Now that the election is over and Joe Biden is president-elect, the Senate and House of Representatives are returning to session to try to reach a bipartisan agreement on a new stimulus bill — and the second stimulus check that could come with it — before the end of the year.
A final package could include a second stimulus payment of up to $1,200, but we still don’t know when that could be sent, who would be eligible and who wouldn’t qualify for it. (Here’s how the IRS calculates payment amounts and the exceptions that could take away a stimulus check altogether.) But based on the proposals we’ve seen so far, we can make some educated guesses.
Your second stimulus check payment could be bigger
If approved as part of an economic rescue bill, a second stimulus check is expected to roughly follow the guidelines used for the first stimulus check passed in March as part of the CARES Act. It may also include changes from previous proposals, possibly even the most recent White House offering. For most people, the total amount you’re likely to receive is based on your adjusted gross income, or AGI, and other eligibility requirements.
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 “dependent” to include anyone you can claim 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: The most recent White House proposal would keep the same age restriction for children, but double the payout to $1,000.
Your employment status changed: If you become unemployed this year or your wages dropped, that could lower 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 of a child: If you meet specific qualifications, you and the child’s other parent may both be entitled to claim extra stimulus money.
A rule change concerning incarcerated people becomes permanent: 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 a second stimulus check.
You’re an “undocumented immigrant”: Democrats propose that undocumented US residents should be eligible for stimulus relief funds if they pay taxes, as part of the Heroes Act that passed the House of Representatives in two forms, but which is not law. If the qualification goes through, it could mean that some people who did not get a check as part of the CARES Act could get a second check. If it works retroactively, individuals may be eligible for both payments. This is contingent, along with the rest of the stimulus check qualifications, on the details of a new law.
Here are some potential scenarios for how the two different approaches could play out for families. You can use our stimulus check calculator to get a more specific estimate for your particular situation…..Read More>>