Should You Expect Another Stimulus Check This Year?
(USNewsMag.com) – When COVID-19 inspired lockdowns, business closures and restricted movements, many Americans benefited enormously from the stimulus payments issued by the federal government. The last one was sent in March of 2021, as part of the American Rescue Plan Act. However, it’s been nearly a year since that payment and many citizens are still struggling from the effects of the pandemic, which has led to calls for a fourth stimulus check. But will it really happen?
Financial Help at the State Level
While some Democratic lawmakers pushed for $2,000 checks for every qualifying American after President Joe Biden took office, it was deemed too expensive. Instead, in March 2021, the Treasury Department sent out $1,400 payments. Since then, the subject has come up from time to time, but it doesn’t seem to be a reality at this time — at least from the federal government.
Instead, those who continue to experience hardships may actually get help at the state level. There are rental assistance programs, for example, that can help those struggling to pay rent on time, and utility companies may work to help some bear the excessive costs to heat their homes this winter.
But some states may issue checks based on budget surpluses, to send the money back to their taxpayers. California, for example, has such a big surplus it could afford to send $1,100 to each citizen in its state. Other states with surpluses include Idaho, Oregon and Georgia.
Rebates and Tax Credits
For those who gave birth, adopted or fostered a child in 2021, they did not see the additional $1,400 amount reflected in their stimulus checks since those distributions were based on 2019 or 2020 tax filings, if they were available at the time stimulus checks were calculated. These taxpayers will be eligible to claim these credits on their 2021 tax returns. Note: While the April tax deadline has now passed, those who filed an extension have until October 17, 2022 to claim these credits.
There’s also what’s known as a plus-up payment, which is for qualifying persons who had much lower income in 2020 compared to 2019. If stimulus payments were based on calculations from 2019, taxpayers may not have qualified if their income levels were too high, despite suffering from financial disparities in 2020. Those who think they may qualify can check the IRS website for more details.
While the federal government has no imminent plans to issue another payment, that’s not to say it won’t happen in the future. If COVID-19 continues to be a burden, it may eventually be necessary. For now, citizens should turn to state and local programs to get any financial assistance they may need to help weather the storm.
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