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8 ways the new stimulus check could be much, much more than a $ 1,400 payment


Maybe more incentive money will come to you. Here are all the ways you can see a bigger third pay.

Sarah Tew / CNET

The $ 1,400 stimulus check as part of $ 1.9 trillion COVID-19 emergency looks good. But for many individuals and families, that dollar figure is just the baseline for what they could expect to receive, with all the changes to the qualification guidelines in the stimulus package now with the Senate(Here’s how the The $ 1,400 check is comparable to the $ 600 and $ 1,200 payments

Congress would of course still have the requirements for the third incentive paymentFor now, the details are solid enough to project how your household’s check could expand with a third check, beyond just the $ 1,400 maximum per person(By the way, extensions to it child tax credit could add another bonus, and some Californians could see an additional check for $ 600.)

Among the qualifications that are changing income limits and who qualifies as a dependentBelow we’ve outlined eight factors to consider when determining how many stimulation money to be expected (or if you need to prepare for the possibility of not being eligible at allWe will walk you through some hypothetical situations. This story was recently updated.

1. $ 1,400 for dependents means your total check can be multiplied

While dependent persons don’t get their own checks, they do count towards the family total. In the first check, children 16 and under charged $ 500 each, while adults charged up to $ 1,200. The second check was $ 600 payable to children, the same as their parents or guardians.

The third stimulus check is set to increase the figure to $ 1,400 each for everyone (adults would still be calculated on a sliding scale based on adjusted gross income, or AGISo in theory a family of four who met all income requirements could receive up to $ 5,600 (calculate your estimate here)

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Stimulus Check # 3: What You Need to Know


2. Age does not matter, so there may be more dependents

Who counts as a dependentThe next stimulus package could have a different answer. For the first and second checksDependent person means any child aged 16 or younger. But the new definition would include everyone you can claim your tax returns – such as children over 16, older adults in your care and dependent children of any age with disabilities. If approved, it would make your family more money by increasing the number of eligible dependents.

3. Babies and other additions: Does your household have a new dependent since last year?

If you’ve had or adopted a new child, an older relative moves in with you, or if you’ve become a dependent for any other reason since the last round of incentive payments, you may see a larger check.

4. Citizenship: Are you a “mixed status” family? You may qualify for a stimulus check

Under Biden’s incentive plan, more families considered “mixed status” qualify for a stimulus check. The second payment broadened the rules for the first check by making it possible for families where a spouse is a US citizen to qualify for a check. Biden’s proposal would work with more scenarios; For example, it could potentially raise cash for incentive vouchers for a household of children of US citizens with non-citizen parents. It is not clear whether this will continue as part of the final bill.


Have you recently gotten married or had a baby? That could bring in more money in a third stimulus payment – possibly as early as March.

Sarah Tew / CNET

5. Employment: If your status changes, it may affect your payment

If you became unemployed or your wages fell this year, you could lower your adjusted gross income, which is used to determine your payment. For example, if you received a partial payment on the first or second check, a third check can earn you a full payment when you are no longer employed.

6. Marital status: what happens if you are married and submit a joint application for the first time?

Depending on several variables, including your spouse’s application status and any new dependents, a change in marital status can result in greater scrutiny. For example, if you were single and filed alone, you would have received up to $ 1,200 the first time. Married, you have since become eligible for up to $ 2,400 the IRS formula used to determine your total incentive money is based on your joint family income.

If a third stimulus check comes in for $ 2,000 per person, your spouse can double it to $ 4,000. Alternatively, if your AGI staff would you only have one partial stimulus check payment If you are self-filing with a spouse with an income below the threshold, you may be eligible for the entire check total.


With a third check, your incentive money can add up.

Sarah Tew / CNET

7. Custody: Do you share a dependent? It can make a difference

If you meet certain qualifications, you and the other parent of the child both can claim extra incentive moneyThat means you can get an extra $ 500 or more on the third stimulus check, especially if something in your situation has changed between the time you file your 2019 tax return and your future 2020 return. would be based on your most recent tax return

8. Prisoners: a change can become permanent

That has been determined by a federal judge the IRS owes incentive checks to eligible prison inmatesIf the ruling is in effect, these people may be entitled to a third stimulus check and the first two, with possibly more money for dependents.

Note: Stimulus checks do not go to undocumented residents

Democrats have suggested that in the past Undocumented US residents are eligible for incentives money if they pay tax (via an ITIN number). This provision was part of the Heroes Act this passed the House of Representatives in two forms, but did not become law.

At the third check, you must have a Social Security number to qualify, or to be part of one mixed family status where a household member has a social security number, if approved. On February 4, the Senate passed an amendment blocking stimulus payments from undocumented immigrants. While the amendment is not binding, it seems unlikely that senators would change their position now that they are known.

Here’s everything else, you need to be aware of stimulus checks today, including how to claim any missing incentive money on your 2020 tax return and how contact the IRS about your missing payment

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