Stimulus Deadline: Check Your Eligibility for ‘Plus Up’ Payment from the IRS by Dec. 31

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Time is running out to determine if you are eligible for the so-called “plus-up” stimulus payments on your 2021 taxes — part of the Economic Impact Payments authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The deadline to see if you qualify is Dec. 31.

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Plus-up payments are additional payments the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is sending to those who received a third Economic Impact Payment based on a 2019 tax return or information received from the Social Security Administration or Veterans Administration. For example, you may get a plus-up payment if your income was less in 2020 compared to 2019, or you added a dependent on your 2020 return, according to the IRS.

“You do not need to take any action other than file a 2020 tax return as soon as possible to give the IRS time to process a plus-up payment before the end of 2021 if you are eligible,” the IRS stated on its website.

Plus-up payments are sent separately from 2020 tax refunds and previous Economic Impact Payments. They are normally issued within 2 weeks from the time the 2020 tax return is processed.

“We are sending plus-up payments to eligible taxpayers every week until the legislative deadline of December 31, 2021,” the IRS said.

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Related: Can Americans Expect Stimulus Checks in 2022? Experts Weigh In

Eligibility for the payments include dU.S. citizens or residents with incomes of $150,000 if married and filing a joint return or if filing as a qualifying widow or widower; $112,500 if filing as head of household or; $75,000 for any other filing status, according to the IRS.

Forbes explained that as the IRS is aware that many Americans saw their incomes drop in 2020 during the pandemic, this payment is the difference between what they initially received based on their 2019 income, and what they were entitled to based on their 2020 income.

Forbes explained that if an individual with no dependents made $76,000 in 2019, they would have received $1,120 as their most recent stimulus payment, since their adjusted gross income (AGI) was above the $75,000 maximum for the full $1,400 stimulus payment. “If their AGI dropped to $50,000 based on their 2020 filing, the IRS would send a ‘plus-up’ payment of $280 for them to receive the maximum stimulus amount of $1,400, since they now qualify based on their 2020 return,” according to Forbes.

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The IRS said that you can check the status of your plus-up payment with the Get My Payment tool. In addition, if you need to file a federal tax return for 2020 and have income of $72,000 or less, you can file your tax return electronically for free with the IRS Free File Program.

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.
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