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The American Rescue Plan Act Of 2021 and How It Affects Owner-Operator Truck Drivers

Updated: Sep 19, 2022

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, also called the COVID-19 Stimulus Package, is a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill passed by Congress and signed into law by the President on March 11, 2021. The Act builds upon many of the measures in the CARES Act and the Consolidated Appropriations Act. The team at ATBS has read through the Act and has summarized some of the key pieces of information that will have the greatest impact on owner-operator truck drivers.

As you know, legislation surrounding the economic recovery of the Coronavirus pandemic has changed significantly over the past year and will likely continue to do so. We will continue to update this article with more information as it changes or becomes available.

If you are a current client and have questions about this legislation, please contact your ATBS Business Consultant. If you are not yet a client and are interested in learning more about how ATBS can help you file your taxes and manage your trucking business, please give our enrollment team a call at 866-920-2827.

Third Round of Stimulus Payments

The third round of stimulus checks will be $1,400 per adult and qualifying dependent. These payments are set to arrive in March of 2021 at the earliest. Eligible individuals must have a valid identification number, which can be a SSN, Adoption TIN. Additionally, members of the Armed Forces must have at least one taxpayer listed on the return with a qualifying identification number to qualify. To check on the status of your stimulus payment, visit

Individuals who are ineligible to receive the payment include:

  • Individuals without Social Security Numbers

  • Individuals filing as Single with AGI above $80,000

  • Individuals filing as Head of Household with AGI above $120,000

  • Married Filing Jointly Couples with AGI above $160,000

  • Nonresident aliens

  • Individuals who are claimed as a dependent of another individual

  • Individuals who were deceased prior to 1/1/2021

  • Estates and Trusts

One of the most significant changes in this round of stimulus payments is that dependents of any age qualify for the stimulus. That includes college-age dependents and disabled adult dependents. The 2020 tax return will be used to qualify for the stimulus payment. If a 2020 tax return has not yet been filed, then the 2019 return will be used.

Taxpayers that claim qualifying children or adult dependents on their tax return will receive the stimulus check for those dependent(s). If an individual files their own return and was not claimed as a dependent by anyone else, then they will receive the stimulus check.

The phase-out for single taxpayers begins at AGI levels of $75,000 - $80,000. At $80,000 the stimulus is fully phased out. Married filing jointly taxpayers phase-out begins with AGI of $150,000 - $160,000.

Child Tax Credit Changes

The American Rescue Plan Act includes an increase to the existing Child Tax Credit. For those unfamiliar with the Child Tax Credit, it provides dollar-for-dollar tax savings for taxpayers with children under the age of 17. The credit amount is $2,000 per child for 2020. During 2021, and for 2021 only at this time, the American Rescue Plan Act increases the Child Tax Credit in two ways:

  1. For children ages 6-17, the credit increases by $1,000 for a total annual credit of $3,000 per dependent child.

  2. For children under age 6, the credit increases by $1,600 for a total annual credit of $3,600 per dependent child.

Additionally, the Act provides that a portion of the credit be issued during the calenda