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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

How much money could you expect to get if Congress passes a second stimulus check by the end of 2020? There are a number of variables that factor in, so we built a handy calculator to help make estimating the amount as easy as possible.

The IRS is expected to follow the same guidelines as for the first stimulus check of up to $1,200 per person, but with a twist. If and when Congress signs off on a second direct payment, there could be changes to qualifications for you or your family members, which could result in more money for you. However, there are two different proposals for what that means, so things could get tricky. It’s important to read the next section below before you use the calculator tool.

Our stimulus check calculator is based on rules from the CARES Act, which governed the first stimulus check, and doesn’t retain your personal details in any way. Keep in mind this tool supplies estimates only — the IRS may calculate a final figure based on other factors.

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

Important: Do this before you start calculating

Again, this is just to estimate the amount you could receive, for your own curiosity; this isn’t needed to receive a payment. 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

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). One change for the second check under discussion is how to expand the definition of a dependent. Two proposals suggest $500 for dependents you claim on your taxes regardless of age. The White House’s Oct. 9 proposal offers $1,000 per child dependent, appearing to keep the definition of this group used in the previous rules.

Remember, the calculator below is based on the first check. There are two ways to estimate the total number of dependents of any age on the calculator below, according to each proposal. For the first, add the number of dependents in the corresponding field, regardless of age. For the second, double the actual number of child dependents you claim. For example, if you have one qualifying child, enter two for a total of $1,000 per child. If you have two children, enter four 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 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.


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

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

Some who didn’t file taxes may be eligible for a payment but have not claimed it yet. The IRS is sending letters to 9 million nonfilers who may be eligible.

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

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 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 if another stimulus payment is approved and what other benefits you might expect in another economic relief package.

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