September 20, 2020
Calculate how much stimulus check money you could get, using this tool

Calculate how much stimulus check money you could get, using this tool


The CNET stimulus payment calculator can help you estimate how much money you could get from the IRS if a second check comes to be.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Not everyone who’s eligible for a stimulus check will automatically receive the full amount — that was $1,200 per person for the first round of payments and could be another $1,200 if a second direct payment is passed. Understanding the upper limit is easy, but there are many rules that decide how much you and your family actually get, depending on a range of factors.

Our calculator below breaks down how much you might be able to receive, based on the rules from the CARES Act, which governed the first stimulus check. The calculator doesn’t store your personal details or use them in any way. Keep in mind that this tool is for estimates only, and doesn’t provide a final figure supplied by the IRS. There may be other factors that could determine the final size of your check.

3 important things to know before you begin

You will need your adjusted gross income, or AGI, from your 2019 or 2018 tax information. If you didn’t file, use your 2018 info instead. If you’ve filed your 2019 federal tax return, you can find that figure on line 8b of the 2019 1040 federal tax form. It’s line 7 on the 2018 1040 tax form

The CARES Act allowed you to claim child dependents for $500 apiece, as long as they’re 16 years old or younger (that is, under 17 years old). If you’d like to calculate the total for dependents of any age — a change that’s been discussed for a second check, but isn’t guaranteed — add the number of dependents in the corresponding field, regardless of age.

If you don’t typically file taxes or have a different circumstance, read our stimulus check FAQ for more information.

Calculate your stimulus payment

Use details from your 2019 or 2018 tax return, whichever is most recent.

1. Choose your filing status below.

Note: If you aren’t able to view the calculator, please click this link. If on a mobile device, allow the calculator to load into a new browser tab.

Stimulus check qualification basics

We have much more information here, but in broad strokes, here’s who’s eligible for some stimulus money under the CARES Act:

  • You’re a single US resident and have an adjusted gross income less than $99,000
  • You file as the head of a household and earn under $146,500
  • You file jointly without children and earn less than $198,000

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What if I don’t usually file taxes?

With the first checks, the IRS automatically sent stimulus checks to many who normally are not required to file a tax return — including senior citizens, Social Security and Social Security Disability Insurance recipients, Supplemental Security Income recipients and railroad retirees. (In some situations, eligible individuals and families who didn’t file taxes needed to use the IRS Non-Filers tool to provide the IRS with enough information to send a check.)

If this is your case, enter your best personal income estimate for income where it asks for your adjusted gross income.

For everything to know about the first payment, see our guide to the first round of checks. We also have an idea for how quickly the IRS could send out the second round of payments once they are approved and what other benefits you might expect in another economic relief package.

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