The infamous $2000 monthly stimulus check. Alright so you’ve probably heard about this new stimulus that’s been floating around the internet for a while now. If you’ve seen posts on Facebook or YouTube channels proclaiming the imminent arrival of a fourth economic stimulus check, treat them the say way you treat scam calls about a free vacation in the Bahamas: Unsubscribe and forget about them. Unless you enjoy wasting your time listening to people getting your hopes up for hours on end, when you could be watching me telling you the actual truth about what’s going on. Those posts are fake. What’s not fake is this: Nobody’s getting a fourth stimulus check unless Congress approves one, and Congress has shown little interest in approving one.

However, that hasn’t seemed to stop people from claiming that a fourth check is on its way. As USA Today reported, a January 28th Facebook video got more than 20,000 views when it proclaimed the following title, “SENDING OUT $2,000 CHECKS FOR EVERYONE! FOURTH STIMULUS CHECK”. YouTube videos got 40,000 views by promising that the checks will be deposited on February 9th. The IRS has squashed these rumors, with spokesperson Eric Smith telling USA Today that no fourth stimulus payment has been approved. None is likely to be approved, either, despite efforts by both advocacy groups and some lawmakers urging Congress to approve a fourth check, and even a recurring stimulus payment. The Biden administration is more focused on infrastructure spending and its potential impact on the economy right now, CBS News reported.

Meanwhile, many economists oppose any more government relief efforts, which they blame for contributing to high inflation. More importantly, many members of Congress are wary of approving any additional large spending packages, as evidenced by President Joe Biden’s inability to get his Build Back Better agenda approved. Now that we’ve gotten the doom and gloom out of the way, let me get into what you can be taking advantage of this year to make sure you can get some money back in your pockets.

Now although the final batch of stimulus checks were sent out last year, there are still tax credits and benefits from stimulus money you can take advantage of in 2022. The IRS began issuing Letter 6475 last month, a letter which details information about any recent stimulus payments received. Notice how I’m mentioning an official document from the IRS and not a fake Facebook post designed to deceive you all. Those who received economic impact payments last year will receive Letter 6475 this year. The IRS says the letter will help those who received stimulus payments to determine whether or not they are entitled to, and should, claim the recovery rebate credit on their taxes this year. Notably, Letter 6475 only applies to the third round of stimulus payments, stimulus checks that were paid out last year starting in March and through to December.

Both the third round of stimulus checks and the plus-up payments paid out in 2021 were considered advance payments of the 2021 recovery rebate credit that need to be claimed on a 2021 tax return. Special attention needs to be paid to the plus-up payments specifically, as these were extra payments issued to people whom the IRS felt were not paid enough in the first rounds of the stimulus payments. These plus-up payments were a correction the IRS made for people whom they believed were owed a larger payment based on their 2020 or 2019 tax returns, or based on information provided from other government agencies such as the Social Security Administration.

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