With the next stimulus payment, most of the rules may be the same, but if the check amount doesn’t increase from $600 to $2,000, some people won’t be eligible anyway. Here’s what’s going on now.
President Donald Trump signed the COVID-19 relief bill into law on Sunday night. The provision for the second stimulus check is for up to $600 per person, but Trump has continued to demand a $2,000 check — a raise of up to $1,400 per qualified adult and child. And the House of Representatives on Monday voted to approve the $2,000 amount. The proposal for the larger sum now goes over to the Senate.
The second stimulus check has most of the same rules as the first one did, but some have changed in a way that would allow more people to qualify for the second stimulus payment. However, some people may not get another check at all, and others could be automatically disqualified.
One major eligibility caveat tied up with the second stimulus check’s $600 cutoff could make a difference in either direction for millions of people. And other factors that have nothing to do with the size of the next direct payment could prevent you from getting paid. (A third stimulus check is possible for 2021, too.)
Keep reading to learn who might not be eligible at all for a second stimulus check. If you do end up qualifying, here’s which payment group you could be in and the real reason you want to get paid via direct deposit if possible. (Here’s how to estimate how much money your household might receive.) We recently updated this story.
The second stimulus check’s $600-per-person total might work against you
Some things changed with the second stimulus check that Trump signed Dec. 27. The per-person total is one of them, including a $600 maximum for each adult(down from $1,200 per person in the first stimulus package) with another $600 per child dependent (up from $500). One thing that did not change is the formula the IRS uses to calculate your stimulus check total. https://www.myfinance.com/amp/?selector=myfinance-top&subId=prod%7C357298cb-797a-4072-9310-bab6c65f7a19%7Camp&mf_referrer=https://www.cnet.com/personal-finance/sorry-not-everyone-will-qualify-for-the-second-stimulus-payment-even-if-they-got-the-first-one/#amp=1
The result of some decently complex stimulus-check math is that more people will phase out of qualifying for a stimulus check payment, especially if they don’t have children 16 and under, the designated age for a qualified dependent.
So for example, if you’re a single tax filer, don’t have qualified child dependents and your adjusted gross income (AGI) on your 2019 tax return is between $75,000 and $95,000, you would have received a portion of the first ($1,200 max) stimulus check. But at a maximum of $600 per adult, you would phase out of the second payment once you hit $87,000. Read up more in our second stimulus check calculator and try it for yourself.
To determine your adjusted gross income, locate your 2019 tax statement. You’ll find your AGI on line 8b of the 2019 1040 federal tax form. If you didn’t file taxes in 2019, locate your 2018 tax document and navigate to line 7.
Dependents between 17 and 24 are excluded once again
When the first round of stimulus checks was sent, millions of young Americans were excluded from receiving the payment — with these exceptions. Those who were between the ages of 17 and 24 and who were also claimed as child dependents didn’t get a check of their own due to the tax code definition of a child. So if you’re 17 or older, you’re not considered a child under the new plan (and the CARES Act), even if you still live at home.
Although some lawmakers have pushed to expand the definition of a stimulus check dependent regardless of their age, the $900 billion bill has kept the CARES Act definition, but increased the amount from $500 to $600 per qualified child. It isn’t clear if a successful $2,000 stimulus check for adults would also retain the $600 provision for child dependents.
Note that even if you’re not considered a child by stimulus check definitions, you also may not be deemed an adult who would receive their own stimulus check. Here’s how to determine if you count as an adult or a dependent for stimulus checks.
Eligibility rules for people who are considered ‘nonresident aliens’
If you’re a “nonresident alien,” you would not be eligible for a second stimulus check. The government defines a nonresident alien as someone who “has not passed the green card test or the substantial presence test.”
Note that you didn’t have to be a US citizen to receive the first stimulus payment. Noncitizens must have a Social Security number and live and work in the US to receive a stimulus check under the CARES Act. The $900 billion stimulus bill would make it possible for families with a noncitizen spouse to qualify for a second stimulus check, even if they themselves are issued a taxpayer identification number (ITIN) by the IRS and not a social security number.
The Democrats’ revised Heroes Act proposal from Oct. 1 wanted to extend stimulus checks to a group of people who aren’t US citizens and pay US taxes, with an IRS-provided ITIN.