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Stimulus check update: When will ‘plus-up’ payments arrive? Answers to your COVID-19 relief questions

For those last-minute tax filers who were rushing to get their returns done, there’s good news: you’ve been given a one-month reprieve. Tax Day 2021 has been pushed back to May 17 from April 15 without penalties and interest, giving Americans more time to file their federal returns as the IRS implements sweeping tax code changes from the latest COVID-19 relief package.

But there are caveats. The IRS isn’t extending the deadline for first quarter estimated tax payments. And not all states have pushed back their deadlines. It’s a busy time. Many Americans have tons of questions about their stimulus checks, taxes and unemployment aid after the American Rescue Plan became law. So far, more than 156 million payments have been sent to Americans in the third round. The IRS is sending stimulus checks on a weekly basis now. Some Americans are eligible for “plus-up” payments from the agency, which will correct any changes to money that they are owed based on their 2020 tax returns.

Many people are rushing to get their returns done so they can qualify for the latest stimulus aid, and they have questions like: Is it best to file now? Can I still file my return to qualify for a third stimulus check? When will I get a “plus-up” payment? Taxpayers are also grappling with questions on everything from unemployment waivers to child tax credits. And others want to know when they need to pay their state taxes, or if they face refund delays. The fourth batch of payments made under President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan included more than 1 million “plus-up” payments worth more than $2 billion for people who were eligible for additional money now that their 2020 tax returns have been processed, the IRS said Wednesday.

In some cases, a person could be eligible for a new or bigger payment based on their recently processed tax returns. These ongoing supplemental payments would apply to those who had already received stimulus money earlier in March, but the initial payment was based on a 2019 tax return, not the 2020 return that had been recently filed. If your income fell last year and you made significantly less money than what was reported on your 2019 income tax return, you may be eligible for another check. Those who had a child or added a dependent could also qualify for more money if this wasn’t listed on their 2019 return but is now listed on their 2020 return.

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