169 Million Stimulus Check Payments Sent, IRS Issues Tax Return Reminder

More than 169 million stimulus payments granted by the American Rescue Plan have been distributed, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced.

The IRS detailed that it had sent out more than 2.3 million stimulus payments—in the form of direct deposits and stimulus checks—over the past two weeks.

A total of around $395 billion has been distributed since the roll out began on March 12.

As these payments are sent, the IRS has also reminded people who do not usually file a tax return to do so for 2020 in order to ensure they receive funds they are entitled to.

"Although payments are automatic for most people, the IRS continues to urge people who don't normally file a tax return and haven't received Economic Impact Payments to file a 2020 tax return to get all the benefits they're entitled to under the law," the IRS added in a statement released Wednesday.

Other benefits that could be available to Americans who have not yet filed their 2020 tax returns include child tax credit, earned income tax credit, and 2020 recovery rebate credit. They could also be entitled for an advanced child tax credit payment for 2021.

The IRS said those who had not yet filed returns should do so "as quickly as possible" in order to receive the benefits available to them.

Newsweek has contacted the IRS and the Treasury Department to ask how many payments are left to be sent and for details of how many might have not been claimed.

The latest stimulus numbers were revealed three weeks after at least 80 Democrats signaled their support for a fourth stimulus check round to be issued.

Six members of the House Ways and Means Committee also sent a letter to Biden urging him to put forward recurring direct payments in the American Families Plan. The lawmakers said checks were a "lifeline" for those who suffered amid the coronavirus crash.

"The pandemic has served as a stark reminder that families and workers need certainty in a crisis," the letter read. "They deserve to know they can put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads."

Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar also sent the administration a letter that called for monthly stimulus payments of $2,000. The proposal was signed by 50 of her colleagues in the lower chamber, putting the idea some way off majority support.

The White House has not yet backed a fourth round of stimulus checks, but has said that it's prepared to consider ideas put forward by Congress.

It is also unclear such a measure could pass the Senate if got there—meaning a fourth stimulus check could flop in the upper chamber, even if it were to pass the Democratic-controlled House.

Newsweek has contacted the White House to ask for comment on the potential of a fourth stimulus check.

Stimulus checks ready for print
Economic stimulus checks are prepared for printing at the Philadelphia Financial Center May 8, 2008 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Jeff Fusco/Getty Images