The Senate returned to Washington this week, and Republicans are voting on a “skinny” coronavirus relief bill Thursday that will address a narrow set of economic issues. While not expected to become law, the move could give Congressional and White House leaders an opening to on a that includes a . Part of the discussion if and when that happens will be the , which could determine whether you and your family receive more or less money than in .
There’s also talk of the president signing an executive action to provide more stimulus aid, including a second direct payment that could be worth up to $1,200 to individuals and more for families, potentially several thousand dollars.
While we wait, this guide will help you tally a possible total in stimulus money, based on likely factors like your, the number of you claim and the youngest you could be and still . Keep reading to learn more. This story is updated regularly.
Your total payment may 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 from a second round of payments than from the first.
We lay out some potential scenarios below, based on our, which you can also use to get 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 new 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: Similarly 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 on 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 get you 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, a payment that you can spend like cash on a debit card. 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:
- 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 it 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 , here are , or has fallen through the cracks and .
Shelby Brown contributed to this report.