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Stimulus check details we know today: New payment size, timeline, qualifications

The U.S. government has been sending checks — or direct deposits — to most Americans to help people survive financially this winter until coronavirus vaccines are more widely available.
Stimulus check details we know today: New payment size, timeline, qualifications
We also explain how new income limits could “target” the payment and change the stimulus formula in multiple ways, which might result in some people getting a lot more money this time around and others getting a smaller check — or no money at all. The situation around dependents is also expected to transform, potentially bringing your family more cash, and another qualifying group could become eligible, too. This story was recently updated.
A bipartisan deal signed by President Trump in late December provided $600 “Economic Impact Payments” to adults with annual incomes up to $75,000, plus another $600 per child. As part of the Trump stimulus package, some Americans earning more than $75,000 will also receive money if they meet certain qualifications outlined below.
Looking to make good on President Joe Biden’s promise to “act fast,” the House of Representatives is filling in the details on Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus plan, including a third stimulus check for up to $1,400 per person, $400 weekly bonus checks for unemployed Americans and a possible minimum wage increase to $15 per hour. The goal: to sign the stimulus bill into law by March 14 using a powerful tool to fast-track approval.

The confluence of tax season with a third stimulus check is a huge part of the conversation. The bottom line is that the IRS would likely base your total on income from either your 2020 or 2019 tax returns, whichever it has most recently on file at the time of payment. However, there are some important details that need to be confirmed about what happens if you qualify for the full $1,400 based on your 2020 taxes, but your check was issued based on your 2019 taxes, and when you’d have to claim the difference.

A lot could change between now and then, including any of the details that have emerged so far about a third stimulus check. Right now, we have an idea of how quickly the IRS could start sending the new, $1,400 stimulus payment, and what happens if it lands in the middle of tax season, especially if the IRS uses your 2020 tax return to determine your payment.
The COVID-19 stimulus bill could clear the House of Representatives by this month and then go to the Senate for approval, if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats have their way, before Congress sends to Biden to approval by March 14. If the Democrats’ plan to use a powerful political tool works, a third stimulus check could conceivably arrive later in March for the first wave of recipients. But whenever the bill does pass (assuming that happens), it doesn’t mean everyone would get their funds immediately.

There are many variables that could affect you personally. For example, the 2020 tax season could have a dramatic effect on how and when you get your next payment ( see above) — we’ll just have to see how it all pans out. Meanwhile, we’ve mapped out some dates the IRS and Treasury could start sending the next stimulus check, depending on who you are.

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