Since summer,without resolution over the outlines of , which could send to . But with Congress now back in session for the last time in 2020, Congressional leaders have signaled a desire to once again seek an agreement over critical stimulus aid.
If Congress succeeds in approving another check, it could wind upin ways that would result in a larger or even smaller payment for tens of millions of people. In some cases, you at all. Until eligibility is fixed in place, there still may be some uncertainty over the .
(Remember, too, a such as hospitality and entertainment, instead of to individuals.). There are some lawmakers who want to channel funding to industries,
Regardless, if you’re, you’ll want to manage your expectations . With that in mind, we laid out some scenarios that could make your second check smaller than the first. And by the way, if you didn’t get your first payment immediately, here’s what you might be able to do now . This story was recently updated with new information.
Stimulus money: A key thing to know
In the, the IRS for the most part used your when calculating your total payment (people who were in many cases eligible as well). But some people who qualified for a check have experienced personal or financial changes after filing that could affect a future payment one way or another.
Did you start a new job, earn a raise or get more money overall?
Your, is a term normally used for the IRS’ yearly tax return to describe your total income, including assets (like stock sales, credits and deductions or an inheritance, for example) that fall outside your usual paycheck. The first stimulus check, and most likely the second, will cut you off if your AGI goes above a certain income limit.
There’s a huge correlation between, and any change in your AGI could increase or reduce the size of your check.
For instance, if you received the full $1,200with the first stimulus check because your AGI was under the income limit, but then you got a promotion or a new job that pays more (congratulations), then your check may be smaller next time — since the — or you may have maxed out the threshold and . All told, this is a “good” problem to have.
Do you have fewer child dependents now?
Age is an important factor in how much stimulus money a household gets, but maybe not like you think. Older adults are in many cases entitled to a stimulus check. In the first round of direct payments, households were given an extra $500 for each “child dependent.” This is a legal minor who is 16 years old or younger.
Interestingly, the IRS’ definition of a(23 or under, and financially reliant on the tax filer) isn’t the same set of terms used for stimulus checks.
If the rules stay the same (and there’s), any older dependents you claimed for the first check may have aged out of eligibility, which means you could get $500 less if rules stay the same.
Are you behind on child support or did you change how you claimed a dependent?
For the most part, any stimulus check you receive you have full rights to use as you like. However, one exception laid out in thewas child support. If you owe child support to your kid’s other parent, you may have some or all of your stimulus check garnished. If you received an extra $500 for the way you and the other parent filed a dependency claim (it’s complicated), and then changed how you filed in your 2019 tax reserve (for example, if the other parent gained full custody), you may not get the extra $500. Here’s .
Do you have debts with creditors or private banks?
Normally, your stimulus money can’t be garnished to pay rent or federal tax. There are a few exceptions, however, including the child support situation above. If these rules don’t change with the next stimulus bill, then there are two groups —— who could legitimately seize all or part of your money from the first, and likely second, check.
Some stimulus laws could shift, disqualifying you
Since the terms of the— and won’t be until the sitting president signs a bill into law — it isn’t clear how they may or may not change. There’s also the way that the IRS may interpret the law and act or withhold stimulus money. For example, after the CARES Act was signed in March, the IRS first sent , then asked for it back and stopped issuing new checks. A recent ruling from a federal judge has started them up again.
If this law, and others regarding, were to change, it could make someone who was eligible to receive the first payment disqualified for a second check.
Does the IRS have your new address if you moved?
If you moved as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and haven’t(a good measure to take), the agency may not know where to send a paper check or . If you received your first stimulus delivery through direct deposit, the IRS will likely go that route again. If you changed bank accounts, you may or need to .
If there’s an IRS error or missing step, you may need to file a claim
Itand could easily happen with the next. Clerical errors and complex rules might result in your household getting less money in a future second stimulus check than you might really be entitled to — for you . Or maybe you don’t normally need to file taxes and wind up missing a rare extra step you need to take. Perhaps you moved (see above).
Whatever the reason, if some issue prevents you from receiving all or part of your stimulus money, you should be able to claim a rebate payment. The IRS is currently sorting throughfor a wide range of groups, and will likely do so again if .
Has a family member died since your previous tax filing?
Our condolences. If your household received a stimulus check that included a spouse or child dependent who died between your last tax filing and the receipt of the second stimulus check, the IRS is likely to send a smaller sum if your tax filing status, deductions, credits or AGI changed. If the person is recently deceased (by the time the next check arrives), the IRS asks for the payment to be returned.
For more on stimulus, here’s what President-elect Joe Biden could doby the time he becomes president, and .