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The final $1,400 stimulus checks will go out in 2022 to newly eligible taxpayers—parents of newborns

Fortune logo Fortune 12/1/2021 Lance Lambert
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The unprecedented economic crisis presented by the COVID-19 pandemic forced policy makers to get creative—leading to the advent of stimulus checks. In all, three rounds of checks were issued during the crisis.

The third round of those direct payments went out back in the spring after President Joe Biden signed into law the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan. That $1,400 check—the largest of the three rounds—was presumably the end of stimulus checks, right? Well, sort of. While the strong economic recovery makes it unlikely that Congress would pass another round of stimulus checks anytime soon, the Internal Revenue Service hasn't actually completed sending out the third round of Economic Impact Payments: The last of the $1,400 checks will go out when eligible taxpayers file their 2021 tax return next spring.

Who is owed these final stimulus checks?

According to reporting by Insider and Fortune, another $1,400 stimulus check would go out to eligible parents of 2021 newborns once they file their tax returns next year. Eligibility for that third round of direct payment issued earlier this year was based on the last tax return on file—so it didn’t factor in 2021 newborns. That’s why the check will get applied to parents’ and guardians’ 2021 tax returns.

However, parents would still need to meet the income eligibility requirements. To get the check, 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.

Just how many households are still owed a $1,400 stimulus check? It's likely in the millions—but we won't have a better ballpark until we find out birth totals for 2021.

Counter to early predictions that the pandemic would cause a baby boom, births actually fell during the pandemic. In 2020, there were 3.61 million U.S. births—down from 3.75 million in 2019. Of course, the fact that pregnancies are usually in the nine-month range means that if the pandemic truly did spur a "baby bust" we wouldn't fully see it materialize until the 2021 birth totals roll in.

This story was originally featured on Fortune.com

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