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Monday, August 10, 2020

Could you get the whole $1,200 stimulus check? Here are some potential calculations

If a second stimulus check heads your way, could you get the full $1,200 amount?

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Angela Lang/CNET

Washington lawmakers are still far apart in solidifying the next economic rescue bill, which, among other things, will determine who will qualify to receive a second stimulus check and how much of the $1,200 total eligible people can get.

The HEALS Act advanced by Senate Republicans last week could give some families a boost with an extra $500 for some dependents who were left out during the first round (more below). But before you start thinking of how you’ll spend your next relief check, keep this in mind. Even if the final rescue bill does follow the guidelines set by the first stimulus check, it doesn’t automatically mean that you’ll be able to get the full $1,200 amount, based on your income and other factors.

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So how much money could you count on in the next stimulus payment? We’ve calculated some scenarios below that could shed a light on your situation if and when a new bill goes through. Keep reading to learn everything we know right now. We update this story often as new information arises.

How much of the $1,200 second stimulus check could you get?

The Senate’s HEALS Act offers an upper limit of $1,200 per qualified person, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to get it all. Your tax filing status helps determine your share, among other factors.

The first stimulus check left out child dependents who were 17 or older and university students under 24 years old. The Republican plan would include $500 for dependents regardless of age, such as children and adults you claim in your tax filings.

The calculations can be tricky and depend on aspects of your 2019 taxes, such as your adjusted gross income and whether you filed as single, married or head of household. Though we can’t say for sure that the figures below follow the IRS’s calculation, this handy calculator that The Washington Post put together for the first stimulus check could shed some light on what you might get if the HEALS Act were to pass as is.

Stimulus check calculations

Scenario 1 Scenario 2 Scenario 3 Scenario 4
Filed 2019 taxes? Yes Yes No No
Filing status Single Head of household Married Married
2018 or 2019 tax AGI $80,000 $140,000 $130,000 $130,000
Dependents under 17 (CARES Act) 0 1 2 2
Dependents over 17 (HEALS Act) 0 0 0 2
Calculated check amount $950 $1,325 $3,400 $4,400

How the second stimulus check amount could change

At this point, it’s unlikely for the stimulus check cap to exceed $1,200, but it’s possible that individuals and families could get more money if more people qualify. Chances are low at this point, but here’s what the House of Representatives’ Heroes Act, which isn’t law, proposed:

  • Children and dependents: $1,200 payment (HEALS Act stipulates $500 apiece)
  • Families: Households would qualify for a maximum payment of $6,000 total, capped at five family members receiving $1,200 apiece.
  • People who aren’t US citizens: Noncitizens who file tax returns, pay taxes and otherwise comply with federal tax law using an individual taxpayer identification number instead of a Social Security number would qualify for a payment.
money-stimulus-cash-bills-dollars-9723

How much stimulus money you could get in August is still undecided.


James Martin/CNET

Previous stimulus check proposals

Before the Senate’s HEALS Act big reveal, these were the front-runner proposals that arose in recent months and how likely we thought they could be. Of course, another stimulus check still isn’t a done deal and anything could happen between now and the final bill.

Second stimulus check proposals

Amount Proposer Proposal details How likely?
$0 White House Payroll tax cut so workers keep more of their paychecks. Unlikely to replace stimulus check.
$0 White House Business tax break for companies who don’t furlough workers. Unlikely to replace stimulus check.
Less than $1,200 White House Smaller checks targeted at low-income Americans. Unlikely, but fewer may be eligible.
$1,200 House of Representatives Part of the Heroes Act passed by the House in May (not law). Likely, possibly with fewer people qualifying.
More than $1,200 White House Stated by President Donald Trump. Less likely, but possible.
$2,000 a month till economy recovers More than 150 economists “Emergency Money” payment for Americans to continue spending, one road to economic recovery. Open-ended payments unlikely to pass.
$2,000 a month till three months after pandemic ends Sen. Kamala Harris Payments through the end of the pandemic and three months after. Open-ended payments unlikely to pass.
$2,000 a month for up to 12 months Rep. Ro Khanna Monthly payments up to a year. The Senate is unlikely to agree to a sum this large, even with an expiration date.
$4,000 travel tax credit White House A temporary tax credit to cover individual and family travel expenses, meant to rev up local economies. Unlikely to replace stimulus check.

When will Congress reach a stimulus check decision?

The two sides are now working out the details of the new proposal, with an eye on the Aug. 7 deadline Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell set to pass another stimulus bill before a month-long recess. Here’s more on the timeline, including when the IRS could send the first checks.

If you’re still waiting for your first stimulus check, here are 10 possible reasons for a delaywhat you can do if you think your payment is lost or has fallen through the cracks and if you could receive two refund checks from the IRS.

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