Half a stimulus check? Some confused after receiving only part of $1,400 payment

·3 min read

The IRS said last week that it has already sent out around 90 million stimulus checks under the American Rescue Plan passed earlier this month — but some people have reported only getting partial payments.

“It was a pretty big shock when we thought we were going to receive $4,200 and only got $2,100,” Joshua Bair of Kentucky told King5.

Who qualifies for a stimulus check?

Individuals making under $75,000 and couples making under $150,000 qualify for the full $1,400 payment, plus $1,400 per child or adult dependent.

The payments phase out for individuals earning more than $75,000 a year and joint filers earning more than $150,000 a year, with payments capping out at annual incomes of $80,000 and $160,000, respectively.

What’s the issue?

Cassie Greaney and her husband Marc of Payson, Arizona, said they have two daughters they claimed as dependents, 12 News reported, but still haven’t received their full payment despite qualifying for $1,400 checks.

“According to the IRS, they have sent the full $5,600 owed to us. According to my bank, they have received $2,800 and there are no pending deposits,” Greaney said, according to the station.

The IRS has not commented publicly on the reported issue. McClatchy News has reached out to the agency to request comment.

Frustration from only receiving half of eligible payments has spawned a Facebook group called “Half Stimulus Missing/Received Status.”

“Under the guidelines we should have received $5600, for my husband and I and our 2 children,” Sarah Conley of Indiana wrote in the Facebook group. “We only received half, $2800. But when I go to the IRS get my payment tool, when I put in mine OR my husband’s info, it says there are errors so I cant even see what the status is.”

For married couples who file jointly, some have said they realized after checking the IRS’ Get My Payment tool that the dates for when the IRS says money will be deposited differ for each person.

“My husband’s stimulus status updated today to a deposit on March 24th,” wrote Jamie Lee Morales of Arizona. “Previously it said March 17th and I had only gotten half. Not sure what happened, but glad it got fixed for us.”

More stimulus payments on the way

The IRS announced Monday that another wave of stimulus payments will be issued this week, with a “large number” of prepaid debit cards and paper checks being mailed.

For people receiving stimulus checks through direct deposit, this round of payments began processing on Friday and will officially land in bank accounts on Mar. 24, the agency said.

“Taxpayers who do not receive a direct deposit by March 24 should watch the mail carefully in the coming weeks for a paper check or a prepaid debit card, known as an Economic Impact Payment Card, or EIP Card,” according to the IRS.

An IRS spokesperson told WHAS-TV last week that stimulus checks are “coming out in batches” and encouraged people to “be patient.”

IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig added: “Since this new set of payments will include more mailed payments, we urge people to carefully watch their mail for a check or debit card in the coming weeks.”

Checks seized by debt collectors?

There’s also a possibility that the third round of stimulus checks could be seized by private debt collectors, experts say.

The third round of stimulus checks can’t be seized by the government to pay off child support debt or IRS tax debt, but could still be garnished by debt collectors to pay off private debt, according to Garrett Watson, senior policy analyst at the Tax Foundation, CNET reported.

But if your third stimulus check is missing and you have to claim it on your taxes next year, the IRS could use some or all of the money issued as a Recovery Rebate Credit for unpaid student loans or child support, according to the publication.

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