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Is the second stimulus check half the size of the first? Not for everyone


Your second stimulus check could be about half the size of the first, but there̵

7;s more.

Sarah Tew / CNET

A second stimulus control for up to $ 600 per single taxpayer and $ 1,200 per married couple it may seem Incentive package of $ 900 billion gives you only half of the total payment of the first stimulus check. For some people that may be the case. But for many, the second stimulus control math is not that simple.

It is true that the $ 600 per adult authorized by the new incentive account is undoubtedly less money than the first stimulus check, with a maximum of $ 1,200 per eligible adult. But the end language of the incentive bill also has $ 600 each child dependent, instead of $ 500. That small increase in the amount that a qualifying child represents will affect the total amount of your second stimulus control, which we’ve outlined in a handy table below.

Calculating the amount you would eventually receive from one proposal or the other depends on one complex formula (and your adjusted gross income). Here’s how the second stimulus control caps would work for you and your family. This story was recently updated with new details.

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$ 1,200 vs. $ 600: What’s the Difference for a Second Stimulus Check?

Its worth repeating. Dividing the amount you received for your first stimulus check in half isn’t necessarily the best way to calculate how much you could get with a second direct payment. The table below gives you an idea of ​​how much a household could get if it had the full benefit of one second stimulus control.

As a reminder, the $ 600 per dependent child only applies to children under 17 years of age. You may not receive the full total per adult.

Stimulus Check Money: $ 600 vs. $ 1,200

$ 600 stimulus check ($ 600 per child 16 or younger) $ 1,200 stimulus check ($ 500 per child 16 or younger)
Individual taxpayer, no dependent children

$ 600 maximum

$ 1,200 maximum

Head of household, 1 dependent child

$ 1,200 maximum

$ 1,700 maximum

Head of family, 2 dependent children

$ 1,800 maximum

$ 2,200 maximum

Head of household, 3 dependent children

$ 2,400 maximum

Up to $ 2,700

Married couple, no dependent children

$ 1,200 maximum

$ 2,400 maximum

Married couple, 1 dependent child

$ 1,800 maximum

$ 2,900 maximum

Married couple, 2 dependent children

$ 2,400 maximum

$ 3,400 maximum

Married couple, 3 dependent children

Up to $ 3,000

Up to $ 3,900

What if there is a $ 1,200 stimulus check in 2021?

Like a $ 1,200 stimulus check will take place in 2021, or maybe, in case you want to play a hypothetical game, we did some math based on previous proposals about how much more incentive money is coming, people may be able to see if certain rules change.

More people qualify as dependents: The Democratic proposal for the next bill expands the definition of “dependent“to record anyone you can claim on your tax return – such as children over 16 years old and adults in your care. Based on current amounts, that’s $ 500 more per person you support, with possibly no limit. If you had one dependent who qualified in the first round and three who qualified in the second round, that would make your family $ 1,000 more if you had no other changes.

Child dependent persons receive more money: The most recent White House proposal would keep the same age limit for kids, but double the payout to $ 1,000. So if you have a dependent, your second check could be $ 500 higher.


The amount of incentive money you could get in a second round of checks is still undetermined.

James Martin / CNET

You get another dependent: If you’ve had or adopted a child, you may see $ 500 to $ 1,000 more, depending on the final bill.

Your employment status has changed: If you became unemployed or your wages fell this year, you could lower your AGI, which is used to determine payment. For example, if you got a partial payment on the first check, you can get a full payment when you are no longer employed.

You are married: Depending on several variables, including your spouse’s application status and any new dependents, a change in marital status may result in greater control. For example, if you were single and are filing alone, you have up to $ 1,200. Married, you could be eligible for up to $ 2,400 since then the IRS formula used to determine your total incentive money is based on your combined family income.

You now share custody of a child: If you meet certain qualifications, you and the other parent of the child both can claim extra incentive money. That means you could get an additional $ 500 on the second check, especially if something in your situation has changed from when you filed your 2018 tax return through 2019. The fee for the second check will be based on your most recent tax return .

A rule change regarding detained people becomes permanent: A federal judge has decided the IRS owes incentive checks to eligible prison inmates. If the judgment is valid, these people may be entitled to a second stimulus check of up to $ 1,200, as well as the first. That’s a potential total of $ 2,400 for individuals, with more potential money for dependents.

You are an “undocumented immigrant”: Democrats propose that Undocumented US residents should be eligible for incentives money if they pay taxes, as part of the Heroes’ Law this has passed through the House of Representatives in two forms, but that is not a law. If that qualification goes through, it could mean that some people who did not receive a check under the CARES law could get a second check. If it is retroactive, individuals may be eligible for both payments. This, along with the rest of the stimulus control qualifications, depends on the details of a new law.

There’s a potential of $ 1,200 to $ 2,400 for this group, with more for dependents. For a married couple with two young children who did not receive the first check, the second round could potentially net you as much as $ 3,400.

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