Let’s imagine for a moment that Congress is about to approve aas part of the next . In reality, that doesn’t look particularly hopeful for this month, but a of $1,200 could . When and if another direct payment does get the go-ahead, the fact of the matter is that you might not get as much as you did in the first.
Why’s that? There could be several reasons, ranging from specific(we provide some examples) to changes in your own life situations.
We’ll walk you through what you need to know so you can start to mentally prepare. Keep in mind that you could also get a largerthan before and that some people will be . And here’s where the . This story updates often.
This is the first thing you should know
Some lawmakers are qualified adults and children $600 apiece, The Washington Post reported.to make it into the . Last week, the White House counteroffered a different proposal that would give
Right now it isn’t considered likely that a final COVID-19 relief bill will pass with any stimulus check at all. But it if were to pass now or in the future, households would automatically get a smaller check than before. Remember, too, that even if a bill passes with a $1,200 maximum per adult, there may still be reasons you might see less money for your household.
In the meantime, here’s how the new $600 stimulus check proposal could shake out for you and your loved ones.
Stimulus money: $600 versus $1,200 maximum
|$600 stimulus check||$1,200 stimulus check|
|Individual taxpayer, no children||$600 maximum||$1,200 maximum|
|Individual taxpayer, 1 qualified child||$1,200 maximum||$1,700 maximum|
|Individual taxpayer, 2 qualified children||$1,800 maximum||$2,200 maximum|
|Married couple, no children||$1,200 maximum||$2,400 maximum|
|Married couple, 1 qualified child||$1,800 maximum||$2,900 maximum|
|Married couple, 2 qualified children||$2,400 maximum||$3,400 maximum|
If you began a new job or earned more money overall
Your, is a term normally used on the IRS’ yearly tax return to describe your total income, including assets (like stock sales, credits and deductions or an inheritance, for example) that fall outside your usual paycheck. You didn’t get the first stimulus check if your AGI went above a certain income limit, and that would probably be true of any future stimulus payment.
There’s a direct correlation between, and any change in your AGI could increase or reduce the size of your check.
For instance, if you received the full $1,200with the first stimulus check because your AGI was under the income limit, but then you got a promotion or a new job that pays more (congratulations), . Or you may have maxed out the threshold and . All told, this is a “good” problem to have.
If new changes to stimulus rules would affect you
Since the terms of the— and likely won’t be until the president signs a bill into law — it isn’t clear how they may or may not change. There’s also the way the IRS may interpret the law and act or withhold stimulus money. For example, after the CARES Act was signed in March, the IRS first sent , then asked for it back and stopped issuing new checks. A recent ruling from a federal judge has started them up again.
If this law, and others regarding, were to change, someone who was eligible to receive the first payment could be disqualified for a second check.
If you have fewer child dependents now than before
Age is an important factor in how much stimulus money a household gets, but maybe not the way you think. Older adults are in many cases entitled to a stimulus check. In the first round of direct payments, households were given an extra $500 for each “child dependent.” This is a legal minor who is 16 years old or younger.
Interestingly, the IRS’ definition of a(23 or under, and financially reliant on the tax filer) isn’t the same one used for stimulus checks.
If the rules stay the same (and there’s), any older dependents you claimed for the first check may have aged out of eligibility, which means you could get $500 less.
If you claim your dependents differently, or owe child support
For the most part, you can use any stimulus check you receive as you like. However, one exception spelled out in thehad to do with child support. If you owe child support to your kid’s other parent, you may have some or all of your stimulus check garnished. If you received an extra $500 for the way you and the other parent filed a dependency claim (it’s complicated), and then changed how you filed in your 2019 tax reserve (for example, if the other parent gained full custody), you may not get the extra $500. Here’s .
If you’ve fallen behind on payments to creditors or private banks
Normally, your stimulus money can’t be garnished to pay rent or federal tax. There are a few exceptions, however, including the child support situation above. If these rules don’t change with the next stimulus bill, then there are two groups —— who could legitimately seize all or part of your money from the first, and likely a second, check.
If you moved and the IRS doesn’t have your address
If you moved as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and haven’t(a good step to take), the agency may not know where to send a paper check or . If you received your first stimulus delivery through direct deposit, the IRS will likely go that route again. If you changed bank accounts, you may or need to .
If there’s an error — you’ll need to file a claim for a catch-up payment
Itand could easily happen with the next. Clerical errors and complex rules might result in your household getting less money in a future second stimulus check than you might be entitled to — for you . Or maybe you don’t normally need to file taxes and wind up missing a rare extra step you need to take. Perhaps you moved (see above).
Whatever the reason, if some issue prevents you from receiving all or part of your stimulus money, you should be able to claim a rebate. The IRS is currently sorting throughfor a wide range of groups and will likely do so again if .
If someone in your household has died since your last tax filing
(Our condolences.) If your household received a stimulus check that included a spouse or child dependent who died between your last tax filing and the receipt of the second stimulus check, the IRS is likely to send a smaller sum if your tax filing status, deductions, credits or AGI changed. If the person is recently deceased (by the time the next check arrives), the IRS will ask for the payment to be returned.
For more on stimulus, read what President-elect Joe Biden could doby the time he becomes president Jan. 20, and .