With the Senate returning to work this week, prepared to present a “skinny bill” that would address a narrow set of economic issues, Congressional and White House leaders have an opening to resume talks on a . Part of that discussion is over , which could determine whether you and your family get more money — or less — than in .
The price tag for the new aid package is about half that of the $1 trillion Senate Republicans rolled out earlier this summer and the new narrow bill does not include a new round of direct payments for the American people. While the bill may not have enough votes to pass either in the Senate or the House of Representatives, the bill could spark on .
In the meantime, we can help you tally how much you and your family could get paid, based on what we know right now about factors like yourand the number of you claim. Here’s the youngest you could be to . Keep reading to learn more. This story is updated regularly.
Your total payment could exceed $1,200, here’s how to calculate
Piecing together how much stimulus money you and your family could receive can get tricky, but we’ll help you estimate. The $1,200 figure for individuals is based on guidelines from the, and uses , and a set of rules to determine the total you could personally expect.
But there are also allowances for your whole family, including up to $2,400 if you file jointly with your spouse, as well as. In the , only dependents aged 16 or younger could qualify for an extra $500 each toward the family total. There’s bipartisan support to , which means you could potentially receive more in a second check than in the first.
We lay out some potential scenarios below, based on our, which you can also use to see a more specific estimate for your particular situation.
Stimulus check calculations
|Scenario 1||Scenario 2||Scenario 3||Scenario 4||Scenario 5|
|Filing status||Single||Head of household||Married||Married||Married|
|2018 or 2019 tax AGI||$75,000||$90,000||$100,000||$100,000||$200,000|
|Dependents under 17 (CARES Act)||0||1||2||2||2|
|Dependents over 17 (HEALS Act)||0||0||0||2||0|
|Estimated check amount||$1,200||$1,700||$3,400||$4,400||$900|
The most money your family could expect in a second check
Depending on how negotiations shake out, the total amount your family may get could change. Here’s a look at the caps put in place to give you an idea of what government leaders are thinking.
CARES Act: With the CARES Act from March, there was no limit to the number of children who could count as dependents, as long as they were under 17 and claimed by the taxpayer on the tax return, according to the Tax Foundation. Each dependent would garner the taxpayer $500. Theoretically, a family in which two adults and six children under 17 were eligible for the full amount could receive $5,400.
HEALS Act: Similar to the CARES Act, the HEALS Act put forth by Republicans doesn’t mention a cap on the amount a family may receive. The difference is that it doesn’t limit dependents to those under 17 to qualify for the $500 payment.
Heroes Act: The Heroes Act, put together by the Democratic-led House and which has never been taken up by the Senate, would place a cap of $6,000 for households of five or more. Essentially, it proposes $1,200 for each adult and dependent, with a maximum of three dependents per family.
3 ways the IRS could send your stimulus payment
While there’s no official plan yet, it’s likely that receiving this second stimulus check would work much like it did the first time around.
Direct deposit: If you filed taxes in 2018 or 2019 and included direct-deposit banking information, it’s likely you can . Even if you didn’t file your direct deposit information with the IRS during tax season, you should still be able to opt in. If you asked for , you can still file them before the Oct. 15, 2020, deadline and choose to share your direct deposit information with the IRS. If another round of stimulus payments is authorized, the IRS is likely to reopen the online tool it used for the first round and let you log your information then.
A paper check in the mail: If you don’t register your banking details with the IRS, you’ll likely receive a paper check in the mail, which you can deposit or cash. If you’ve recently moved, make sure to file your change-of-address paperwork. The IRS will use your last known address, which could hold up delivery of your check or otherwise cause a delay.
EIP card: Under the CARES Act, about 4 million people were also sent money in the form of a prepaid, which you can spend like cash. The cards came in plain, unmarked envelopes.
What Americans did with their first stimulus checks
A recent survey looked at how Americans are using their stimulus checks. According to research from the National Bureau of Economic Research (PDF):
- 15% of recipients said they spent or would spend most of their checks
- 33% said they mostly saved
- 52% said they paid down debt
In general, the report found that lower-income households were significantly more likely to spend their stimulus checks, higher-income individuals were more likely to save than pay off debts and those with mortgages or who were renters were much more likely to pay off debt.
Looking for more stimulus check information? Read up on all the. If you’re still waiting for your first , , or has fallen through the cracks and .
Shelby Brown contributed to this report.