More than 25 million people received their Economic Impact Payments from the U.S. government on Wednesday (April 7), bringing the total disbursed so far to more than 156 million payments, or $372 billion.
According to a joint news release from the U.S. Department of Treasury, the Internal Revenue Service and the Bureau of Fiscal Service, the bulk of these latest American Rescue Plan payments — 19 million — went to Social Security beneficiaries who didn’t file tax returns for 2019 or 2020 and didn’t use the Non-Filers tool last year. This included three million payments — $5 billion worth — to Supplemental Security Income beneficiaries and 85,000 payments — totaling $119 million — to Railroad Retirement Board beneficiaries.
This latest batch also includes ongoing supplemental payments for people who received payments based on their 2019 tax returns in March, but are eligible for new or larger payments based on this year’s tax returns. This batch included one million of these “plus-up” payments, totaling more than $2 billion.
Most people — 24 million — received their payments in the form of direct deposits, with the rest getting paper checks in the mail.
Meanwhile, the IRS says it is continuing to review data from Veterans Affairs (VA), which covers veterans and their beneficiaries who receive benefits and don’t normally file tax returns. If no new issues emerge, the IRS expects to begin processing VA payment files at the end of this week, with payments going out on April 14.
These payments are helpful for people who had been counting on them to help cover expenses like rent and bills, but they are also good news for retailers. As PYMNTS reported, when the third round of American Rescue Plan disbursements was released, many retailers anticipated that stimulus spending would provide a boost in sales.
“Even if conditions stay generally similar to now, for any length of time this year and with limited additional stimulus, we would expect continued solid underlying performance from Walmart U.S., with low-single-digit comps and continued solid eCommerce sales growth,” said Walmart CFO Brett Biggs.
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