Thousands of Americans may still be due to a third federal stimulus payment, which was permitted under the American Rescue Act in 2021 and amounts to $1,400 per qualifying taxpayer.
According to a new report from the Treasury Department’s Inspector General for Tax Administration, about 645,000 potentially eligible people hadn’t received a third stimulus check by the middle of September 2021. Some of these people got checks after September, but the report didn’t say how many of them did.
The unpaid stimulus checks amount to $1.6 billion, according to the Treasury Department.
The IRS has sent checks to over 175 million taxpayers as part of the third round of stimulus payments. Some people, however, may have slipped through the cracks, and the current tax season may provide them with an opportunity to claim the unpaid bill.
The IRS announced on March 30 that first-, second-, and third-round stimulus checks would no longer be issued. However, taxpayers who missed a check or didn’t receive the full amount due can claim the extra payment as a Recovery Rebate Credit on their federal tax return in 2020 or 2021, according to the IRS.
Some families who welcomed a new child in 2021, for example, may have missed out on the third stimulus check. The IRS would not have known about children born or adopted in 2021 because it relied on the previous year’s tax return to determine eligibility.
Some people with lower incomes in 2021 may also be eligible for additional stimulus funds. Because the checks were phased out above certain income levels — such as $160,000 for married couples — those whose earnings fell below that level in 2021 may be eligible for more money.
Who Didn’t Get Their Chance?
Individuals with an ITIN — Individual Taxpayer Identification Number — who did not get a payment for an eligible dependent make up the majority of those who didn’t get the $1,400 check they were due, according to the Treasury. According to the research, as of last autumn, almost 420,000 people in this category had not received their paychecks.
Workers who do not have a Social Security number but must file taxes often utilize ITINs. Parents with ITNs who have dependents with a valid Social Security number may be eligible to receive payments for their children under the American Rescue Plan.
Due to a glitch involving unemployment payments, more than 130,000 people may have missed out on the third stimulus check. The American Rescue Act exempted the first $10,200 in unemployment benefits from taxation in 2020, but some taxpayers may have already filed their returns before the change.
According to Treasury, “these taxpayers will need to claim the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit on their Tax Year 2021 returns.”
Thousands of other taxpayers may have missed out on their third stimulus payment because of an “unresolved condition” in their tax account or because they changed their filing status, according to the IRS.
People can check how much they received — or if they received a check at all — by logging into their IRS Online Account, according to the IRS.
“Individuals are encouraged to double-check their bank accounts — especially in the early spring and summer of 2021 — to see if they received a third-round payment in advance the previous year,” the agency said on March 30.
If taxpayers didn’t receive a third stimulus check but their IRS Online Account shows they received payment, they should “contact the IRS as soon as possible to see if a payment trace is needed,” according to the IRS.