Stimulus checks status report expected
The IRS last issued an update on stimulus checks on June 9, when it said it had distributed 2.3 million more payments, totaling another $4.2 billion.
The announcements have been coming on alternating Wednesdays, meaning another is likely this week. But the tax agency has said it's continuing to send out new batches every week, even when it doesn't issue a news release.
In recent weeks, the distribution has focused on Americans who never got any third-round stimulus check, and those who didn't receive the full $1,400 that most people were paid. The IRS has been issuing the new payments based on information supplied in 2020 tax returns.
If you already got a smallish stimulus check, the amount may have been determined by your 2019 tax information. If your 2020 taxes now show that you made less money last year than you did in 2019, you might qualify you for a bonus, or "plus-up," payment.
Tens of billions of checks have already been paid
In its last statement on stimulus checks, the IRS said more than 8 million plus-ups, or supplemental payments, had been sent as of June 9. That's out of more than 169 million third-round stimulus checks, totaling about $395 billion.
According to a census survey, nearly half of Americans have used their third relief checks to pay down debt, while about one-third put the money into savings, and the rest have spent it.
The payouts are expected to continue throughout the summer — just as many households also will begin receiving the new "family stimulus checks", thanks to a temporary expansion of the child tax credit.
Families will collect up to $300 a month for each child, starting July 15. Those payments will continue for six months.
Why Round 3 still isn't done
It has taken many Americans months to get their latest stimulus check because the IRS didn't have what it needed to issue them payments — whether that was their 2020 income, direct deposit details or current mailing address.
The IRS has urged people who don’t normally file tax returns to do so this year, so that they'll receive their relief money as well as beneficial tax credits.
In the last batch of stimulus checks, more than 900,000 payments, valued at $1.9 billion, went out to people whose 2020 returns had recently been processed.
That means if you haven’t received your cash or submitted your tax return, you’ll want to file your taxes immediately to make sure you get the money you deserve.
What to do if you need more cash ASAP
It's not clear whether there will ever be a fourth stimulus check. So, if your finances need an urgent pick-me-up, you have a few places to find cash now — right in your budget.
For example, while car insurance is a must, paying too much for it is not. If you don't regularly shop around for a better rate on your auto coverage, you might easily be overpaying by hundreds of dollars a year.
Comparison shopping also can save you hundreds of dollars a month on your homeowners insurance policy. (If you own a home, that is.)
Then, scan your monthly expenses for places to cut back. Even if you're on a tight budget, you still need to buy stuff. Next time you're ready to shop online, stop and download a free browser extension that will automatically scour the web for better prices and money-saving coupons.
Finally, consider ways to make a little extra money without a whole lot of effort. You don't have to be a high roller to earn returns in the red-hot stock market — a popular app allows you to invest just "spare change" and turn your pennies into a portfolio.