Why Did I Only Get Half of My Third Stimulus Check?

The third round of Economic Impact Payments (EIP3), authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, provided eligible individuals and families with payments of up to $1,400 per person, including dependents. However, some recipients reported receiving only half of the expected amount. This discrepancy can be attributed to several factors:

Income Eligibility Thresholds

The EIP3 payments were subject to income limits. Individuals with adjusted gross incomes (AGIs) exceeding certain thresholds received reduced payments or no payment at all. The income thresholds for the full payment were:

  • $75,000 for single filers
  • $112,500 for heads of household
  • $150,000 for married couples filing jointly

Individuals with AGIs above these thresholds received reduced payments, and those with AGIs exceeding the following limits were ineligible for any payment:

  • $80,000 for single filers
  • $120,000 for heads of household
  • $160,000 for married couples filing jointly

Dependent Eligibility

Unlike the first two rounds of stimulus payments, the EIP3 provided payments for all dependents claimed on a tax return, not just qualifying children under 17. However, the income thresholds applied to the total amount of payments received by a household, including dependents. This means that families with higher incomes may have received reduced payments for their dependents, even if the dependents themselves met the income eligibility criteria.

Joint Filers with Only One SSN

For married couples filing jointly, both spouses must have valid Social Security numbers (SSNs) to receive the full payment. If only one spouse has a valid SSN, the couple will receive a payment of up to $1,400 for the spouse with the SSN and up to $1,400 for each qualifying dependent.

Payment Calculation Errors

In some cases, the IRS may have made errors in calculating the EIP3 payments. These errors could have resulted in recipients receiving less than the full amount they were entitled to.

Other Factors

Other factors that could have affected the amount of the EIP3 payment include:

  • Filing status (e.g., single, married filing jointly)
  • Number of dependents claimed
  • Tax filing history
  • Eligibility for other government benefits

What to Do if You Received Less Than Expected

If you believe you received less than the full amount of the EIP3 payment you were entitled to, you should:

  1. Check the IRS website: Visit IRS.gov to use the “Get My Payment” tool to confirm the amount of your payment and check for any updates.

  2. Review your tax return: Ensure that the information on your tax return is accurate and that you claimed all eligible dependents.

  3. Contact the IRS: If you have questions or believe there has been an error, you can contact the IRS by phone or mail.

  4. File a tax return: If you did not file a tax return for 2020 or 2019, you may be eligible to claim the EIP3 payment as a Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2021 tax return.

The amount of the third stimulus check was determined based on income eligibility thresholds, dependent eligibility, and other factors. If you received less than the full amount you expected, it is important to review your eligibility and contact the IRS if necessary.

Why did I only get half of my 3rd stimulus check?


What if I didn’t get my third stimulus check?

Individuals who didn’t receive a third-round payment should contact the IRS as soon as possible to see if a payment trace is needed. It may be needed if their IRS Online Account shows a payment they didn’t receive or they received a notice or letter indicating they were issued a payment.

Why is my stimulus check so low?

Your AGI was too high to get the $1,400 per person maximum Your adjusted gross income, or AGI, needs to be below these income limits to receive the $1,400 stimulus payment in full: Single taxpayer who makes less than $75,000. Head of household who makes less than $112,500.

How do I know if I got the 3rd stimulus?

Your Online Account: Securely access your individual IRS account online to view the total of your first, second and third Economic Impact Payment amounts under the “Economic Impact Payment Information” section on the Tax Records page. IRS EIP notices: We mailed these notices to the address we have on file.

What if I did not receive the economic impact payment?

To start a payment trace: Call the IRS at 800-919-9835. Mail or fax a completed Form 3911 to the IRS.

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