The Senate approved a $1.9 trillion economic relief bill, which means Americans are just one step closer to receiving a third pandemic stimulus check. The check will be the largest yet: up to $1,400 per person and $2,800 per married couple. However, it’s not the $2,000 Biden promised while campaigning. Here’s what you need to know about who will qualify for the stimulus check, and what else is included in the package.
Congress is closer to approving a coronavirus relief package that includes a third round of direct cash payments to households.
The proposed checks will pay up to $1,400 to individuals — including dependents of any age — and $2,800 to married couples.
Here are answers to some of the most common questions that are being asked about the stimulus checks.
When is the third stimulus check coming?
Yes, by the looks of it mid-March. Direct cash payments are part of the $1.9 trillion economic package named “the American Rescue Plan” that’s currently making its way through Congress.
Who qualifies for the third stimulus check?
Anyone with a Social Security number who meets the set income requirements is eligible for a payment. The amount is based on the adjusted gross income on your 2019 tax return, that is unless your 2020 return is processed by the time payments are sent out.
The Senate plan calls for Americans with AGIs of $75,000 to get the full $1,400 payment. Married joint filers would receive double that — $2,800 — if their AGI is $150,000 or less. There’s also an additional $1,400 added to the check for each qualifying dependent of any age. This is a break from the past two relief bills, which did not include payments for dependents age 17 and over but did include smaller amounts for children.
Head-of-household filers, who are most often single parents, with AGIs of $112,500 or less can get the full $1,400, plus $1,400 per qualifying dependent.
The Senate plan gives reduced checks to people earning above those income limits, before phasing out completely at an AGI of:
- $80,000 for single filers
- $120,000 for head-of-household filers
- $160,000 for married joint filers
These income limits have already been approved by President Joe Biden.
People who aren’t required to file income-tax returns could also get payments. Information collected through the IRS nonfilers tool would be used to send the checks to these recipients. Also, Social Security retirement and disability beneficiaries and Supplemental Security Income recipients who don’t file taxes can get payments.
Where is my third stimulus check?
After Congress approves the legislation, Biden would need to sign it for it to become law. Congress is trying to get the bill to the president by March 14.
The Treasury Department was able to initiate direct-deposit stimulus payments days after the latest relief bill was signed. Checks and debit cards were mailed in the following weeks.
Do I have to file 2020 taxes to get the third stimulus check?
No. In its current form, the bill says the Treasury can use 2019 or 2020 tax returns to determine someone’s payment.
However, if your income was lower in 2020 than in 2019, file your 2020 return as soon as possible so you can qualify for a check that most closely matches your financial need. The IRS began accepting and processing 2020 tax returns on February 12.
What if I still haven’t received the second stimulus check?
You’ll need to file your 2020 tax return to claim any stimulus money you’re owed from the first two rounds.
There will be a separate worksheet on your tax return with instructions for calculating any outstanding amount owed to you. If you file your taxes online, the provider will prompt you to enter the information and do the calculations for you.
If you do qualify for additional stimulus money, you won’t get it right away. It will first be applied to your outstanding tax bill. If your bill is reduced to $0, the rest of the money will be added to your refund. The IRS delivers most refunds within three weeks.