IRS Just Sent You An Extra Stimulus Payment? Here’s Why

Happy man at home checking the mail.
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If your recently filed 2020 tax return makes you eligible for a bigger stimulus check than you got last month, the IRS says you’re covered.

Last week the agency began distributing supplemental, or “plus-up,” stimulus payments to people whose 2020 tax returns qualify them for more than their 2019 returns did. Maybe you made less money in 2020 than in 2019 or had a new child or dependent in 2020. Whatever the reason, if a change in situation changed the math, the IRS is sending out additional funds via direct deposit, according to the agency. (Don’t worry, it doesn’t work the other way around. If you made more in 2020, you don’t have to pay anything back.) 

The latest stimulus checks, a centerpiece of the American Rescue Plan, were the biggest of the three rounds that the federal government has distributed since the pandemic began. They paid $1,400 per person, including per dependent, to individual taxpayers with an adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less, and a reduced payment for those earning up to $80,000. (The limits were different for married couples and heads of household.) 

The first “plus-up” payments will have an official payment date of March 31 and will continue to be distributed weekly as the IRS processes more 2020 returns. As of last week, the IRS had sent out 130 million payments worth about $335 billion.