The IRS Plus-Up Payment: Why You May Be Receiving A Fourth Check

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Since President Biden’s American Rescue Plan became law back in March, 164 million payments of the third stimulus check have been sent out. The IRS has kept to a structured, weekly payment and this week a batch of 1.1 million checks were sent out, totaling over $2 billion. Along with stimulus checks, a “plus-up payment” is being sent out to some eligible taxpayers and will continue to be sent out over the next few months as the IRS receives and processes 2020 tax returns. So, even if you’ve already received a third stimulus payment, you might want to double check that you received the entire amount you qualified for. 

Who qualifies for a plus-up payment?

Generally, if the IRS used your 2019 taxes to calculate the dollar amount for your third stimulus check, but if you earned less in 2020, you could qualify for a plus-up payment. A few other circumstances that qualify you for the additional payment are:

  • You had a new child or dependent on your 2020 tax return
  • You don’t usually file your taxes but you submitted new information in a 2020 tax form to the IRS

Note, this applies to the third stimulus payment only. If you are owed any money from the first two payments, you will need to claim it as a Recovery Rebate Credit in your 2020 taxes. 

How much is it?

The plus-up payment is meant to supplement any missing amount from the third stimulus check that you are owed. The third stimulus check maxes out at $1400 per qualifying individual and $1400 per dependent, so you can use that information and your 2020 tax return to calculate how much you should have received and compare it to how much you actually received. 

What do I do if I think I qualify for a plus-up payment? 

Because the IRS automatically sends the plus-up payment to qualifying individuals, you may have already received your plus-up payment if you filed your 2020 taxes. Check your bank account or mailbox for any information. If you qualify for a plus-up, but have not filed your 2020 taxes, do them as soon as possible. The deadline for filing is May 17. 

Like the stimulus check, the IRS is sending the plus-up payments in weekly batches. Approximately 5 million plus-ups have been sent out since April 1 and some delays can be expected.

Additional resources can be found here:

2020 Recovery Rebate Credit: How To Get Your Missing Stimulus Money

Do Non-Citizens Qualify to Receive the Third Stimulus Check?

Third Stimulus Checks are Still on Their Way. Here’s What to Know if You Haven’t Received Yours

IRS Get My Payment Tool

Thalia Carrillo is a writer based in Austin, TX. She moved from her hometown of El Paso, TX to pursue a journalism degree at The University of Texas at Austin. She enjoys covering politics and pop culture and has a passion for social justice, digital storytelling, plants, and specialty coffee!