January 17, 2021
How much stimulus check money could you get? Use our payment calculator to find out

Calculate how much stimulus money you may get if a check passes before 2021


If the IRS sends a second check, your household’s exact total may be something other than the $1,200 cap per person. We’ll help you calculate.

Sarah Tew/CNET

If Congress approve a second stimulus check as part of another economic relief billhow much money should you expect? We built a handy calculator that can help you estimate the size of your payment. At this point, though, we’re not sure when the next stimulus check could come. The latest new proposal lacks a stimulus check, though several lawmakers are calling for it to be part of a bill in 2020. If it doesn’t make it into the current bill, there’s a good chance we’ll see discussion around a second stimulus check in 2021.

Like the first stimulus check, the IRS is expected to issue payments of up to $1,200 per person. But there could be changes to the qualifications for you or your dependents that may bring you either a larger sum or a smaller payment in a second stimulus check.

It’s important to read the next section for some key information before you use our stimulus check calculator. By the way, the calculator doesn’t retain your personal details in any way. Keep in mind that it provides an estimate of the total amount you might receive — it isn’t a final figure from the IRS.

Read more: What do your taxes have to do with stimulus checks? Everything

Important: Make sure you have your AGI

CNET’s stimulus check calculator tool is based on rules from the CARES Act that was passed in March (we’ll update it once the stimulus check is final). It’s intended to give you a ballpark estimate of what you might expect in a second check, or in your first, if you’re still waiting for that one. To use the tool, you’ll need your adjusted gross income, or AGI, from your 2019 or 2018 tax information. 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

How to use the stimulus calculator

The CARES Act allowed Americans to claim child dependents for $500 each, as long as they’re 16 years old or younger (that is, under 17 years old). One change for the second check we might potentially see is a broader definition of a dependent. Two previous proposals, which aren’t law, suggest you should get $500 for dependents you claim on your taxes regardless of their age. The White House’s Oct. 9 proposal, which is no longer on the table, offered $1,000 per child dependent, appearing to keep the definition of this group used in the previous rules.

So it could be that a future check brings more money for the dependents you already have or the same amount of money for potentially a greater number of people in your household.

There are two ways to estimate the total number of dependents of any age on the calculator below, according to each proposal. To see how much money you could get with the first proposal, enter in the number of dependents in the corresponding field, regardless of their age. For example, if you have one 14 year old and an older parent who lives with you, enter 2, along with your other details.

To calculate your sum using the second proposal, double the actual number of child dependents you currently claim. So for example, if you have one qualifying child at home, enter 2, to reach a total of $1,000 per child. If you have two children, enter 4 to reach the sum of $2,000 for two children. We’ll update this calculator when the rules are finalized.

Here are exceptions to the current rules regarding when someone who’s 17 to 24 years old can claim a stimulus check. If you don’t typically file taxes, or have different circumstance, this provides 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.

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If you don’t usually file taxes, how to estimate your stimulus money

With the first checks, the IRS automatically sent stimulus checks to many who normally aren’t required to file a tax return — including senior citizens, Social Security and SSDI and SSI 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.) Some who didn’t file taxes may be eligible for a payment but haven’t yet claimed it. 

If this is the case for you, enter your best guess where it asks for your adjusted gross income.

Reminder: Here’s who qualifies to receive a stimulus check

We have more details about who could qualify for another stimulus check and who may not be eligible. In broad strokes, here’s the income cap under the CARES Act:

  • You’re a single US citizen or resident alien 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

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 and which priority group you might be in.

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