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10 stimulus checks facts and myths to know about the status of the first and second payments

The election outcomes are in, however the way forward for a second stimulus verify remains to be unsure.

Sarah Tew/CNET

With the Senate on break until after Thanksgiving, talks on one other financial reduction bundle that might embody a second verify are on maintain now until December. And with Congress additionally turning its consideration to 2021 federal finances negotiations forward of the Dec. 11 deadline, there may be discuss that legislators discussing the subsequent stimulus invoice would possibly work in tandem with lawmakers who’re hammering out the finances, CNBC reported.

If Congress does not move extra financial help this 12 months, nonetheless, President-elect Joe Biden has a stimulus plan that features a second stimulus verify of as much as $1,200 for qualifying People, however it may’t be voted on till after Inauguration Day on Jan. 20.

The method of sending out and receiving stimulus checks is sophisticated. Whereas there’s nonetheless a lot we do not know — together with the precise date one other fee might come your means (we’ve got guesses), which {qualifications} might change and who would not be eligible for an additional spherical — there’s additionally loads we will infer based mostly on the phrases of the primary stimulus verify and the varied proposals which were proposed in Washington, together with Biden’s plan.

This is what’s true and false about stimulus checks. And here is each remaining profit that disappears if no invoice is handed earlier than 2021.

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Subsequent stimulus checks: What to anticipate


Some folks will not qualify for a second stimulus fee

With the primary spherical of checks, Congress set earnings limits based mostly in your adjusted gross earnings that have been one line separating who did and did not qualify for a stimulus verify. However it’s only the start. Your standing as a dependent or grownup, your citizenship and extra additionally helped determine in case you obtained all or among the first verify — and people issues will probably additionally have an effect on the second. Learn extra about stimulus fee {qualifications} right here.

The IRS would possibly nonetheless owe you cash from the primary stimulus verify

Guess what? The IRS nonetheless owes thousands and thousands of individuals all or a part of their first stimulus checks. It might be that some cash was overlooked for little one dependents, or that an interpretation of a rule modified (this actually occurred), that you just fell by way of the cracks along with your private scenario, that you just did not assume you certified however you really do and have to take an additional step or that another error saved you from getting the entire quantity you have been entitled to. You had till Nov. 21 to file your declare it; now, you will want to attend till tax season in 2021 to register for a fee from the IRS.

The second verify may not be the identical quantity as the primary verify

If the eligibility necessities change with the second verify, you and your loved ones might end up with extra money in your fee, or much less. For instance, a brand new rule might doubtlessly get you an even bigger sum. However there might also be modifications to your life circumstances — reminiscent of a beginning or demise, beginning a brand new job or changing into unemployed — which may additionally play a task in a special verify quantity. This is how one can calculate your estimate, and here is how the IRS determines how a lot cash you get.

To get a stimulus verify, you do not have to file taxes

Whereas taxes and stimulus checks are tied collectively, you needn’t have filed a tax return to qualify for a verify. In the event you’re over age 65, for instance, and obtain Supplemental Safety Earnings or Social Safety Incapacity Insurance coverage, you would nonetheless qualify for a stimulus verify underneath the CARES Act. You would possibly have to take an additional step to request your fee (you might have till Nov. 21 for the primary batch) so as to get your verify.

You may normally hold the cash, however there are exceptions

Normally, your verify is yours to spend or save the way you need. However there are a number of conditions the place the federal authorities or a debt collector can take all or a part of your verify to cowl a debt, reminiscent of in case you owe little one assist.


You continue to have a number of weeks to say a stimulus verify this 12 months.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The IRS makes use of a method for stimulus fee calculations

Determining what your fee might find yourself being isn’t easy. The IRS used a method to find out how a lot stimulus cash you bought for the primary verify, and one thing comparable for a second fee would decide whether or not you obtain the total quantity, a partial fee or way over $1,200 when you’ve got youngsters.

It additionally explains the way you would possibly nonetheless have the ability to get some stimulus cash even when your loved ones’s yearly earnings exceeds the restrict set out by the CARES Act in March. The calculation begins along with your family’s complete adjusted gross earnings, provides on the cash allotted to qualifying dependents after which deducts from the entire based mostly in your earnings bracket (as outlined by the CARES Act). 

Stimulus cash will not be taxed in 2021

The IRS does not take into account stimulus cash to be earnings. Meaning a fee you get this 12 months will not cut back your refund in 2021 or improve the quantity you owe once you file your 2020 tax return. You additionally will not need to repay a part of your stimulus verify in case you qualify for a decrease quantity in 2021. The IRS mentioned in case you did not obtain the whole lot you have been owed this 12 months, you’ll be able to declare it as a credit score in your 2020 federal earnings tax return by submitting in 2021.

IRS precedence teams: Know yours

Eligible People obtained the primary stimulus fee at totally different occasions, usually due to the best way they obtained paid, and a second fee can be comparable. For instance, folks who’ve arrange direct deposit — an digital switch of funds into their checking account — with the IRS might get their checks weeks earlier than those that obtain a paper verify or pay as you go EIP card within the mail. We recognized 5 precedence teams based mostly on the primary stimulus checks. 

Mail in ballots

You may need waited for some time on your first verify to come back within the mail.

James Martin/CNET

The following verify is probably not as delayed as the primary

With the primary verify, the IRS discovered how you can mobilize and ship stimulus cash, and labored out most of the difficulties within the course of. If a second verify is authorised, it is probably the company might pace up the method of sending out the primary set of funds. The monitoring software is already up and operating, the system is in place and it is possible that almost all of people that certified for a primary verify would additionally obtain one other. 

The timeline is continually altering, however we have mapped out potential dates a verify might be despatched if authorised earlier than — or after — the Jan. 20 inauguration.

The foundations and exceptions for eligibility necessities it is best to know

If a second stimulus verify is authorised, there will likely be a number of small particulars, guidelines and exceptions which may be complicated. Whereas some conditions will likely be straightforward to grasp, others regarding you and your dependents would possibly make it unclear in case you’re eligible and the way a lot cash you would possibly obtain — there are various fringe instances.

For instance:

Sure points might delay your verify, reminiscent of in case you not too long ago moved.

For extra details about stimulus funds, here is what’s taking place with stimulus negotiations proper now, what President-elect Joe Biden plans for a stimulus invoice and what federal advantages expire on the finish of the 12 months.

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