The year opened with a debate over the American Rescue Plan, which would go on to boost household income by $1,400 — $5,600 for a family of four — through a third round of direct Economic Impact Payments. Now that the year is over, the big question is whether 2022 will see a fourth round of payments, even if the checks aren’t as big.
GOBankingRates asked the experts, and the answer is that it depends who you are, where you live, what you do and the political headwinds that are standing in the way.
Parents who had a child in 2021 might have their refunds padded by $1,400 when they do their taxes in 2022. Most people have already received their American Rescue Plan payments in full, according to Newsweek, but those who haven’t might be able to claim their Economic Impact Payment as the Recovery Rebate Credit.
“Provided that they file their tax returns first, parents of children born in 2021 will be eligible for the stimulus check early next year,” said Scott McKinney, head of marketing at Debt Bombshell. “Like with previous stimulus checks, they would still be required to meet the income eligibility requirements, which means that they need to make no more than $75,000 per year.”
Depending on where you live, you might be eligible for stimulus money in 2022 in one form or another no matter what the federal government does — and that’s bad news for people in non-stimulus states who were hoping for a fourth federal package.
“Some states are forming their own stimulus money, making it even more unlikely that the federal government will create more stimulus checks,” Anthony Martin, CEO and founder of Choice Mutual.
Many states — including California, Georgia, Connecticut, Florida, New York and Tennessee — did, indeed, deliver supplemental stimulus payments. Some of those states might continue those programs into the new year — but they’re not the same everywhere you go. Some took the form of nearly universal checks, others were specific to certain occupations like teachers or first responders, while others were reserved for students or administered through an expansion of programs like SNAP.
There is a widespread consensus that the political will that would be required to push through a fourth stimulus package simply doesn’t exist.
“Unless conditions get dramatically worse, it’s unlikely that more direct stimulus checks will be sent out next year,” said Carter Seuthe, CEO of Credit Summit Payday Loan Consolidation. “The current administration has shown little appetite for passing such measures by executive order, and Congress has been dragging its feet on passing major infrastructure spending.”
Only a calamity like March 2020 could muster up the kind of political consensus needed to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on continued pandemic relief.
“At this point, I’d say the odds of another round of stimulus checks are fairly slim,” said Riley Adams, licensed CPA, senior financial analyst for Google and chief editor of Compare Forex Brokers. “For that to happen, data would need to show a rapid spike far above consensus expectations for Omicron cases. This would need to result in large shelter-in-place orders coming out across most, if not all, states. As a result, it would be hard to coordinate and take action on the need for another round of stimulus checks nationally when so many states would opt not to follow a shelter in place order, preferring instead to remain open to avoid a potential downturn in the economy.”
It’s also not lost on policymakers that the highest rate of inflation in 40 years came immediately on the heels of the last round of checks — and more disposable income could turn up the heat even more.
“Injecting more federal stimulus into the economy could stoke the flames of inflation even further,” Adams said. “With people having more income available, consumer demand might pick up and exacerbate an already stressed supply chain.”
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