IRS Sending Out 'Plus-Up' Stimulus Checks To Those Underpaid

Millions of Americans could soon be receiving an unexpected extra stimulus check.

Video Transcript

- Millions of Americans could soon be receiving an unexpected extra stimulus check. Investigative reporter Brian New tonight with what you need to know about the new plus up stimulus checks.

BRIAN NEW: With each round of stimulus checks, there have been those who should have received a check--

- I tried calling the IRS, and I got a machine.

BRIAN NEW: --but never did.

- I just need my stimulus check, like everybody else got theirs.

BRIAN NEW: There have also been those who did receive a check, but it was the wrong amount. This time, the IRS says it has a way to correct many of these, by sending out plus-up checks.

BOB PROBASCO: These are corrections. The IRS at the same time is issuing checks that they didn't a couple of weeks ago because someone didn't qualify at all on the 2019 tax return, and now with the 2020 tax return they do.

BRIAN NEW: Texas A&M law school tax expert Bob Probasco says when stimulus payments started going out, the amount you received was determined by your most recent tax return. For many, that was still their 2019 return.

But with the pandemic shutdowns and record unemployment, many saw their incomes drop in 2020, making them eligible for a bigger stimulus check. These plus-up checks are the difference between what people initially received and what they're entitled to, which is why even if you don't have any tax obligation, filing a 2020 tax return is the single most important thing you can do to ensure you're getting your full stimulus payment. Otherwise, the IRS says you'll have to wait to claim it on your 2021 tax return.

BOB PROBASCO: Those of us who are fortunate could wait that sort of thing out. But a lot of these people are living just barely paycheck to paycheck, and a year from now doesn't really help. What are they going to do in the meantime?

BRIAN NEW: So the IRS came out today and publicly urged low and moderate income families to file a tax return, especially those who typically don't do so, so that they can get their stimulus payment. On our website, we have links to free file options, including some that you can do all on your phone. That's at cbsdfw.com, as well as on our app. In Frisco, Brian New, CBS 11 News.