Surprise $1,400 Stimulus Checks Being Sent in Time for Holidays: How to Register

by Jennifer Shea

Surprise extra stimulus checks are going out before January, giving out $1,400 payments to people whose financial status changed between 2019 and 2020.

Here’s who’s eligible for the extra payment: 1) certain taxpayers with lower income in 2020 than in 2019. 2) People who claimed an elderly, disabled, or new dependent on their taxes in 2020.

You can check the status of your payments, which the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) refers to as “plus-up” payments, with the IRS’s Get My Payment feature.

If you’re eligible for the payment, all you needed to have done is to submit a 2020 tax return.

American Rescue Plan Gives IRS Until Dec. 31 to Send Out Stimulus Checks

Under the American Rescue Plan, the IRS has until Dec. 31 to get the stimulus checks to taxpayers. Already, roughly 500,000 extra stimulus payments have gone out through direct deposit. The rest of the money is going out in check form through the mail, per The Sun.

For single filers, the stimulus payment ceiling is those earning $80,000 and above. And for adjusted gross incomes above $75,000, the stimulus payments are lower, according to Forbes.

For married couples, the threshold is $160,000. For those with adjusted gross incomes above $150,000, the stimulus payments get lower. And for heads of households, the income limit is $120,000. Lowered payments kick in at $112,500.

Also, those who report new dependents on their 2020 tax returns will get a plus-up payment for the new dependent, provided their household income falls below the ceilings listed above.

IRS Is Reportedly Working Through a Backlog

Some taxpayers became eligible for the plus-up payments in light of changes to their financial situations between 2019 and 2020, U.S. News explains. Cassandra Kirby of Braun-Bostich & Associates in Pittsburgh offered one example situation.

“Let’s say a married couple with one child had adjusted gross income of $165,000 in 2019, and because their income was more than $160,000, they are not eligible for any portion of the third payment,” she postulated. “However, in 2020, they had another child and their adjusted gross income dropped from $165,000 to $155,000.”

In that scenario, they would be due $2,800 in stimulus payments. Other possible plus-up payment situations include people who got married in 2020 and filed their 2020 taxes jointly for the first time, provided they were below the income ceiling mentioned above.

Like the post office, the IRS is experiencing some backlog, so if you haven’t gotten your stimulus payment yet, don’t panic. If you’re due a plus-up payment, it should get there eventually.