Get the latest on the stimulus bill, available aid for individuals and families, and how coronavirus impacts your taxes.
In March 2021, millions of Americans received a third stimulus payment as part of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021. In addition to individual stimulus payments, the bill created several provisions to provide financial relief during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
You can find information about stimulus eligibility directly below. For details about changed tax credits, unemployment benefits, and other updates from the ARP Act, review the Tax filing impacts section below.
Please know H&R Block is here for you and can answer any questions you may have regarding stimulus payments and these new provisions.
Third stimulus amount and eligibility differ from previous rounds
If you’re eligible, the new bill allows for $1,400 per individual or $2,800 per couple and $1,400 for each dependent.
The amount and who qualifies to receive a stimulus check are both different with this third stimulus. This time, all dependents on your tax return will qualify, including children ages 17 and older, and elderly relatives you claim as a dependent.
Similar to previous stimulus rounds, you’re likely to receive a third stimulus payment whether you’re employed full time, part time, a gig worker, unemployed or retired.
If your income is above those ranges, your amount will be reduced. Leave that math to us—Our stimulus payment calculator can help you estimate how much you may receive! You’ll also find additional eligibility information on that page.
The IRS will use your most recent info to determine eligibility and delivery
To determine your stimulus amount and where to make the payment, the IRS will use the most recent information it has on file.
Checking your payment status with the IRS
The IRS Get My Payment tool is now available for you to check the status of your payment. Get My Payment will only reflect a status once the payment has been issued. You cannot make any updates to your bank information.
Most third stimulus payments have already been deposited on Emerald Cards
If you are eligible for a third stimulus payment, it should be deposited to your Emerald Card account if:
If you elect to receive your 2020 refund on your Emerald Card, you may receive additional payments to the card if you qualify for a ‘top up’ payment of the third stimulus or if IRS adjusts your return to exclude unemployment compensation.
Haven’t activated your Emerald Card? Need an update on your payment? Simply log into MyBlock or by call 1-866-353-1266 and entering the last four digits of their Emerald Card account. MyBlock will only reflect a status once the payment has been issued.
Find additional information about stimulus payments on Emerald Cards.
In addition to stimulus payments for millions, the ARP Act provides taxpayers additional relief through updated provisions to several tax credits. We’ve outlined the impacted tax years along with the provisions. In the case of the Child Tax Credit, financial benefits are expected to be available as soon as July 2021. Most of these apply to next year and beyond.
Claiming your full stimulus amount
Don’t worry, if you had changes to income, filing status, or dependent information.
Whether you work with one of our tax pros or use H&R Block Online, we’ll make sure you’ll receive any stimulus money you missed that you qualify for from the first and second stimulus when you file your 2020 tax return through a recovery rebate credit. If your 2020 tax return qualifies you for a larger third stimulus check than you received based on your 2019 tax return, the IRS may send the additional payment for the difference after your tax returns is processed.
Eligibility for the Earned Income Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit
Good news: A special rule can help you continue to claim these valuable credits—even if your income has changed. With this new “lookback” rule, you can choose to use your 2019 earned income information to determine your eligibility for the Earned Income Credit and the Additional Child Tax Credit if doing so results in a larger credit.
If it’s better for you to use your 2020 income, you don’t have to use the new rule.
Filing tip for your 2020 taxes
For faster processing, many revenue departments recommend you submit your return via e-file instead of through the U.S. mail because they are operating with limited in-person staff.
See how 2020 returns changed for these three filers in our 2020 tax impacts infographic.
Anyone who lost their job and/or had to quit due to coronavirus impacts may be eligible. This includes full-time and part-time employees including:
Complete information is available on the IRS website.
Federal unemployment benefits will be $300 per week, through September 6, 2021. This additional benefit is on top of any amount you’re eligible for within your state. For those who’ve exhausted their benefits, the maximum number of weeks for pandemic emergency unemployment compensation increases to a total of 53 weeks.
The quickest way to apply is through your state’s unemployment office. Applications are also taken over the phone if you prefer to call.
No, you will not owe taxes on your payment. The legislation specifically states the payment will not be taxed.
The third stimulus payment will be available for people who have a Social Security Number but are married to individuals without a Social Security Number. However, only the spouse with an SSN valid for employment will receive the stimulus payment. The spouse that does not have an SSN will not be eligible for a payment unless one of the spouses is a member of the Armed Forces.
If your spouse passed away in 2019 and you filed jointly, only you and qualifying children will receive a third stimulus payments.
If your spouse passed away in 2020, only you and any qualifying children you have are eligible to receive a third stimulus payment.
Following the announcement of the stimulus payments, the IRS is warning there’s a wave of new and evolving phishing schemes against taxpayers. The IRS will not be contacting taxpayers for personal or banking information via phone, email, text or social media to complete the stimulus payment. Do not open emails or click on attachments or links that appear to come from the IRS and avoid requests to send personal or financial information.