IRS Clarifies: No Fourth Stimulus Check Expected
Viral posts claiming a fourth stimulus check is on the way have flooded social media in recent months. These claims of pending payments as high as $2,000 have left many Americans hopeful for more pandemic relief. However, the IRS has officially clarified no fourth stimulus checks are authorized or expected at this time, debunking the rumor.
What Sparked Rumors of Another Stimulus Check?
Speculation for a fourth federal stimulus check stems primarily from an influential social media post that rapidly went viral. The post assured payments would arrive automatically in December for those with up-to-date bank account information on file with the IRS. It referenced amounts from $500 up to $2,000 depending on an individual’s state.
The convincing post even cited “Google and the IRS” as sources and providing credibility. This led to a flurry of excitement and perpetuated assumptions another Economic Impact Payment was forthcoming.
IRS Denies Authorization of Fourth Stimulus Check
An IRS spokesperson has confirmed with the Associated Press recently that no fourth stimulus check round has been approved. The last of the pandemic relief stimulus payments authorized were the third round disbursed earlier in 2021.
Anthony Burke, IRS representative, clarified for the AP that the most recent stimulus checks issued were part of the American Rescue Plan passed in March 2021 under President Biden’s administration. This nearly $2 trillion bill included the third batch of direct Economic Impact Payments to Americans.
Without new legislation getting passed authorizing additional stimulus relief, the IRS lacks funding and legal grounds to issue further payments at this time. Despite hopeful claims still echoing through social media, a fourth stimulus check is essentially unfounded rumor rather than pending reality.
Recapping Previous Pandemic Relief Measures
To understand today’s stimulus situation clearer, it helps to recount history surrounding earlier federal pandemic financial relief.
The first round of stimulus checks went out under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act signed in March 2020. This delivered stimulus checks up to $1,200 per adult and $500 per qualifying child to incomes under $99,000 (or $198,000 for joint filers).
The December 2020-passed Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act sanctioned second stimulus payments. This authorized another $600 per person, with the same income thresholds applying.
Finally, the March 2021 American Rescue Plan Act created third stimulus check distribution. This batch granted payments of up to $1,400 for those earning under $75,000 (or $150,000 for couples). Aid also expanded to older dependents for the first time.
Over 460 million total Economic Impact Payments have been distributed across the three approved federal stimulus bills thus far.
The Recovery Rebate Credit Option
For Americans still missing any prior stimulus payments, recourse does exist through the Recovery Rebate Credit. This tax credit refunds individuals for stimulus funds they qualified for but did not receive. However, it requires actively filing a tax return rather than granting automatic payments into bank accounts as suggested by viral posts.
The Recovery Rebate Credit pulls from both 2020 and 2021 tax records. It enables taxpayers meeting income limits to claim authorized stimulus dollars they missed out on previously. Returns may get filed claiming this refundable credit until tax deadlines on May 17, 2024 (for 2020 figures) and April 15, 2025 (for 2021 missing sums).
The credit amount reflects authorized stimulus payments someone qualified for but never received. The IRS urges anyone still owed funds from prior federal pandemic relief bills to apply for their Recovery Rebate Credit by filing their tax returns promptly.
Will Future Stimulus Checks Arrive?
While no fourth stimulus check currently exists outside of misleading social media rumors, the possibility remains for additional relief aid later. If pandemic-prompted economic impacts worsen or recovery efforts stagnate, renewed support could get proposed.
Some state governments have taken local action to issue their own stimulus help absent more federal disbursements. However, most states lack adequate budget surpluses now to fund such measures after previous covid response efforts.
A few small locations like Alexandria, Evanston and Gainesville have found funding for localized relief checks to their residents. But wider scale state stimulus programs remain unlikely at this time without change on a federal level.
For struggling Americans hoping the viral promised $500 to $2,000 December stimulus materializes, the unfortunate reality is no authorization supports pending payments. Barring executive orders by President Biden or Congressional passage of new stimulus bills, no additional federal checks will automatically arrive as claimed.
Relief Resources Still Available
Despite no new stimulus checks immediately expected, other relief options exist for households still battling with pandemic fallout and inflation repercussions. Resources like the Child Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and rental assistance provide alternate support avenues to stabilize families through ongoing challenges.
- Child Tax Credit – Eligible families can get credits up to $3,600 per child reimbursed through tax refunds.
- Earned Income Tax Credit – Workers meeting income limits may claim the EITC reducing tax bills or boosting refunds.
- SNAP Assistance – Federal food and nutrition benefits supply crucial grocery budget relief.
- Emergency Rental Aid – Renters significantly impacted financially by the pandemic may get help covering housing costs.
Though no fourth stimulus checks are currently authorized as claimed by viral posts, existing programs offer alternative assistance. Check eligibility for the relief options above to secure other essential support where qualified.
Summarizing the Reality on Stimulus Check Status
In summary – despite convincing social media rumors of $500 to $2,000 fourth stimulus checks arriving automatically in December – the IRS has officially denied any such pending payments. No current legislation exists authorizing more direct pandemic relief disbursements to Americans.
Viral posts making such claims cite false information not backed by credible sources. Unless new stimulus bills get drafted and signed into law, no additional stimulus checks will automatically go out as claimed.
However, Americans still owed prior stimulus relief through the three approved packages may file for their Recovery Rebate Credit. This tax credit refunds stimulus sums someone qualified for but never received. The credit pulls missing money into annual tax refunds for those who apply.