As you read this, negotiators are poring over the fine print of, one that could include a of up to . We’ve got before the , and at this point it could go either way.
But, we already can guess a fair bit about potential changes to the legislation or to your life circumstances that could change the size of your second check from .
We also know exactly, which can help you . Any laid out in another bill (and we think that will happen) could make an impact. We’ll walk you through everything you should know about stimulus money. This story updates often with new information.
6 ways you could get more money with a new payment
If approved as part of an economic rescue bill, a second stimulus check is expected to roughly follow the guidelines used for theand perhaps include changes from , possibly even the . For most people, the total amount you’d be likely to receive is based on your , and .
Here are the scenarios in which you could receive more money from a second payment:
More people qualify as a dependent: The Democratic proposal for the next bill expands the definition of “” to include on your tax returns — such as children over 16 and adults under your care — so your number of dependents could increase.
Child dependents get more money: A recent White House proposal wouldfor children, but double the payout to $1,000.
Your employment status changed: If you become unemployed this year or your wages drop, that could affect your AGI, which is used to determine the payment.
You got married: Depending on several variables including your spouse’s filing status and new dependents, a change in marital status could result in a larger check.
You now share custody over a child: If you meet specific qualifications, you and the child’s other parent.
A rule permanently changes about people who are incarcerated: A federal judge has ruled that the IRS owes stimulus checks to inmates in prison who qualify. If the ruling stands, these people may be entitled to first and second stimulus checks.
Here are some potential scenarios for how the two different approaches could play out for families. You can use ourto get a more specific estimate for your particular situation.
Stimulus check calculations with dependents
|Scenario 1||Scenario 2||Scenario 3||Scenario 4|
|Tax filing status||Single||Head of household||Married||Married|
|2018 or 2019 tax AGI||$45,000||$60,000||$160,000||$190,000|
|ESTIMATED TOTAL WITH:|
|1 dependent under 17 ($1,000 total)||$2,200||$2,200||$2,900||$1,400|
|3 dependents under 17 ($3,000 total)||$4,200||$4,200||$4,900||$3,400|
|1 dependent of any age ($500 total)||$1,700||$1,700||$2,400||$900|
|3 dependents of any age ($1,500 total)||$2,700||$2,700||$3,400||$1,900|
How you could get less money with a next check
In the first round of stimulus checks, for most people, the IRS based the amount on their. But some Americans who qualified for a check experienced personal or financial changes after filing that would affect a future payment.
You might qualify for a smaller check if you:
Started a job or received higher pay: A change in your AGI, either because of a wage increase or a change in employment status, could lower the check’s size.
Have fewer qualified dependents: Congress could keep the restrictive dependent requirements of the CARES Act and any dependents you claim could age out of eligibility.
Owe child support: Under the CARES Act, the government will.
Could a change in my status affect payment of the first round of checks?
With the first checks, if your financial situation changed after you filed your 2018 or 2019 tax return, you can claim that additional amount on your 2020 tax return when you file in 2021, the IRS said. You’ll likely need to take an extra step to claim your credit — the IRS will post more details closer to tax season 2020.
Also, with the first round of payments, you won’t be required to pay back a stimulus payment if, based on your 2020 tax returns, you no longer qualify for the amount you received.
Is there anything I need to do before the IRS sends another payment?
If another stimulus payment is approved and you’re eligible, the IRS will send your check automatically. But there may be some things you can do to help make sure you receive your money quickly.
Register for direct deposit to your bank account: Direct deposit will be the fastest way to get your money. The IRS already has a system in place to electronically transfer the funds into your checking account, if you already provided those details andfor your first check or as part of filing your IRS tax return.
Look for the registration tool to reopen if another stimulus check is issued. If you don’t have a bank account, read on for other ways to prepare.
If you moved, you need to let the post office know: If you don’t have direct deposit, you’re most likely to receive a stimulus payment in the form of a physical check. The IRS will mail your check to your last known address, so If you’ve moved recently,.
Keep an eye on the mail: For the first stimulus payment, instead of a paper check, about 4 million people received a prepaidin the mail. This is money you can spend like cash on a debit card. The cards came in plain, unmarked envelopes that were prone to being tossed by mistake. When and if the time comes, you can sign up for a free USPS service to , so there are no surprises — or disappointments.
Beware of scams:, and it’s still ongoing as . Fraudsters prey on people they consider vulnerable. Knowing common attacks can help you recognize and avoid them. There’s no second stimulus check scheduled right now, but that won’t stop a scammer from trying to take advantage.
Looking for more stimulus check information? Read up on all the. If you’re still waiting for your first , here are , or has fallen through the cracks and .