When it comes to stimulus checks, the good news is that. But if Congress can and that funds another direct payment, your personal total may also decrease. And in some cases you at all. In fact, a at all.
No, you don’t lose your grip. These are complicated things,to the way the IRS . We even built a tool to help you , but until the requirements are crystallized into another bill, there may be some uncertainty as to how much your household can expect.
It doesn’t matter if you are, it is better to prepare mentally. Here are some scenarios that could cause be smaller than the first. And if you didn’t get the first check right away (by the way, here’s when the ), here’s what you could do now .
Stimulus money: a basic thing to know
in the, the IRS has mostly used your when calculating your total payment (people who were also eligible in many cases). But some people who qualified for a check have experienced personal or financial changes after depositing that could affect a future payment in one way or another.
If you started a new job, got a raise, or earned more overall
Your, is a term normally used for the IRS annual income tax return to describe your total income, including assets (like sales of shares, credits and deductions, or an inheritance, for example) that do not fall under your usual salary. The first stimulus check, and most likely the second, will cut you off if your AGI goes over a certain income limit.
There is a huge correlation between, and any change in your AGI could increase or decrease the size of your check.
For example, if you received all of the $ 1,200with the first stimulus check because your AGI was below the income limit, but then you got a promotion or a new job that pays more (congratulations), then your check may be smaller next time – since the – or you may have exceeded the threshold and . All in all, that’s a “good” problem to have.
Do you have fewer qualified dependents?
Age is a big factor in how much stimulus money a household receives, but maybe not the way you think. The elderly are in many cases entitled to a stimulus check. In the first round of direct payments, households received an additional $ 500 for each “dependent child”. This is a legal minor aged 16 or under.
Interestingly, the IRS definition of a(23 years of age or younger, and financially dependent on the filer) is not the same set of terms used for stimulus checks.
If the rules remain the same (and there is), any older dependent you requested for the first check may no longer have qualified, meaning you could get $ 500 less if the rules stay the same.
You owe child support or you have changed the way you apply for child support
In most cases, any stimulus check you receive is free to use as you see fit. However, an exception set out in thewas child support. If you owe child support to your child’s other parent, you can have some or all of your stimulus check seized. If you received an additional $ 500 for how you and the other parent filed a dependent claim (it’s complicated) then changed the way you filed your 2019 tax reserve (for example , if the other parent has obtained full custody), you get the additional $ 500. Here is .
You owe money to creditors or private banks
Normally, your stimulus money cannot be seized to pay rent or federal tax. There are some exceptions, however, including the child support situation above. If those rules don’t change with the next stimulus bill, then there are two groups –– who could legitimately seize all or part of your money on the first and possibly the second check.
Stimulus laws could change, but not in your favor
From the terms of the– and won’t be until the incumbent president signs a bill – it’s not clear how or not they can change. There’s also how the IRS can interpret the law and act or withhold stimulus funds. For example, after the CARES Act was signed in March, the IRS first sent , then requested return and stopped issuing new checks. A recent decision by a federal judge has revived them.
If this law and others concerningwere to change, this could make a person eligible to receive the first payment disqualified for a second check.
You’ve moved and the IRS doesn’t know your new address
If you have moved as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and you have not(a good action to take), the agency may not know where to send a paper check or . If you received your first delivery of stimulus by direct deposit, the IRS will likely resume that route. If you have changed your bank account, you can or need .
There is an IRS error or a missing step. You will need to file a complaint
Theand could easily happen with the next one. Administrative errors and complex rules can cause your household to receive less money on a second stimulus check in the future than what you might really be entitled to – for you . Or maybe you don’t normally need to file your taxes and miss a rare extra step you need to take. Perhaps you have moved (see above).
Whatever the reason, if there is an issue preventing you from receiving some or all of your stimulus money, you should be able to request a refund. The IRS is currently sortingfor a wide range of groups, and probably will do so again if .
A family member has died since your last tax return
Our condolences. If your household received a stimulus check that included a spouse or dependent child who died between your last tax return and receipt of the second stimulus check, the IRS is likely to send a smaller amount if your status as a amended tax return, deductions, credits or AGI. If the person is recently deceased (by the time the next check arrives), the IRS requests a refund of the payment.
For more on the stimulus, here’s what President-elect Joe Biden could dowhen he becomes president, and .