At least one rule change may have an effect on older adults and retirees if a third stimulus check involves be.

Sarah Tew/CNET

There’s so much happening in the case of stimulus checks this week. While Donald Trump’s impeachment trial ties up the Senate (watch it dwell right here), the House is presently debating President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID reduction proposal, which features a third stimulus check for as much as $1,400 per individual — together with many older adults — that could possibly be authorized inside weeks. And tax season formally begins on Friday, which is when you’ll declare any lacking cash out of your first or second stimulus checkeven if you happen to do not normally file taxes.

We’ve received all the data that older adults must know in regards to the potential third stimulus check, and if you happen to and any of your dependents are more likely to qualify for the complete quantity, as there’ll most likely be some changes from the primary two rounds. We’ll additionally stroll you thru what to do if some or your entire first or second stimulus fee by no means arrived, and find out how to declare it as an IRS Recovery Rebate Credit, or while you may must request an IRS fee hint to trace down these funds. 

We’ll handle the large questions that might have an effect on the amount of cash you are owed, together with your tax filingsadjusted gross earnings, pension, Social Security advantages (SSI, SSDI) and whether or not you depend as another person’s grownup dependent. This story was up to date with new info.

Does the IRS take into account me an older grownup or a senior citizen?

Anyone age 65 or older on the finish of 2019 is taken into account a senior grownup on their taxes that yr and past. (If you may have questions on citizenship necessities, see extra beneath.)

Am I eligible for a stimulus check?

For the primary and second stimulus checks, whether or not you had been eligible for any stimulus cash (and if you happen to had been, how a lot cash you may obtain) hinged on whether or not you are considered a dependent and in your adjusted gross earnings, or AGI, out of your 2019 federal tax submitting. 

If you may have a pension or investments which might be taxable, these will have an effect on your AGI, and due to this fact your eligibility for a stimulus check. The similar is true for curiosity from a checking account. However, curiosity from tax-exempt bonds isn’t included in your AGI, so would not have an effect on your stimulus fee eligibility. 

For a possible third stimulus check, a few of the eligibility guidelines are more likely to change — learn on for extra.

Now taking part in:
Watch this:

Stimulus check No. 3: What you want to know


Could a third stimulus check change the eligibility guidelines and carry me extra money?

There are a number of ways in which {qualifications} might change with a third stimulus checkBiden’s proposal additionally features a fee of as much as $1,400 for all dependents, regardless of their age, to be added on to the family’s whole. That means if you happen to help an grownup baby, for instance, a school scholar, you might be able to get a increased stimulus check stability within the subsequent spherical, if this qualification makes it into the ultimate invoice.

The transfer, if authorized, would present cash to households on behalf of an estimated 13.5 million grownup dependents, in accordance with the People’s Policy Project.

Biden’s plan additionally contains households with “mixed-status” citizenship, the place members have completely different immigration statuses. Both of those teams had been omitted from the primary and second stimulus funds.  

Congress is presently debating whether or not or not it should “target” the checks to households with a decrease earnings threshold, however that has but to be determined.

Here are different methods some households might doubtlessly get extra money with the following stimulus fee.

What occurs if I by no means received half or all of my first or second stimulus check?

If you have not obtained your first or second check by now, you’ll probably want to say a lacking fee utilizing the Recovery Rebate Credit — that features individuals who do not normally file taxes, too. 

However, we suggest getting slightly extra info through the use of the IRS’ free Get My Payment on-line portal to see your stimulus standing. If you utilize the Recovery Rebate Credit, your stimulus allotment will both be bundled together with your tax refund otherwise you’ll pay much less tax in your return. We suggest submitting your taxes as early as potential (this is why) and registering your checking account for direct deposit with the IRS.


If you depend as another person’s dependent, you might be eligible for stimulus cash within the potential third spherical of checks.

Angela Lang/CNET

Do I’ve to file a tax return this yr, even when I’m a nonfiler?

A nonfiler is an individual who isn’t required to pay taxes to the IRS throughout tax season. The requirement to file a tax return will depend on your gross earnings, which is all earnings you obtain within the type of cash, items, property and providers that are not tax-exempt (extra beneath). For 2019, the usual deduction quantity for single filers was $12,200. 

However, if you happen to’re claiming lacking stimulus cash in a Recovery Rebate Credit, even nonfilers should file a tax return this yr. You might be able to use a particular type and file for free. You will, nonetheless, want some particular info.

Your gross earnings is completely different out of your adjusted gross earnings, or AGI, which is your gross earnings minus any eligible changes that you could be qualify for. (Find out everything you want to learn about how your taxes affect your stimulus fee right here.)

If you are age 65 or older, you must file taxes underneath the next circumstances:

  • Single filer with not less than $13,850 in gross earnings
  • Head of family with not less than $20,000 in gross earnings
  • Married submitting collectively (if one partner is 65 or older, $25,700 in gross earnings; if each spouses are 65 or older, $27,000 in gross earnings)
  • Married submitting individually (any age, $5)
  • Qualifying widow(er) age 65 or older with not less than $25,700 in gross earnings

In the 2019 tax yr, the IRS launched Form 1040-SR, US Tax Return for Seniors. This type is principally the identical as Form 1040, however has bigger textual content and some useful info for older taxpayers. 

