Third Stimulus Checks: Should You File Your Taxes to the IRS?

third stimulus checks file taxes

Getty Federal tax forms are distributed at the offices of the Internal Revenue Service November 1, 2005 in Chicago, Illinois.

If you’re wondering when we might receive a third round of stimulus checks, there is one thing you might be able to do to speed up the process: file your taxes to the IRS.

The IRS officially started accepting tax returns on February 12, 2021, and the window to file your taxes closes on April 15. Lawmakers are discussing another round of relief aid, and there is some speculation that Congress will pass a new COVID-19 relief bill in mid-March. Tax filings could determine how much Americans receive in the third round of coronavirus relief.

Here’s what you need to know:

The IRS Uses an Individual’s Most Recent Tax Return to Determine How Much a Person Will Receive in Stimulus Checks

Stimulus check payments are determined by a person’s most recent tax filing. Anyone who suffered an economic crisis in 2020, like losing a job, or had a major change in their lives, like having a child, should file their taxes early, according to CBS News. Any loss in income will not be reflected in the amount of stimulus a person receives if they don’t file their taxes until the third round of stimulus checks goes out, because the IRS will likely use a 2019 tax return to determine that amount instead of the 2020 tax filing.

Lisa Greene-Lewis, a tax expert at TurboTax, said people should file their taxes early, especially those who had a loss in income or a lifechanging event. She said most people are receiving a tax refund nearing $3,000. You should also file your taxes as soon as possible if you got married or could no longer be claimed as a dependent last year.

“I would suggest that people file as soon as possible, especially with 75% of taxpayers last year receiving a tax refund close to $3,000,” she said. “We are hearing a lot of people say, ‘I had a baby in 2020, how will the IRS know this? When they issued the previous stimulus payment they didn’t know that.'”

Who Will Receive a Third Stimulus Check? Those Rules Are Changing Under the Biden Administration, According to Drafted Legislation

Lawmakers are in discussions about stimulus checks and the next coronavirus relief aid package, this time considering a $2 trillion relief package under President Joe Biden. The rules for who will receive a third stimulus check and who will not are also changing. Some people who were eligible may no longer be eligible, and some who have never received a stimulus check may receive one in the third round.

Congress set a deadline of March 14 to pass a new relief bill, the date when extra unemployment checks run out. Some Americans might receive a check for $1,400. But who is eligible is still under discussion.

The House drafted legislation which is supported by President Joe Biden. It says individuals earning $75,000 or less and couples earning $150,00 or less would receive a full stimulus check of $1,400, but the checks would phase out more quickly based on income for those earning more than $100,000 and couples earning more than $200,000.

Some people who have not received checks previously, like college students and disabled adults, will now qualify under the proposal. Children under 17, too, will receive the full $1,400 if the drafted legislation passes. Children previously received $600, or half of the full payment.

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