The IRS has sent out 5 million 'plus-up' stimulus payments so far. Others may be delayed

As the IRS wraps up sending out the third round of stimulus payments to eligible American households, it will continue to disburse the supplemental, "plus-up" payments, as the agency is calling them, in the weeks and months to come.

Plus-up payments are being sent to taxpayers who received their third stimulus check based on 2019 income, but qualify for more money based on their recently processed 2020 returns.

Approximately 5 million plus-up payments have been sent since April 1, worth an estimated $11 billion, the IRS confirmed to CNBC Make on Monday. The agency will continue to send out the payments in weekly batches as it receives and processes 2020 tax returns; it did not provide CNBC Make It with a more specific timeline.

As with the normal stimulus payments, taxpayers who file an e-return and receive their refund via direct deposit have gotten the plus-up payments more quickly than those filing paper returns.

Some taxpayers can expect delays

Receiving refunds and plus-up payments will take longer for some taxpayers than for others, as the IRS juggles processing returns, economic impact payments and other 2020 tax changes with a smaller staff due to Covid-19. It also has a backlog of returns from 2019 it is still working through.

Taxpayers still have two weeks to file their returns before the May 17 deadline, though filing sooner may get them any stimulus payment they are owed more quickly. They can also claim the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit on their returns if they are missing money from the first two rounds of stimulus payments.

Those who have recently filed can use the IRS's Where's My Refund tool to check their refund status. E-filers can expect a status update within 24 hours, while those who file a paper return may have to wait up to four weeks.

Altogether, the IRS has sent out approximately 163 million of the third stimulus payments, valued at $384 billion.

Don't miss:

  • How to get a stimulus payment if you don't have a permanent address or a bank account
  • Will there be a fourth stimulus check? Here's what we know so far

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