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$ 1,400 stimulus check formula: The fine print that can change everything



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The formula of the stimulus check can change, as can the amount you receive with a third payment.

Sarah Tew / CNET

With all the expected changes in one possiblethird stimulus check, perhaps the most important have to do with how the IRS determines how much money your household would receive. Right away Maximum of $ 1,400 payment per adult, and an extra $ 1,400 per dependent, the equation used by the IRS plays a critical role in whether you get a big payment partial amount or no stimulus control at allFor example, a family of four could potentially get $ 5,600, up from the up to $ 2,400 raised by the $ 600 second check spread in December.

The last equation that determines the magnitude of a third stimulus check (here’s how soon it could come) will not be final until President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 relieves the bill is approvedBut we expect hard income limits that exclude some people who have received stimulus money in the first two stimulation rounds in 2020.

We explain more below. Meanwhile, here are the the most important things to know about incentive payments right now, including what’s happening as a third check comes in the middle of tax seasonThis story is regularly updated.

How the stimulus check formula works

Before explaining how a possible third stimulus check can change the equation and what the outcome would mean for you, here’s how it works. You can qualify for a stimulus check if you have a non-filer who does not pay taxBut in general, your tax return is one of the most important factors in determining the sum of your stimulus control. The other factors include your adjusted gross income, or AGI, and the stimulus control formula.

The main variables that are plugged into the stimulus formula are:

  • Your AGI per your 2019 or 2020 federal tax returns
  • Upper limits for single taxpayers, heads of household (eg A single with at least one child) and married couples filing jointly.
  • Number eligible dependents you claim.
  • “Decrease” or “Phase Out” – the amount that your total would decrease for every $ 1,000 you earn above the income threshold that would qualify you for the full amount of the check. In other words, this part of the equation calculates a partial payment if you don’t qualify for the full amount.


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Here’s how the third stimulus check could change the equation

The recent proposal to “ target ” the $ 1,400 incentive check would stop top earners from receiving a partial payment. If the proposal is passed, the qualifications will be:

  • The full amount of $ 1,400 if you earn below $ 75,000 (single taxpayer); $ 112,500 (householder); $ 150,000 (married)
  • Disqualified for $ 100,000 (Single); $ 150,000 (householder); $ 200,000 (married)
  • The phase-out percentage has been increased to maintain this upper limit
  • These high earners wouldn’t receive partial checks, even if they have dependents

The fine print for dependents is important

With the previous two incentive checks approved in March as part of the CARES law and then in December, it was possible to get a partial payment even if you exceeded the maximum income limit – as you had dependents. For example, say a married couple with one AGI of $ 200,000 claims two dependents. With a $ 1,400 stimulus check using the previous formula, that family can still get a check for $ 600.

That’s because the previous formula starts with the largest amount you would be eligible for (say, $ 1,400 per single taxpayer or $ 2,800 for joint filers) and adds $ 1,400 for each eligible dependent. Then it lowers the total possible amount according to your AGI and the reduction percentage.

It’s a bit like starting a test with a perfect score of 100 points and subtracting every point you “miss”, instead of starting with zero points and adding them all up at the end of the test.

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Measuring your stimulus check payment is not an easy task.

Angela Lang / CNET

But in this case, the dependents you mention can start you with a higher value, say 110 points in our class example. So by the time you subtract “points”, you can still get more than people who have no dependents – even if your AGI is above the maximum limit. The more dependent children you have, the higher your starting value and the higher your ending value.

The proposal to target stimulation checks would trigger a solid cut-off, meaning it would start evaluating your AGI. If you exceed the limit, it doesn’t matter how many family members you have. You still don’t qualify for a check.

On the other hand, a family with a large number of dependents and an AGI within the limits can still potentially receive a large partial payment, as long as they fall below that absolute upper limit. You can experiment with our stimulus calculator

Phasing out and reduction rate: what you need to know

A sliding scale is involved in this. For example, during the second check whether you AGI were less than $ 75,000 if a single taxpayer (that means there are no children), you would receive the full amount stimulus check total $ 600If you made more than that, the size of your check would decrease to $ 87,000, after which you would no longer be eligible.

For the $ 1,400 stimulus check – note that this is subject to change – you may receive the full $ 1,400 if you earn less than $ 75,000 per year (your AGI as the sole taxpayer), with proceeds diminishing to a close of $ 100,000 . You would receive a partial check for an AGI between $ 75,000 and $ 99,900. Again, you can see the differences in our $ 1,400 stimulus check calculators

For heads of household and married couples with dependents, these other members of the household are an important part of the equation – up to a point (see above).

To learn more, here are the top things to do know about stimulus controlsAnd watch how SSDI Recipients and Checks older adults and retirees and people who are not US citizens or Americans who do not live in the US may also qualify, including families with citizenship of mixed status


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