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Third Stimulus Payment Frequently Asked Questions


Updated on 3/18/2021

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Third Stimulus Payment Approved – What You Need To Know

It’s official: the third round of COVID-19 financial aid has been signed by President Biden. As part of the American Rescue Plan, the stimulus checks (also called “economic impact payments”) are aimed at providing another round of financial relief for individuals and families. The American Rescue Plan was signed into law Thursday, March 11, 2021. Continue reading to learn more about the third stimulus payments and how they will affect you.

Quick Facts: Third Stimulus Plan

  • Individuals earning $75,000 or less AGI per year will receive $1,400
  • Married couples filing jointly earning $150,000 or less AGI per year will receive $2,800
  • Head of household filers earning $112,500 or less AGI will receive $1,400
  • Each dependent claimed will be an additional $1,400
  • Federal unemployment benefits of $300 a week have been extended through Sept. 6, 2021
  • Unemployment benefits will be tax-free on the first $10,200 received in 2020 for households making less than $150,000 per year

How much is the third stimulus check?

The third stimulus provides $1,400 to individuals with an adjusted gross income (AGI) of $75,000 or less. Married taxpayers who file jointly with an AGI of $150,000 or less will receive $2,800. Taxpayers who file head of household with an AGI under $112,500 will receive a $1,400 stimulus payment.

Households will receive an additional $1,400 for each dependent claimed on their most recent tax return, but only if the filer qualifies to receive their own stimulus payment.

The stimulus payment amounts will be lower and eventually phase out if you earn over those AGI limits. Unlike previous stimulus payments, the third stimulus payment will be completely phased out at an AGI of $80,000 for single filers, $160,000 for those married filing jointly, and $120,000 for a head of household.

How does the third stimulus plan impact me if I already filed my 2020 taxes?

If you filed your 2020 taxes and did not claim unemployment income, you do not need to take any action. The IRS will simply use your 2020 information to calculate your stimulus payment and deliver it to the account they have on file from your 2020 tax return.

If you haven’t filed your 2020 taxes and WILL claim unemployment income and earned less than $150,000, you will want to wait to file your 2020 tax return to take advantage of the tax exclusion on the first $10,200 as part of the passed bill. Tax software companies, like TaxAct, are working to update their software so that the new unemployment exclusion is included. TaxAct will alert customers when their software has been updated on the stimulus center page.

If you already filed your 2020 taxes with TaxAct and claimed unemployment income and earned less than $150,000, you should wait to amend your return to take advantage of the tax exclusion on the first $10,200. The IRS is currently determining if you will need to amend your return or if they can update your 2020 return automatically. We will update this information once we know more from the IRS.

How does the third stimulus plan impact me if I have not already filed my taxes?

The IRS will use your most recent tax return to determine if you are eligible for the third stimulus payment and how much.

If you saw a significant drop in income from your last tax return, filing your taxes quickly could be important as you could be missing out on the stimulus payment you are entitled to.

For example, say you reported an AGI of $95,000 in 2019, but your AGI dropped to $50,000 in 2020. If you have not yet filed your 2020 tax return, the IRS will look at your 2019 return and not issue the third stimulus payment, as your 2019 income was over the qualifying threshold.

If you plan to claim unemployment income (up to $10,200) and earned less than $150,000, you should wait to file your taxes in order to take advantage of the tax exclusion. This will help reduce your AGI and may help you qualify for a larger stimulus payment.

Who gets the third stimulus check?

The IRS will review your most recent tax return to see if you qualify. At least one recipient in your household must have a Social Security number for you to qualify for a stimulus payment.

When will the third stimulus checks arrive?

The IRS will issue the stimulus payments through direct deposits and mailed checks. You can check the status of your payment with the IRS’ Get My Payment tool. It will show you both how and when you will receive your stimulus payment. The tool does not allow taxpayers to update their direct deposit info, its only purpose is to show the status of stimulus payments.

How do I get the third stimulus check?

You will not need to take any action to receive the third stimulus check.

Where will the IRS send my third stimulus check?

The IRS will issue the third payment to the account they have on file from your latest tax return. The IRS Get My Payment tool will not allow the taxpayer to update direct deposit information for the third stimulus. The payment will come via direct deposit into your bank account, a mailed check, or through a Treasury-sponsored debit card account such as Direct Express or U.S. Debit Card.

How can I receive the unemployment provision that makes the first $10,200 of unemployment nontaxable for each taxpayer who made less than $150,000 in 2020?

If you have already filed your taxes for 2020 and qualify for the unemployment provision, the IRS urges you to wait to amend your return. We believe the IRS may provide additional guidance by next week. Please stay tuned to our stimulus center where we will continue to update customers on IRS decisions.

If you have not filed your taxes for 2020 and qualify for the unemployment provision, TaxAct has updated federal editions to allow for the unemployment exclusion. State programs will vary – see state conformity list for more details.

If I used Refund Transfer to file my tax return last year or this year, will there be issues with receiving my direct deposit from the IRS?

Over the last month, we have been working with the IRS to test their systems to verify any customer who used our refund transfer services should receive their refund directly deposited into their bank accounts. We are confident with how testing went and believe that depositing should work as designed this time.

Does TaxAct charge a fee to amend tax returns that need to be amended due to the recently approved third stimulus plan?

No. As long as the fees have been paid for the original filing, TaxAct users will not have to pay to amend their tax returns.

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