With the Nov. 3 election in six days and counting, we know that a stimulus bill won’t get a vote until after it’s over. It may not even fully come together before then. As Democratic and White House negotiators continue to tussle over the details, we can help you get a grip on key facts for one part of the bill, a second stimulus check that could yield you up to $1,200 per individual (but that figure only scratches the surface.)
To give you an idea, we’ll explain how the IRS determines your total stimulus check amount, how taxes are a huge factor in your payment, and how you may even be owed more money from the first round of direct payments. This story updates often.
A new check won’t come until after the election is over
Negotiators haven’t successfully narrowed their differences on a bill. Yet, both President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi remain hopeful that the final wording of a bill will be ready — one way or another — after the election and hopefully before the new term begins.
Trump has promised “the best stimulus package you’ve ever seen,” if Republicans sweep Congress and the presidency. It’s unclear what would happen if election results went a different away. Congress convenes on Jan. 3 and the office of President is sworn in on Jan. 20. Once again, the timeline is up in the air, and the results may hinge on the outcome of the election.
The IRS owes some people a catch-up payment
If you’re still waiting for your first stimulus payment, there are several ways to hunt it down. As many as 9 million people were estimated to be eligible for a first check but didn’t receive it because they needed to register with the IRS — an extra step most people didn’t have to take. The deadline is Nov. 21 and we show you how to register here.
Some people with dependents received only a partial payment and are still owed money. The deadline to get that in 2020 is also Nov. 21, and we explain how you can claim it with next year’s taxes.
And if you share custody of a child but you’re not married, you may each be able to receive $500 per child dependent.
2 new groups might qualify for stimulus money
Democratic negotiators have supported bringing certain undocumented immigrants to the US who pay taxes the same $1,200 stimulus check afforded to US citizens at home and abroad, as well as some people living in US territories.
An Oct. 27 tweet from Washington Post reporter Jeff Stein quotes White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany discussing the Democrats’ desire to bring stimulus checks for undocumented workers into the next stimulus bill. By the CARES Act rules, qualified noncitizens who are permanent residents and “resident aliens” were entitled to the first check so long as they met other eligibility requirements.
A second group who could get a first or second check include people who are incarcerated, and otherwise eligible. A judge in California ruled (PDF) that imprisonment should not disqualify someone from receiving a stimulus check and ordered the IRS to release payments to people who would otherwise meet the qualifications. The ruling found that the CARES Act did not specifically or legally bar this group of people from getting checks and that the IRS’ interpretation is incorrect. If this ruling holds, up to 2 million people or their families could still receive payments for incarcerated individuals.
Stimulus payment calculations employ this not-so-simple formula
You may be interested to know that the IRS has a formula for working out how much stimulus money you could get, and that’s what determines whether you receive the full amount, a partial payment or far more than $1,200 if you have kids.
It also explains how you might still be able to get some stimulus money, even if your family’s yearly income exceeds the limit set out by the CARES Act in March. The calculations start with your household’s total adjusted gross income, add on the money allotted to qualifying dependents, and then start deducting from the total, based on your income bracket (as defined by the CARES Act).
You can calculate how much you could get in a stimulus check now, as well as for a second check.
You may be in one of 5 payment groups
Eligible Americans got the first stimulus payment at different times, often because of the way they got paid, and a second payment would be similar. For example, people who have set up direct deposit — an electronic transfer of funds into their bank account — with the IRS could get their checks weeks before those who receive a paper check or prepaid EIP card in the mail. We identified five priority groups based on the first stimulus checks.
Your second payment could possibly arrive quicker than the first
With the first check, the IRS learned how to mobilize and deliver stimulus money, and worked out many of the difficulties in the process. If a second check is approved, it’s likely the agency could speed up the process of sending out the first set of payments. The tracking tool is already up and running, the system is in place and it’s probable that the majority of people who qualified for a first check would also receive another.
The timeline is constantly changing, but we’ve mapped out potential dates a check could be sent if approved before — or after — the election……..Read More>>