Despite new coronavirus variants and the fact that many Americans continue to struggle financially, it is unlikely that lawmakers in Washington, D.C. will approve a fourth coronavirus stimulus check.
Sadly, this means that many individuals will not receive another direct payment from Uncle Sam to help them deal with the financial consequences of COVID-19. In 2022, some Americans will be eligible for a $1,400 payment even if Congress does nothing. The American Rescue and Reinvestment Act has already authorized and made these funds available to them.
Here is why millions of people may receive a $1,400 check next year and how to determine if you qualify.
The American Rescue and Reinvestment Act provided payments of $1,400 per adult and $1,400 per dependent. President Joe Biden signed the Act into law at the end of March, and the vast majority of Americans have already received the full amount of stimulus funds.
People who had a child or acquired a new dependent this year may not have received the full amount of money to which they were entitled. The issue is that the IRS estimated the number of dependents eligible for the $1,400 payments based on prior tax returns. And if you waited until 2021 to add a dependent, the IRS would not have had this information when calculating your payment.
You may claim $1,400 per dependent in 2022 if you were not compensated in 2021 for any new dependents. For instance, if your family welcomed twins this year, you would be eligible for $2,800. You need only file a tax return to receive the funds. Due to the fact that the payments represented an advance on a tax credit, you should be eligible for the credit when you file your 2021 Form 1040 with the IRS.
Late in January 2022, the IRS will begin accepting tax returns, so the sooner you file your 2021 return, the sooner you’ll receive your $1,400 refund.
However, you must meet the criteria for the stimulus check outlined in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. This involves meeting the required income level. Single filers with incomes below $75,000 and joint filers with incomes below $150,000 qualify for the maximum benefit. Once income reaches a certain threshold, payments cease, and filers earning more than $80,000 as a single or more than $160,000 as a married couple are ineligible.
Even if you don’t typically file a tax return, you should claim this money if you’re eligible, as it may help you offset some of the economic damage caused by the way that COVID-19 upended the lives of many people.