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IRS unemployment refund update: Timeline for next round, direct deposit, mailed paper checks

Did you get a surprise tax refund this week? The Internal Revenue Service says it has sent 8.7 million payments related to 2020 unemployment compensation.

IRS unemployment refund update: Timeline for next round, direct deposit, mailed paper checks
[Source Photo: SashaKa/iStock]
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The check is in the mail—again.

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The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on Wednesday announced the timeline for the latest round of unemployment-related refund checks, marking the fourth batch of payments since distribution of the refunds began in late May.

As Fast Company reported earlier this week, many taxpayers who have been eagerly waiting for one of these payments said they had received a payment date of Wednesday, July 28, via their online tax transcript. The IRS confirmed yesterday that payments would begin on that date for taxpayers with direct deposit.

A number of happy recipients took to social media yesterday to announce that they had indeed received a direct deposit. As was the case with previous rounds, many had no idea the refund was coming.

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As for taxpayers expecting a check by mail, the IRS says those will start going out on Friday, July 30, so keep checking your mailbox.

The latest round includes payments to some 1.5 million taxpayers, the IRS says. The average check size is $1,600, slightly larger than the previous round, for which the average size was $1,265. The IRS has said it would start with the simplest of tax returns and then work its way through more complicated ones, which is likely why the checks are getting larger.

Refunds related to 2020 unemployment compensation are expected to continue throughout the summer. They are the result of changes to the tax law authorized in March by the American Rescue Plan Act, which excluded up to $10,200 in taxable income from unemployment compensation, leading to an overpayment for many Americans who filed their taxes early.

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So far, some 8.7 million unemployment-related refunds have been issued, and the IRS has said it identified 13 million tax returns that may have to be adjusted. Not all of those will result in a refund, however.

For the most part, taxpayers eligible for these refunds do not need to file an adjusted tax return. If you’re due an adjustment, the IRS will send you a letter within 30 days of the correction.

You can check out all the details here.

About the author

Christopher Zara is a senior staff news editor for Fast Company and obsessed with media, technology, business, culture, and theater. Before coming to FastCo News, he was a deputy editor at International Business Times, a theater critic for Newsweek, and managing editor of Show Business magazine

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