banking system.
Here is the expected timeline for your third stimulus check to arrive in your bank account, based on recent updates from the IRS.
March 12th to 15th: This will be the first wave of direct deposits to customers’ accounts.
March 15th to 31th: There will be another wave of direct deposits sent as well as the checks are mailed.
April 1st to 15th: Checks and debit cards arrive. Electronic payments for federal benefits recipients are now available to customers through the electronic payment system.
If you have still not received your third stimulus payment, the best way to track it is on the IRS’s “Get My Payment” tool.
Where are the first and second stimulus checks?
Didn’t receive the first and second payments? Unfortunately, the first and second Economic Impact Payments no longer appear in Get My Payment tool.
To find your first and second payments, log in to your online account. Otherwise, you can view Notice 1444 and Notice 1444-B. The IRS mailed these notices to the address you have listed on your tax returns.
Who is eligible for the third stimulus check?
Anyone who meets the income requirements is eligible for a payment. The amount depends on adjusted gross income on your 2019 tax return, unless you file an early 2019 tax return.
People who don’t file income tax returns also get payments. It is not required to file tax returns to receive these payments as long as:
- You are eligible for benefits
- You used the IRS nonfilers tool last year or have filed a 2020 tax return
- You are a Social Security retirement, disability, or SSI (Supplemental Security Income) recipient
How much you may receive in your third stimulus payment?
Generally, you are qualified to receive the third stimulus payment if you are:
- married joint filers with AGIs less than $150,000 will receive double the payment ($2,800).
- head-of-household filer with AGI less than $112,500 will get the full $1,400 plus $1,400.
- a single filer with AGI of less than $75,000 will receive a full $1,400 payment.
However, you will not receive a full payment if your AGI is more than:
- $160,000 for married joint filers
- $120,000 for head-of-household filer
- $80,000 for a single filer
Here is the Third Stimulus Check Calculator, check if you are eligible.
Whether the latest stimulus check is one-time direct payment, recurring payment, or other forms, we should be able to find out soon.
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CMO and co-founder of Zemblant Media