California has more than 123,000 unspent stimulus checks, most in U.S., report says

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A stimulus check is seen in a file photo. (Getty Images)

When it comes to stimulus checks that haven’t been cashed yet, California has more than 100,000 — by far the highest number in the country.

That’s according to the Boston Herald, which recently obtained the data from the IRS through a Freedom of Information Act request.

The federal tax agency told the Boston-area newspaper that there are a total of 1,245,339 unspent payments, which represent “the number of people who either refused to accept, paid back or not cashed the stimulus checks they received from the IRS as a result of the CARES Act that was signed into law on March 27, 2020.”

The IRS’s website has a section specifically for stimulus recipients who wish to return the unused funds.

With payments maxing out at $1,200 per person for eligible individuals under the first COVID-19 economic relief package, that’s about $1.7 billion in uncashed payments, the Herald reported.

California, which boasts the highest population in the U.S., has the most unspent stimulus checks of any state with 123,265, followed by Florida with 92,018, the record request showed. Texas, New York and Pennsylvania have the next highest outstanding economic impact payments.

Those states also represented the top five in the number of payments received.

The IRS data goes through March 30, which was the latest accounting available, according to the Herald.

Still, the number of stimulus checks that weren’t cashed in the Golden State constitutes just a small fraction of the total Californians received.

A state-by-state breakdown on the agency’s website showed that — as of the last update on June 26 — 17,692,203 checks had been disbursed to residents in California totaling almost $29 billion.

On top of that, the IRS also sent out letters in September to 9 million non-tax filers, including nearly 1.2 million in California, urging them to check their eligibility as funds went unclaimed.

Congress also passed two more federal coronavirus aid bills that included economic impact payments, one under President Trump last December and another under President Biden in March. Those packages included payouts of up to $600 and $1,4000 respectively for qualifying individuals.

The IRS is still in the process of distributing the third round of stimulus checks, with almost 2 million more going out this week. Since the rollout began on March 12, nearly 167 million payments with a total value of about $391 billion have been disbursed to Americans, according to the agency’s latest figures.

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July 23 2021 05:30 pm

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