The IRS just disbursed 2.2 million more $1400 stimulus payments, but it mostly went to recent tax filers

Stimulus check eligibility

Another 2.2. million Americans will start receiving $US1400 ($AU1,897) stimulus checks this week.

The third round of stimulus payments, meant to help people who lost income or work during the coronavirus pandemic, is worth over $US4 ($AU5) billion, according to the Internal Revenue Service.

The latest disbursement brings the total number of payments to 171 million, according to an IRS news release on Wednesday.

The majority of the 2.2 million payments went to eligible individuals who did not previously file information with the IRS for an Economic Impact Payment, but have since filed a tax return.

In March, as part of President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan, some Americans began receiving the $US1400 ($AU1,897) stimulus checks, on top of federal and state unemployment if they were eligible. Individuals earning below $US75,000 ($AU101,614) annually were eligible to receive the full amount.

Individuals who received stimulus payment in March due to their 2019 tax return, but have since met the requirements for new payments with their 2020 tax returns, can also receive stimulus funds.

The disbursement is part of the third wave of one-time checks that the federal government has authorized since the onset of the pandemic. Congress approved $US1,200 ($AU1,626) stimulus checks early last year, and the IRS sent most of those within the span of a month.

Lawmakers then supported sending a $US600 ($AU813) relief check as part of a pandemic aid package in December. The IRS sent 147 million payments to all eligible taxpayers it had on file in less than two months.

This week’s announcement by the IRS underscores the massive strain the agency has been under for the past year as it struggles to sort a backlog of unprocessed tax returns, along with other new pandemic responsibilities like issuing three waves of direct payments.

The IRS says it will continue making these Economic Impact Payments over the coming weeks, mostly for the eligible individuals with new tax return information and other qualifiers.

Though there have been some calls for a fourth round of stimulus, detractors maintain that the added federal support has contributed to a lag in hiring as businesses begin to recover and more jobs reenter the economy.