How do I work out my gross earnings? 

Your gross earnings (once more, this differs out of your adjusted gross earnings, or AGI) contains earnings from promoting your fundamental residence, features (however not losses) reported on Form 8949 or Schedule D and from sources outdoors of the US. 

Your gross earnings doesn’t embrace any social safety advantages, until:

  • You are married however submitting separated, and lived together with your partner in some unspecified time in the future in 2019.
  • Half of your social safety advantages plus your different gross earnings and any tax-exempt curiosity is greater than $25,000 submitting single (or $32,000 if married submitting collectively). 

If both of these is the case for you, you possibly can check out the Instructions for Forms 1040 and 1040-SR or Pub. 915, Social Security and Equivalent Railroad Retirement Benefits to determine the taxable a part of social safety advantages you will need to embrace in gross earnings.

How do I do know if I’m thought-about a depending on another person’s taxes? 

Some older individuals could depend as a dependent on another person’s taxes, known as a “qualifying relative.” For instance, you might dwell together with your kids. In phrases of stimulus check {qualifications} for the second fee, the primary tax filer would have needed to declare you as a depending on their tax type 1040 in 2019. 


There are a number of the explanation why some older adults could not have gotten a primary or second stimulus check.

Sarah Tew/CNET

A qualifying relative will be any age. To be counted as a qualifying relative on somebody’s tax return, the individual should meet 4 standards: 

  • Do not depend as a qualifying baby dependent
  • Live with the member of the family all yr as a member of their family, or depend as a relative who doesn’t should dwell with you all yr (reminiscent of a dad or mum or grandparent, a stepparent, or a sibling) 
  • Have a gross earnings for the yr of lower than $4,200
  • Have greater than half of your help throughout the yr come from that member of the family

If you had been a depending on another person’s taxes and had been over the age of 16, you weren’t certified for any stimulus cash in any respect within the first or second spherical of stimulus checks. However, Biden’s present proposal would permit dependents of all ages to be eligible so as to add as much as $1,400 to the family’s whole fee

What if I’m over age 65 with dependents however did not get the extra $500 with the primary fee or $600 with the second?

If you are age 65 or older and have a toddler dependent age 16 or youthful who certified for an further $500 underneath the CARES Act, or an further $600 underneath the December stimulus invoice, you will have to say your stimulus fee on behalf of eligible dependents as a Recovery Rebate Credit.

I’m an SSI or SSDI recipient. Am I nonetheless eligible for a stimulus fee? 

If you might be over age 65 and a recipient of Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance, you had been eligible for a primary and second stimulus check, and needs to be eligible for a third, if one is authorized. Find out everything you want to learn about how SSI and SSDI affect stimulus checks right here


What counts as earnings? That will depend on your very private circumstances.

Angela Lang/CNET

Am I eligible for a stimulus check if I’m not a US citizen however pay taxes? 

Under the December stimulus invoice, non-US residents, together with those that pay taxes, weren’t eligible to obtain the $600 fee, not like with the primary spherical of checks. Under the CARES Act, all US residents and non-US residents with a Social Security quantity who dwell and work in America had been eligible to obtain stimulus funds. That contains individuals who the IRS refers to as “resident aliens,” inexperienced card holders and staff utilizing visas reminiscent of H-1B and H-2A. 

If your citizenship standing modified because you first received a Social Security quantity, you might have to replace the IRS’s information to get your check. US residents residing overseas had been additionally eligible for a primary fee. 

For the third fee, Biden’s proposal contains checks for “mixed-status” citizenship households — these with completely different immigration statuses, who had been omitted of the primary two checks.

Which older adults certified for the primary and second spherical of stimulus checks? 

And what about veterans, dependents and members of SSI and SSDI applications? 

Social Security recipients and retired railroad staff who weren’t required to file a tax return in 2018 or 2019 had been eligible for the primary two stimulus funds, and weren’t required to file a tax return to get their check, in accordance with the IRS. The funds had been primarily based on info contained of their 1099 profit statements, with no further paperwork required. 

Supplemental Security Income recipients with out dependent kids ought to have obtained stimulus funds robotically, with out having to file any further paperwork as properly. The similar is true for individuals who obtain Compensation and Pensions advantages from the Department of Veterans Affairs. 

People who’re a part of the Social Security Disability Insurance program who weren’t required to file tax returns for 2018 or 2019 must also have robotically obtained a primary and second stimulus fee. (Find out extra about how SSDI impacts stimulus funds right here.) 

However, older individuals who had been claimed as a depending on 2019 tax kinds weren’t eligible for a primary or second stimulus check. If you didn’t obtain all or a part of your cash, you will want to say it as a Recovery Rebate Credit.

For extra, check out what we all know thus far a few third stimulus check, and when the IRS may ship a brand new fee out.

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