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2021 Stimulus Checks for Americans Abroad

stimulus checks for americans abroad

The first US stimulus checks for Americans abroad have been sent out in March 2020. Then, in 2021 a second check was released in January, and the third round happened in March. As the pandemic continues, there is still a dire need to restore the American economy and families’ pockets.

Here at MyExpatTaxes, we understand how important stimulus checks are for the lives of Americans abroad. Make sure you check this page frequently to read updates about these necessary cash relief payments!

2021 Latest Updates

The American Rescue Plan

Read our full coverage on the Third Stimulus Check for Americans Abroad regarding $1,400 checks, unemployment benefits, and child tax credit increases.

March 11, 2021

President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan into law – a day earlier than expected. The White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, stated that the first wave of direct deposit checks would begin hitting Americans’ bank accounts as soon as this weekend. Then, the stimulus payments are expected to resume throughout the next month or two.

US citizens both in the States and abroad can check the status of their third stimulus check on the IRS Get my Payment page.

As an expat, you will get your payments automatically if you have already received the first two rounds of stimulus payments and/or have eFiled your 2020 tax return already.

March 10, 2021

The House passed the coronavirus relief bill. This means the next round of Stimulus Payments will be $1,400 per eligible taxpayer depending on your Adjusted Gross Income similar to the previous round. There will also be new tax breaks for unemployment compensation and increases in the Child Tax Credit.

President Biden is expected to sign the bill within the next couple of days.

March 1, 2021

The House passed President Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package on Saturday. This bill is called the American Rescue Plan which includes:

  • $1,400 checks for Americans with their AGI under $75,000
  • $2,800 for married couples who file jointly and have their AGI under $150,000.
  • Tax breaks for families
  • A $400 per week supplemental unemployment bonus
  • Money for vaccine distribution
  • Funding to aid US schools, state and local governments

Stimulus payments will reduce for incomes above the thresholds.

Now the American Rescue Plan bill being moved to the Senate. Most likely the senators will cast their vote around March 6.

The IRS depends on your most recent tax return to see how much stimulus payment you can receive this year. Therefore, we urge you to file your US expat taxes as soon as possible!

February 12, 2021

The latest stimulus check news show President Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package is having Congress push for the release of checks of up to $1400.

It is likely that some Americans won’t receive a check or get a lesser amount due to their adjusted gross income (AGI). Biden specifically said ‘’We need to target that money. So folks making $300,000 don’t get any windfall.’’

Therefore we can assume high-income earners, and possibly people who make over $75,000 in AGI will receive a reduced check or none at all.

While it’s too early to say, recent reports are saying if Congress passes the stimulus bill by end of February, the checks could arrive by March 12. Yet, it can still take a while to receive the funds. As many expats have already shared with us, they are still waiting for their first and second checks.

Second Stimulus Checks

A second wave of US Stimulus checks for Americans abroad have already been sent out in early January 2021 of $600 or more – half the amount of the first check. Then, each qualifying dependent (ie: child under 17 with a US Social Security number) will get $600, which will be added onto the taxpayer’s check.

How Expats Can Get the Second Check

If you received your first stimulus check:

By Direct Deposit: The second check should arrive the same way with no further required action on your side.

By paper mail: The IRS may reopen the Get My Payment Tool so you can add in your US bank account details for a direct deposit. Don’t have a US bank account as an American expat? Try to get one using an online bank service such as Transferwise. Please note, while Transferwise did work for a majority of Stimulus Payments in 2020, in some instances, it did reject some IRS payments due to fraud protection measures.

MyExpatTaxes – Second Stimulus Check for Expats

If you need to catch up on your taxes as a US citizen abroad to receive the first and second stimulus payments, you can utilize our Streamlined Procedure expat tax software.

Additional Stimulus Check Information

Who is Eligible for Stimulus Checks?

To qualify for receiving stimulus checks:

  • Must be a citizen of the United States or Green card holder
  • File a 2020 tax return if you have not filed a 2019 tax return last year
  • Have a Social Security Number
  • Have adjusted gross income up to: $75,000 for individuals, $112,500 for head of household filers, and $150,000 for married couples filing joint returns. Above these thresholds means the stimulus check will be reduced.

Social Security recipients who are not typically required to file a tax return do not need to take any action. They will receive their checks however they normally receive their benefits. This could be through direct deposit or paper check.

stimulus checks for american expats

When Am I Getting my Stimulus Check?

The IRS has a Get My PaymentPortal. This portal confirms if and how the IRS sent your payment(s). By using the portal, expats can confirm their mailing address, and bank details (if they have a US bank account), to see when they are getting their stimulus checks.

If you don’t have a US bank account, Transferwise is a great option.

Waiting on Your Stimulus Check?

We’re sorry to hear. Getting a stimulus check can be tricky as an expat. Our survey back in May showed that expat survey-takers’ top concerns for not receiving their checks were:

  • The check was sent to an address from the 2018 tax return, and not the recipient’s current address.
  • The IRS says the check was sent but the recipient didn’t receive it.
  • They were unable to deposit the check through a foreign bank account.

We’re going to be hosting a webinar in March about stimulus checks and tax changes for the coming year. Stay tuned for more info!

Qualify for Both 2020 and 2021 Checks

Didn’t qualify for the first stimulus checks? You might be able to this year as an expat! Each value of stimulus checks comes from calculating previous years’ tax returns. Therefore, some US citizens weren’t eligible to receive the check.

However, for US citizens abroad, previous tax returns can be re-evaluated for 2021. This is based on your 2020 income. But, it’s only if you earned less income in 2020 or claimed the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion to lessen adjusted gross income. Be sure to take advantage of our expat tax software to back claim the stimulus checks!

Additionally, if you need to file an expat tax return for tax season 2020 and normally don’t need to file, you can be eligible for something else: The Recovery Rebate Credit. This is only possible if you did not receive the full $1200 stimulus check amount. You can claim the recovery rebate on one of the MyExpatTaxes’ forms found in our software. Then the credit will either lower the amount of US taxes you owe or increase the tax refund amount.

2020 Stimulus Checks Information

As of April 15, 2020, the IRS launched the first of two web portals to allow all US citizens (at home and abroad) to get their payment information to the IRS. Make sure you use the right one.

The Non-filer portal allows Americans to register for stimulus payments if they normally would not file a 2018/2019 expat tax return because they have less worldwide income (before expenses, tax treaties, and deductions) than the filing requirement amounts.

As of November 21, 2020 the Non-filer portal has been closed. Expats may be eligible to claim the stimulus checks by filing a 2020 tax return.

File and Receive Stimulus Checks!

It’s a given that with correct bank and tax information, the IRS can easily send you stimulus checks as an American living abroad. We at MyExpatTaxes can help you become and stay tax compliant enough so receiving future checks will be a breeze.

Be sure to sign in to our software and be done with your expat taxes so you can receive your economic payment relief check! We provide the most accurate US expat tax software, guaranteed.

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