ST. GEORGE — Millions of Americans should begin to see pandemic relief checks by this weekend following the signing of the $1.9 trillion relief package signed by President Joe Biden Thursday.
Touted as a way to help Americans recoup money lost during the economic mayhem caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the relief package will supply individuals and couples making $75,000 and $150,000 or less respectively with $1,400 per person.
Individuals will also see an additional $1,400 per dependent. Under the relief bill, a family of four would receive $5,600. Individuals earning more than $80,000 a year and couples making more than $160,000 will not receive relief checks.
Americans could begin to see checks deposited into their bank accounts starting this weekend, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said during a Thursday press briefing.
“Some people in the country will start seeing those in direct deposits in their bank accounts this weekend,” she said. “And payments to eligible Americans will continue throughout the course of the next several weeks.”
Under the relief bill, most Americans will also see an expansion to the child tax credit.
They will see $3,000 for each child between 6 and 17 years old, and $3,600 for each child under 6. These payments could be paid out monthly rather than in a lump sum. However, these payment will not be available until July, according to the relief bill.
The roll out of the payments, while expected to start this weekend, is also dependent on how fast the IRS can implement some changes made through the relief package legislation.
As of Thursday, the IRS website advises people to “check back soon” for information on their 2021 relief checks as the agency is “reviewing the tax provisions of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, signed into law on March 11, 2021.”
Eligibility for the relief payments will be based on 2020 tax returns, or 2019 returns if last year’s taxes have yet to be filed.
The stimulus payments are being deposited directly into the bank accounts of taxpayers who previously supplied their banking information to the IRS. For those taxpayers for whom the IRS lacks bank account information, payments will be mailed to that taxpayer’s last known address.
The IRS will also send payment receipts to a taxpayer’s last known address within 15 days of a payment being made. The letter will include information on how to report if a payment has not been received. If there are concerns surrounding the legitimacy of the letter, the IRS urges taxpayers to visit IRS.gov in order protect themselves against a possible scam.
Concerning scams, the IRS states that their representatives “will not call, text you, email you or contact you on social media asking for personal or bank account information – even related to the economic impact payments.”
In addition to the direct relief payments and expanded child tax credit, the relief bill also supplies funds for continuing unemployment, COVID-19 vaccines and testing; state, city and tribal governments; and schools and ailing industries.
The $1.9 billion relief bill passed the Senate along party-lines in a 50-49 vote last Saturday, with the House approving the Senate version of the bill Wednesday and the president signing it Thursday.
While Democrats have lauded the bill as the relief Americans desperately need in the continuing wake of the pandemic, Republicans have decried it as being bloated with items unrelated to the pandemic.
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