The IRS has been making millions of “catch-up” or “plus-up” payments to those who have filed recent tax returns or updated payment/dependent information. These Plus-Up Payments are set to be distributed up until December 31, 2021. Actual payment or deposit of these funds could go into early 2022.
These “plus-up” payments generally covered situations where a person’s income dropped in 2020 compared to 2019 (e.g due to unemployment), or a person had a new child or dependent on their 2020 tax return. By submitting a free-to-efile tax return with updated information the IRS was able to retroactively process eligible payments
The IRS is aware that several people have updated taxable income (AGI) and dependent information in their 2020 tax filings. As a result the IRS is now processing, via their latest payment batch, additional or plus-up extra stimulus payments for tax filers who had earlier received payments based on their 2019 tax return information but are now eligible for a new or larger payment based on their recently processed 2020 tax returns (see refund schedule).
Catch-up Payments for New or Recent Tax Filers
The plus-up or catch-up payments will also include people for whom the IRS previously did not have information to issue a stimulus check but who recently filed a tax return and who would qualify for a stimulus payment based on their 2020 income.
Payments are also being made to SSA, RRB or VA recipients once updated information is provided from the respective agency.
When will these payments be made?
The IRS has started making these catch-up/plus-up payments in their fifth batch of stimulus processing and estimates it will send out more than $1.2 billion in supplemental payments to 700,000 Americans by mid-April. It may take a week or two more to see payments for those getting paid via mailed checks or debit cards. These payment will continue in subsequent batches till the end of 2021.
If you haven’t yet filed a tax return in 2021, the IRS will review and make these plus up stimulus payments in later (weekly) batches, or you can claim and missing or under payments via your 2021 tax return that you file next year.
Are these like an extra (4th) stimulus check?
Some are getting a supplementary payment and have assumed this was an extra stimulus check. But in fact the payment is just a true-up or correction for any missed payments. So if you didn’t qualify or got a lower payment based on earlier returns the IRS is sending these extra payments. But it is not a fourth stimulus check and you need to make sure you reconcile this against your tax return.