The IRS gave millions of Americans this week an extra month to file their taxes, delaying the typical April 15 deadline to May 17 — but if you haven't received your third stimulus check yet, you should consider filing as soon as possible.
The $1,400 payments included in President Biden's American Rescue Plan are directly tied to your latest processed tax returns, either from 2020 or 2019. If you didn't qualify for the latest round of checks based on 2019, but you do qualify now, you should file your taxes as soon as possible, experts say.
That's because the 2019 tax return may not accurately reflect an individual's current financial situation, given that millions of Americans lost their jobs, or saw their income reduced, last year as a result of the pandemic. Filing ahead of the May 17 deadline could help Americans who made good money in 2019 but struggled financially in 2020.
If your income was lower (or you lost your job), or if you had a child, got married or could no longer be claimed as a dependent last year, you should consider filing your tax return as soon as possible in order to guarantee that you receive a stimulus payment.
And if you qualified for the first two payments — worth a respective $1,200 and $600 — you can apply for those funds on your 2020 return using the recovery rebate worksheet to calculate how much you should receive. The IRS will include your stimulus payments as part of your refund check. Even if you don't earn enough money to typically file a return, you will need to submit one this year to receive your allotted payment.
Individuals with an adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less, and couples with an adjusted gross income of $150,000 or less, are eligible to receive a one-time payment of $1,400.
Americans who earn more than the threshold line will still receive a partial check. But the money will phase out faster than the first two rounds, cutting off individuals who earn $80,000 a year or more, and couples who earn $160,000 a year or more. For those filing as head of household, the phaseout begins at $112,500 and tapers off at $120,000.
The IRS has already delivered checks to 90 million Americans. The initial payments totaled more than $242 billion and went mostly to eligible taxpayers who provided direct deposit information on their 2019 or 2020 returns.
You can check the status of the payment using the IRS’s Get My Payment tool. The first payments will go to Americans with direct deposit set up, the IRS said. After that, the agency will mail paper checks and pre-paid debit cards to anyone who qualifies for the money.