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The IRS said Tuesday that it will begin distributing stimulus checks to millions of Social Security recipients and other lower-income Americans this weekend.
The majority of the payments will be sent electronically and will arrive by Wednesday, April 7, the agency said.
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"If no additional issues arise, the IRS currently expects to complete that work and to begin processing these payment files at the end of this week," the IRS said. "Because the majority of these payments will be disbursed electronically – through direct deposits and payments to existing Direct Express cards – they would be received on the official payment date of April 7."
The announcement comes after House Democrats last week sounded the alarm over delays in the delivery of the third round of cash payments to Americans who are not required to file tax returns – including some veterans and Social Security beneficiaries.
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In a letter addressed to IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig and Social Security Administration Commissioner Andrew Saul last week, four Democrats, including the chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, urged the agencies to accelerate the distribution of payments to those individuals.
"The American Rescue Plan was intended to provide much-needed economic stimulus and assistance to people across the country – immediately – and we are counting on your agencies to ensure that beneficiaries are not left behind in the seamless delivery of those payments," the letter said.
The lawmakers blamed Social Security Administration Commissioner Andrew Saul — who was nominated by former President Donald Trump — for the delays, which "defied congressional intent and imposed needless anxiety and pain on taxpayers."
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Saul, in a statement Thursday night, attributed the delay to a lack of funding and political red tape that prevented the administration from working with the Treasury Department or IRS before the American Rescue Plan was passed.
The Social Security Administration sent the missing files for about 30 million people to the IRS on Thursday, and the agency subsequently began the "multi-step process to review, validate and test tens of millions of records to ensure eligibility and proper calculation" of the check.
Since President Biden signed into law the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill, known as the American Rescue Plan, the IRS has already delivered checks to 127 million Americans. The initial payments totaled more than $325 billion and went mostly to eligible taxpayers who provided direct deposit information on their 2019 or 2020 returns.
Individuals with an adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less, and couples with an adjusted gross income of $150,000 or less, are eligible to receive the fully promised $1,400.
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Americans who earn more than the threshold line will still receive a partial check. But payments are cut off for individuals who earn $80,000 a year or more and couples who earn $160,000 a year or more. For those filing as head of household, the phaseout begins at $112,500 and tapers off at $120,000.
You can check the status of the payment using the IRS’s Get My Payment tool. The first payments will go to Americans with direct deposit set up, the IRS said. After that, the agency will mail paper checks and pre-paid debit cards to anyone who qualifies for the money.
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