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The last of the $1,400 stimulus checks will get distributed to eligible parents this tax season

February 9, 2022, 10:29 AM UTC

The third round of stimulus checks went out to more than 169 million U.S. taxpayers last year. The consensus on Capitol Hill remains that the $1,400 stimulus checks—the largest payment of the three rounds—will be the last of the COVID-19 direct payments.

That said, the IRS hasn’t finished sending out that third round: Another $1,400 stimulus checks will go out to eligible parents and guardians of 2021 newborns once the 2021 tax returns are filed this year. That’s because when the IRS sent out the $1,400 checks last year, it used taxpayers’ last tax return on file—which, of course, wouldn’t have included any children born in 2021. That’s why the check will get applied to parents’ and guardians’ 2021 tax returns, according to reporting by Fortune and Insider.

But having a 2021 newborn alone won’t score parents and guardians that additional check. They will also need to meet the income eligibility requirements. To get the payment, single filers would need to make no more than $75,000 per year in adjusted gross income, while couples filing jointly would need to stay below $150,000. Parents earning above those levels would see their checks reduced—and be completely phased out if they’re a single filer earning above $80,000 or a couple filing jointly earning above $160,000.

As parents fill out their 2021 tax return, they will need their “Letter 6475” from the IRS. That form indicates how much the taxpayer received in third-round stimulus payments. If you’re an eligible taxpayer with a 2021 newborn, that form should be $1,400 below what you’re entitled to, meaning the $1,400 will get added to your return.

How many $1,400 stimulus checks are outstanding? It’s hard to say, but it should be in the millions. In 2020, there were around 3.61 million U.S. births; we still don’t know the total for 2021, however.

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