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$194M relief checks in 7 days

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$194M in relief checks in 7 days

VOLUNTEERS: Volunteers Tellas Betler, of Tumon, left; Bobby Goodson of Yigo, center; Nisha Danis of Tamuning; and Sam Singlas of Tamuning, far right; help out during the food drive at the Tamuning Senior Citizens Center April 19. Kevin Milan/The Guam Daily Post

Guam's economy is soon poised to get a spending boost from $194 million worth of financial aid from the federal government that will go into the pockets of families and individuals, thanks to the third economic impact payment for Guam residents.

The Department of Revenue and Taxation on Monday announced it has processed $194 million for payment to 74,500 households. EIP 3 will provide $1,400 for each eligible member of each Guam household.

Rev and Tax on Monday announced $33 million more in EIP payments as of Friday, raising the total to $194 million in just a week.

The federal government authorized Guam's plan to distribute the federal cash, altogether worth more than $241 million, by the time the processing is complete, for Guam families and individuals who are struggling to cope financially as a result of COVID-19's job losses, paycheck reductions and business closures or downsizing.

When Rev and Tax completes the processing of the EIP payments, paper checks will be cut and mailed by the Department of Administration which is a process that will take a few days to reach mailboxes. If tax filers provided bank routing and account information on their income tax return, they will simply wait for the money to pop up in their accounts.

The following EIP payments were processed, according to Rev and Tax.

• April 10: $ 53,839,424

• April 13: $ 35,127,767

• April 14: $ 37,061,899

• April 15: $ 35,019,483

• April 16: $ 33,464,386

EIP 3 was authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 which was signed into law by President Joseph Biden on March 11.

Most eligible people will get the third EIP payment automatically and won’t need to take additional action.

DRT will use available information to determine eligibility and issue the EIP 3 payment to eligible people who:

• have a validly filed and processed 2020 tax return

• have a validly filed and processed 2019 tax return if the 2020 return has not been submitted or is not validly processed yet

• did not file a 2020 or 2019 tax return but filed an Economic Impact Payment for NonFilers (EIP-NF) form on or before November 21, 2020.

• are federal benefit recipients as of Dec. 31, 2020 who do not usually file a tax return and received Social Security and Railroad Retirement Board benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Veteran benefit recipients in 2020.

DRT will use information from the IRS to determine eligibility for EIP 3 and has launched its EIP 3 Lookup Portal at www.myguamtax.com.

The EIP Lookup Portal will allow taxpayers to check the status of  their EIP 1, EIP 2, and EIP 3 Program payments.

The EIP payments and more than $600 million in unemployment aid for Guam have helped to cushion the impact to consumers of Guam's economic downturn as a result of the pandemic.

"It is absolutely noteworthy to recognize that the impact on local families and businesses and the overall decline in Guam’s economy would have been much worse if not for the mitigating effect of the billions of dollars of COVID-19- related funds from the U.S. federal government," according to an economic report from the University of Guam in December 2020, before the law that authorized EIP 3 was enacted under the Biden administration.

"These funds alone, more than $1.6 billion (as of December 2020), more than offset the loss of funds that visitors to Guam would have infused into the local economy, which we estimated to be $1.38 billion," according to the report.

Since the report, more unemployment aid funding, more than $600 million in direct assistance to the government of Guam and the EIP 3 money were just some of the different forms financial aid the federal government has provided or is providing to Guam.

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