That’s right, you can make less money with a second stimulus check, if …


If a second check is made, you may not get the full $ 1,200 per adult.

Angela Lang / CNET

After months with little movement in the negotiations for a new economic relief package, three new proposals on Tuesday seek to resolve some urgent problems facing the economy and American citizens, but probably omit another direct payment from up to $ 1200 per person.

However, if Congress authorizes a new stimulus payment this year or early 2021 – and this is still an open question – the eligibility rules can change to produce larger or smaller checks for tens of millions of people. Some may not be eligible at all. Until qualifying is finalized, there may still be some uncertainty about how much stimulus money your household can receive.

It doesn’t matter if you are counting on the next direct payment, you will want a realistic image of when the next stimulus check might come. With that in mind, we’ve presented a few scenarios that could result in a smaller second payout. And if you had to wait for the first payment, follow these steps to get the next one faster. We recently updated this story.

Stimulus money: a key thing to know

in the first round of dunning checks, the IRS has mostly used your most recent federal income tax return (2019 0r 2018) when calculating your total payment (people who generally do not file income tax returns were also eligible in many cases). But some people who qualified for a check experienced personal or financial changes after depositing that could affect a future payment in one way or another.

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Upcoming Stimulus Checks: What to Expect


Did you start a new job, get a raise, or get a higher overall income?

Your adjusted gross income, or AGI, is a term normally used for the IRS annual tax return to describe your total income, including assets (such as 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 your tax status and your stimulus checks, and any change in your AGI could increase or decrease the size of your check.

For example, if you received all of the $ 1,200 per qualified adult with 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 IRS pays on a sliding scale – or you may have exceeded the threshold and no longer eligible. All in all, that’s a “good” problem to have.


The kids get older and you could lose $ 500 per kid.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Do you have fewer dependent children now than you did earlier this year?

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 dependent child for your taxes (23 years or younger and financially dependent on filer) is not the same set of terms used for stimulus checks.

If the rules remain the same (and there is an indication that they cannot), any older dependent you applied for on the first check may no longer have qualified, which means you could get $ 500 less if the rules stay the same.

Are you behind on child support or have you changed the way you claim your dependent?

In most cases, any stimulus check you receive is free to use as you see fit. However, an exception set out in the CARES Act de mars was child support. If you owe child support to your child’s other parent, you may have some or all of your stimulus check garnished. If you received an additional $ 500 for the way you and the other parent filed a dependent claim (it’s complicated), then you changed the way you filed your 2019 tax reserve ( for example, if the other parent got full custody), you can’t get the extra $ 500. Here is more information on child support situations.

Do you have debts with 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 – private creditors and banks – who could legitimately seize all or part of your money on the first and possibly the second check.


A few entities are allowed to seize your stimulus money.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Some stimulus laws could change, which could disqualify you

From the terms of the the second stimulus check is not yet finalized – and that won’t be the case until the sitting 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 people in jail and jail a stimulus check, then requested the return and stopped issuing new checks. A recent decision by a federal judge has revived them.

If this law and others concerning citizenship status in the United States, the United States territories or abroad, were to change, this could make a person eligible for the first payment disqualified for a second check.

Have you given the IRS your new address if you moved?

If you have moved as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and you have not filed a change of address form with the USPS or IRS (a good action to take), the agency may not know where to send a paper check or EIP plan. 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 run in a heist or need contact the IRS to file another claim.

If there is an IRS error or a missing step, you will likely need to file a claim

The arrived with the first check and could easily happen with the next one. Clerical errors and complex rules can cause your household to receive less money on a second stimulus check than you actually get – for you and your dependents. Or maybe you don’t normally need to file your taxes and might 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 sorting those dunning payment omissions now for a wide range of groups, and probably will do so again if a second check has just been.

Has anyone in your family 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 revival, here’s what President-elect Joe Biden could do if another stimulus bill does not pass when he becomes president, and everything you need to know about stimulation controls.


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