Themay happen before a that includes for Americans, so we still don’t know if you end up However, we have honed in on everything you should know right now about stimulus checks and what they entail.
Knowing what to expect about the process — and exactly when another stimulus check could come — can be useful as you wait out the movements in Washington over passing a bill. We also point out what we think could change from how the first payment was handled and what might remain the same.
Meanwhile, here’s how theand how If you’re looking for a more specific estimate for your situation, try our . We update this story often with new information.
1. There’s hope a stimulus bill will still happen
The biggest question isn’t if a new stimulus package will go into effect, but when. Friday has come and gone. There’s bi-partisan support for more COVID relief one way or another. But Friday was a self-imposed cutoff for theto be ironed out if it had a hope of passing before Election Day.
Now, a game of political hot potato means we’re not sure exactly when a new stimulus package will come. But if there’s one thing we know, it’s that the situation can change on a dime. With the election just over a week away, it’s less likely that a bill will pass in the coming weeks.
If a vote does happen before the election, it would give stimulus checks and other aid a chance to be delivered by the end of 2020. Otherwise, the discussion may not be picked up again until January at the latest, depending on the election results..
2. The IRS might owe these people a catch-up payment
If you’re, there are several ways to hunt it down. As many as were estimated to be eligible for a first check but didn’t receive it because they needed to register with the IRS — an extra step most people didn’t have to take. The deadline is Nov. 21 and we .
Some people with dependents. The deadline to get that in 2020 passed Sept. 30, but we explain .
And if you share custody of a child but you’re not married, you may.
3. Stimulus payment calculations could use this formula
You may be interested to know that, and that’s what determines whether you receive the full amount, a partial payment or far more than $1,200 if you have kids.
It also explains how you might still be able to get some stimulus money, even if your family’s yearly incomeset out by the in March. The calculations start with your household’s total , add on the , and then start deducting from the total, based on your income bracket (as defined by the CARES Act).
You can, as well as for a second check.
4. People who are incarcerated have a chance to get stimulus money
A judge in California ruled that imprisonment should not disqualify someone from receiving a stimulus check and ordered the IRS to release payments to people who would otherwise meet the qualifications. The ruling found that the CARES Act did not specifically or legally bar this group of people from getting checks and that the IRS’ interpretation is incorrect. If this ruling holds, up to 2 million people or their families could still receive payments for those individuals.
5. People used the first stimulus checks in these ways
A new survey this week on how people in the US used their first stimulus check shed light on the Federal Reserve Bank of New York polled 1,300 households between June and August. The study found that of the 89% who reported receiving a stimulus check ($2,400 median total):of the coronavirus’ effects. The survey from the
- 29% spent the stimulus money (on essentials, nonessentials and donations).
- 36.4% saved their stimulus money.
- 34.5% used it to pay down debt.
Here’s, and how people used enhanced unemployment payments.
6. You could be in one of 5 different payment groups
Eligible Americans got the first stimulus payment at different times, often because of the way they got paid, and a second payment would be similar. For example, people who have set up— an electronic transfer of funds into their bank account — with the IRS could get their checks weeks before those who receive a paper check or . We identified .
7. Your second payment may possibly arrive sooner than the first
With the first check, the IRS learned how to mobilize and deliver stimulus money, and worked out many of the pain points in the process. If a second check is approved, it’s likely the agency could speed up the process of sending out the first set of payments. The tracking tool is already up and running, the system is in place and it’s likely that the majority of people who qualified for a first check will also receive another.
The timeline is constantly changing, but we’veif approved before — or after — the election.
8. New eligibility changes could allot more money for your dependents
It’s likely that a second stimulus check would largely follow the same rules and guidelines as the first. But thefor who could get money are subject to change, in ways that could benefit your family. One proposed bill redefines , and would give your family $500 for each dependent you claim on your taxes, regardless of age.
Theoffers a $1,000 payment per child dependent. We’ve explained in terms of a total payment. (Here’s for their own $1,200 check.)
9. There are many confusing exceptions and rules
If a second stimulus check is approved, there will be lots of small details, rules and exceptions that may be confusing. While some situations will be easy to understand, others concerning you and your dependents might make it unclear if you’re eligible and how much money you might receive. There are many fringe cases.
10. You won’t have to pay taxes on any stimulus money
The IRS didn’t receive everything you were owed this year, you can claim it as a credit on your 2020 federal income tax return by filing in 2021. Here’s .. That means a payment you get this year won’t reduce your refund in 2021 or increase the amount you owe when you file your 2020 tax return. You also won’t have to repay part of your stimulus check if you qualify for a lower amount in 2021. The IRS said if you
There’s much more to know about other government payments during the pandemic, includingand where the is now.