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Stimulus check details keep changing. These are the most important things you need to know today


It’s hard to keep track of the ins and outs of stimulus controls. We are here to help.

Angela Lang / CNET

Talks about stimulus controls heat up this month as the House of Representatives prepares to work on President Joe Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion COVID relief proposal, and the Democrats are looking for a legislative instrument called budget reconciliation to possibly speed up the passage of the bill. However, a group of 10 Senate Republicans (PDF) is also ready to present its own $ 600 billion economic bailout. And if you still wait money you owe on the first or second check, the IRS will begin processing federal tax returns Feb. 12so you can claim missing money as a tax credit.

The possibility of one third stimulus check in front of up to $ 1,400 has been on the horizon almost from the day Congress passed the second stimulus control end of 2020. We have information about it possible changes in qualifications Which can make your family more money, as some lawmakers would try limit the third incentive payment, what you need to know how quickly the IRS could send another check, and how possible get the next round of payments to your bank account faster.

Below we have broken down the main facts and developments of stimulus checks at the moment. This story was recently updated.

February will be a busy month for stimulus talks

This week, Congress begins work on the next round of economic and vaccine assistance at COVID. On Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer submitted a joint budget resolution, which is a first step towards a possible adoption of a invoice reconciliation. Budget reconciliation is an instrument used to speed up legislation by circumventing objections in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. This would allow it to succeed Biden’s Incentive Account in both houses by a simple majority of votes.

But 10 moderate Senate Republicans are also looking ahead in February with their plan for COVID aid, sending Biden a letter (PDF) on Jan. 31 urging him to discuss their proposal. The GOP plan would drop some of Biden’s funding projects to hit the $ 600 billion budget goal, including reducing the number of stimulus checks to $ 1,000. Biden met with senators on Monday, and the White House later released a statement saying, “ While there were areas of agreement, the president also reiterated his position that Congress should respond courageously and urgently, and noted many areas covered by the proposal of the Republican senators. address no. ”

The statement also said Biden is “hopeful” that his $ 1.9 trillion bill will pass with bipartisan support, but that a reconciliation package is “a path to achieving that goal.”

All this will happen in addition to the The Senate impeachment procedure for former President Donald Trump, starting February 9.

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Tax season 2020 is great for incentive checks, even if you usually don’t need to file

February also marks the start of tax filing season, which has added weight for those eligible for the first, second, or possibly third incentive check – and that’s whether you normally have to file a tax return or not. That’s because the IRS uses the federal tax system to decide all of it how much money you should get in your incentive checks (based on your AGI) to how quickly it can send your next payment, or even if you have a catching up (it will be faster if you set up direct deposit with the IRS and do your taxes quickly).

If your first or second payment has not arrived, or if an amount is missing, the IRS will use your 2020 taxes to reconcile the difference – but only if you apply for a recovery loan like, you guessed it, part of one tax returns. Again, that even goes for non-filers, people who are usually not needed to file income tax. Here is our introduction everything incentive check and taxes.

One more thing: if you have a letter from the IRS stating the money has been sentbut you never got your money, maybe you should set up a payment tracking instead of using the IRS’s rebate credit.

A third stimulus check could be sent quickly

It took exactly nine months to complete the signing the CARES Act (March 27, 2020) to the Incentive account for December (December 27, 2020). Even before taking office, Biden was optimistic about the passing of another through Congress COVID-19 aid package – one with one third stimulus check for up to $ 1,400. And he – along with the Democrats in Congress – wants to see the third money injection sooner rather than later.

House and Senate committees plan to work together for the next week and a half to finalize the legislation, according to a Tuesday CNN report. The House will vote to pass, then make a plan, then the Senate. But before it goes to the floor, lawmakers will have to make sure the bill meets strict rules of what can be allowed through budget reconciliation – for example, while a third stimulus check would likely be allowed, raising the minimum wage could lie outside. the requirements.

Once a bill is negotiated, checks can be sent quickly now that the IRS has installed its system after the first and second checks. Here is the current stimulus check timeline as we know it now.

More people may qualify for a third stimulus check, but it can get complicated

If it third stimulus check ends with a per person up to $ 1,400 or any other amount, as long as it is more than $ 600 and uses the same income limits (and that could change), more people can probably eligible (handy chart here). That’s because there is one income limit that is part of one mathematical formula used by the IRS after that you cannot get any more money. Which some money threshold goes up when the maximum per person goes up. So more people are eligible some incentive money with a check for $ 1,200 then $ 600, and so on.

The Senate Republican plan would significantly lower the income ceiling for eligibility for payments – from $ 75,000 to $ 50,000 for an individual and from $ 175,000 to $ 100,000 for a family – to target payments to lower income groups and “To help those who need it most,” Ohio Senator Rob Portman, a member of the Republican group of 10, told CNN’s State Union on Jan. 31.

In addition to setting a higher total payout with a larger check, Biden’s incentive proposal also aims to include two more groups of people: Depending on any age and families with citizenship of mixed status (that means some members are not US citizens). Republicans did not provide details on which groups would be eligible under it.

What is not clear is how the payment will work for these groups. Will the households all get one more round of money per dependent, or just those who were previously excluded? Will any amount of the payment be retroactive to mixed status families who could not claim the first and second checks? Those rules have not yet been determined.


The path between you and your stimulus check money is sometimes winding.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Your stimulus check rights have improved with round two – for the most part

Usually you can spend or save stimulus dollars as you wish. Hardly anyone can force you to give up your proceeds for rent, car payments, back taxes or debt – or even unpaid child benefits. That’s with the second check that went out last month, which changed some lines.

The government’s Taxpayer Advocate Service, which works with the IRS, has pointed out that anyone who has a Refund Discount for an incentive to catch up, money is not automatically protected against seizure.

It’s not clear how a third check would play in the mix. And there is still an exception that allows at least one entity to decorate your incentive money. Make sure you know your stimulus check rights.

The stimulus check rules and exceptions can be very confusing

When it comes to stimulus checks, little details and exceptions can be staggering. While some situations are easy to decipher, others that concern you and your family members can make it unclear whether you qualify, how much money you could receive, and whether you need to do something extra to claim your money.

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