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Yes, your second stimulus check may be smaller if …


If a second check goes through, you may not get the full $ 1,200 per adult.

Angela Lang / CNET

A twofold group of legislators rolls out a proposal for short-term economic aid package this week that skips a second stimulus check. If the plan is approved, it does not mean that there will be another check; it just means you may have to wait a little longer.

“There might be a stimulus check, but that would be part of another piece of legislation,” Senator Bill Cassidy, a Republican member of the bipartisan group, told Fox News Sunday.

If there is talk of a second direct payment tip until 2021, the negotiations will fall under the government of President-elect Joe Biden. What we know now is that when and if Congress signs another cash payment for individuals and families, not everyone will get the full amount.

See that $ 1,200 is the maximum limit per grown up, with more money for those with eligible dependents. But like the stimulus qualifications change to another bill, or if your living conditions have changed, the amount of money you can see in another check may be less.

For now, we can only watch and wait. But if another check gets the green light, the first wave of stimulus payments could come quick. Here’s what you need to know about who is making a smaller direct payment (or not at all) and why. This story was recently updated with new information.

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Following stimulus checks: what to expect


A fact you should know about stimulus controls

In the first round of stimulus controls aired from March, the IRS, for the most part, used your most recent federal tax return (2019 0r 2018) when calculating your total payment (people who do not normally file tax returns were also eligible in many cases). But some people who were eligible for a check went through personal or financial changes after filing that could affect a future payment in one way or another.

Did you start a new job or earn more money this year?

Your adjusted gross income, or AGI, is a term normally used for the IRS annual tax return to describe your total income, including assets (such as stock sales, credits and deductions or an inheritance, for example) that are beyond your usual salary. The first stimulus check, and most likely the second, will cut you off if your AGI goes above a certain income limit.

There is a direct correlation between them your tax status and incentive checks, and any change to your AGI can increase or decrease the size of your check.

For example, if you received the full $ 1,200 per qualified adult on the first stimulus check because your AGI was below the income limit, but when you got a promotion or a new job that pays more (congratulations), your check may be smaller next time – as the IRS pays out on a sliding scale. Or maybe you have crossed the threshold and no longer qualify. All things considered, this is a “good” problem to have.


Kids grow up and you could cost $ 500 per child.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Do you have fewer dependent children today than before?

Age is an important factor in how much stimulation money a household receives, but perhaps not in the way you think. In many cases, the elderly are entitled to a stimulus check. In the first round of direct payments, households received an additional $ 500 for each “dependent child.” This is a legal minor who is 16 years of age or younger.

Interestingly, the IRS definition of a child dependent for your taxes (23 years or younger, and financially dependent on the tax bearer) is not the same set of terms used for incentive controls.

If the rules stay the same (and there is an indication that they may not be), older dependents you claimed for the first check may be outdated, meaning you can get $ 500 less.

Have you changed the way you claim your family members? Child benefit due?

For the most part, you can use any stimulus check you receive as you see fit. However, one exception is set forth in the CARES Act of March had to do with child support. If you owe child support to your child’s other parent, your stimulus check may be garnished in whole or in part. If you received an additional $ 500 for the way you and the other parent filed a dependency claim (it’s complicated), and then changed how you filed your 2019 tax reserve (for example, if the other parent was given full custody) , you shouldn’t do that. get the extra $ 500. Here it is more information about child support situations.

Are you behind with payments to private banks or creditors?

Normally, your incentive money cannot be garnished to pay rent or federal taxes. However, there are a few exceptions, including the above child benefit situation. If these rules don’t change on the next incentive account, there are two groups: private creditors and banks – who could legitimately seize some or all of your money from the first, and probably the second, check.


A few entities may seize your incentive money.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Could New Stimulus Rules Affect You?

Because the conditions of the second stimulus check has not yet been completed – and probably not until the president signs a bill – it’s not clear how they can or can’t change. There is also the way the IRS can interpret the law and act or withhold incentive money. For example, after the CARES Act was signed in March, the IRS sent first people in prison and prison have a stimulus check, then asked for it and stopped issuing new checks. A recent ruling by a federal judge has put them back in motion.

Like this law, and others related to citizenship in the US, US territories or abroad, would change, someone who was eligible for the first payment may be disqualified from a second check.

Did you give the IRS your new address when you moved?

If you have moved as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and you have not moved a change of address form filed with the USPS or IRS (a good step to take), the agency may not know where to send a paper check or EIP card. If you’ve received your first direct deposit stimulus delivery, the IRS will likely follow that route again. If you have changed your bank account, you can get caught in a robbery or must contact the IRS to file a new claim.

If the IRS makes a mistake or if you skip a step, you may have to file a claim for a catch-up

It happened with the first check and could easily happen with the following. Written mistakes and complex rules can result in your household getting less money on a future second stimulus check than you might be entitled to – for you and your family members. Or maybe you don’t normally have to file a tax and are missing a rare extra step to take. You may have moved (see above).

Whatever the reason, if a problem prevents you from receiving some or all of your incentive money, you should be able to claim a rebate. The IRS is currently searching these omissions of stimulus payments now for a wide variety of groups and will likely do this again if a second check is coming.

Has anyone in your household died since you last filed taxes?

Our sincere condolences. If your household received a stimulus check with a spouse or dependent child who died between your last tax return and the receipt of the second stimulus check, the IRS will likely send a smaller amount if your tax filing status, deductions, credits, or AGI changes. If the person has recently passed away (by the time the next check arrives), the IRS will ask for the payment to be refunded.

To learn more about incentives, read what President-elect Joe Biden could do if another incentive account is canceled by the time he becomes president on January 20, and everything you need to know about stimulus controls.

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