If Your Income Dropped In 2020, You Might Have A Surprise Stimulus Check On The Way

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The IRS is still sending stimulus checks from the most recent COVID-19 relief bill—including what they’re calling “plus-ups” to people who already received their third stimulus check.

If you recently submitted a tax return (and hopefully you have, as the extended deadline is here!), you could be on the stimulus check mailing list, even if you’re one of the 30 million people whose tax refund is delayed.

Read on for two reasons you might receive an unexpected check—and a few more ways to get extra stimulus cash.

The IRS Knows How To Find You

No, not in a menacing way. Because you filed your tax return, the IRS quite literally has your address on file. Many eligible stimulus recipients never got their third check because the IRS didn’t know where to send it. With their returns filed, the service will now put that stimulus check in the mail.

While getting two stimulus checks but not a third due to not having an address file seems like an unlikely scenario, there are actually 500,000 Americans on this list. Their checks are coming.

If you’re eligible for a third check and haven’t received it, you now have extra incentive to get those taxes done!

Your Income Took A Dip In 2020

Nearly 500,000 more payments are slated to reach Americans who deserve what the IRS is calling “plus-ups.”

These “bonus” checks are supplemental payouts for taxpayers who received a third check, but not the amount they deserved. Because those payouts were based on their 2019 tax returns, they may not have qualified for the full payout—even though their income dropped below the eligibility threshold in 2020.

With their 2020 tax returns filed, the IRS will now see that dive in income, and issue a supplemental check.

If your income dropped in 2020, you may be eligible for a larger payout than you received. If you haven’t already, get that tax return filed!

Getting Stimulus Money Beyond Checks

If you don’t meet either of these criteria, it’s unlikely a check will magically show up in your mailbox. But there are still stimulus-driven ways to pad your bank account and get some much-needed relief.

If President Biden and Congress can meet in the middle on the American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan, those two stimulus packages could flush $1 trillion toward free education and additional money for families.

Here are the main areas the American Families Plan would focus on:

  • Extend the expanded child tax credit through 2025 – The current short-term rate hike is set to expire at the end of this year.
  • Two years of tuition-free community college – This proposal extends to new high school graduates, adults, and even some training programs.
  • Free prekindergarten instruction – The American Families Plan proposes free pre-K education for 3- and 4-year-olds.
  • More affordable child care – Biden’s proposal will make child care more affordable for working families through tax credits and subsidies for child care costs.
  • Paid family and medical leave – The president’s proposal calls for 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave.

While all of those options would save people money, here are some ways Biden’s plans could help people make more money or hang onto the money they earn.

Vital Stimulus Check Warnings

If you’ve received a stimulus check of any size, we have two parting warnings for you: Don’t throw out your letter from the IRS, and get it right on our tax return!

Ryan Rabasa

Ryan Rabasa is an associate editor at Wealth Gang. His passions are technology, writing, business, and media. He won't trust an investment strategy that doesn't incorporate both technical and fundamental analysis.

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