Debunking the Fourth Stimulus Check Rumors in 2024

As the specter of a fourth stimulus check circulates online, VERIFY, a fact-checking service, has confirmed that there are no plans for the federal government to issue another round of stimulus payments in 2024.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress passed three bills that included stimulus checks, also known as Economic Impact Payments, totaling more than $3,000 per person. The last of these payments was distributed in March 2021.

Current Status:
Contrary to online rumors, there is no fourth stimulus check scheduled for 2024. A spokesperson for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) stated in November 2023 that there are no additional stimulus payments planned “at any time in the future.”

Verification Process:
IRS Statement: The IRS and U.S. Department of Treasury websites do not mention a fourth stimulus payment, and the IRS spokesperson confirmed the absence of future payments.

Congressional Legislation: A search of congressional legislation reveals no recent bills authorizing a fourth stimulus check. For such a payment to occur, Congress would need to pass legislation, and the President would need to sign it into law.

Past Stimulus Checks:
The three previous stimulus checks were part of legislation passed by Congress and signed by the sitting president. These payments were:

  • First Check ($1,200): Part of the CARES Act in March 2020.
  • Second Check ($600): Included in a spending package passed in December 2020.
  • Third Check ($1,400): Included in the American Rescue Plan passed in March 2021.

Recovery Rebate Credit:
The IRS issued a reminder in November 2023 that individuals who did not receive one or more of the original federal stimulus payments can still claim them. To receive a missing stimulus payment, taxpayers must:
1. File a tax return for either 2020 or 2021, or both.

2. Claim the Recovery Rebate Credit.

Claim Deadlines:
In most cases, the deadline for filing a Recovery Rebate Credit claim for 2020 is May 17, 2024. The deadline for filing a 2021 claim is generally April 15, 2025.

Despite persistent online rumors, VERIFY’s confirmation from the IRS and legislative searches clarifies that there will be no fourth stimulus check in 2024. Individuals who missed previous payments can still claim them through the Recovery Rebate Credit by filing tax returns for the respective years.

Why the Rumors Persist:
The uncertainty surrounding the economic fallout from the ongoing pandemic and the desire for financial relief contribute to the persistence of rumors about a fourth stimulus check. Additionally, the rapid dissemination of information on social media platforms without proper verification fuels speculation and misinformation.

IRS Guidance on Missing Payments:
The IRS emphasizes that individuals who did not receive one or more of the original stimulus payments have recourse through the Recovery Rebate Credit. This credit allows taxpayers to claim the full amount of the Economic Impact Payments for which they are eligible.

Recovery Rebate Credit Process:

  • To claim missing stimulus payments, eligible individuals should:
  • File Tax Returns: Submit tax returns for the relevant years (2020 or 2021, or both).
  • Claim the Credit: Clearly indicate the intention to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit on the tax return.
  • Deadline Awareness: Be mindful of the deadlines for filing these claims, with the deadline for the 2020 claim generally set for May 17, 2024, and the deadline for the 2021 claim typically on April 15, 2025.

Educating the Public:
Given the potential financial strain on individuals and families, it is crucial to disseminate accurate information about the availability of stimulus payments. Educational initiatives and outreach programs can help ensure that eligible individuals are aware of the process to claim missing payments.

Government Transparency:
The government, including the IRS, plays a vital role in maintaining transparency about financial relief programs. Clear communication regarding the status of stimulus payments and avenues for recourse, such as the Recovery Rebate Credit, helps build public trust and dispel unfounded rumors.

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While the desire for additional financial support persists, it is essential to rely on verified information. As of 2024, there is no plan for a fourth stimulus check. Individuals are encouraged to explore the Recovery Rebate Credit to claim any missed Economic Impact Payments and stay informed through official government channels.

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