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Stimulus Payments: Round #2 (FAQs)

An economic relief package was signed by President Trump just over a week ago creating a second round of stimulus checks for many American taxpayers.

How much will I be receiving? 

The max amount per taxpayer is $600, half of the first round’s stimulus payment.  An additional $600 is also included for any dependents under 17 years of age (up from the $500 for dependents in the previous round).

Who is eligible for a stimulus payment?

Individuals with an adjusted gross income on their 2019 return of less that $75,000 will receive the full $600.  Individuals who file as Head of Household will receive $600 if their income is under $112,500.  Married couples will earn $1,200 ($600 per person) if their AGI was less than $150,000.

For taxpayers who make more than the income limit, the stimulus payment is reduced by $5 for every $100 earned above the limit.  For example, a single filer with an AGI on their 2019 return of $76,000 should expect a stimulus payment of $550 ($1000 / 100 = 10 x 5 = $50).  Married filers with a 2019 AGI of $156,000 should expect a stimulus payment of $900 ($6000 / 100 = 60 x 5 = $300).

An additional $600 will be added for each claimed dependent under the age of 17.

How will I receive my stimulus money?

If your last return was filed with direct deposit information for a refund OR if you provided your direct deposit information through the IRS website for the last round of stimulus checks, you should receive your refund via direct deposit.  If DD information wasn’t provided, you will receive your payment by check.  The IRS is the best resource for questions about the status of your payment or the method by which you will receive it.  View their stimulus resources here.

I didn’t receive the first round of stimulus money because of my income, but I’m eligible based on 2020 income.  Will I receive it now?

If you missed out on either or both stimulus payments because of previous years’ income but are eligible based on 2020 income, you can claim the “recovery rebate credit” on your 2020 return.

I hadn’t yet filed my 2019 return when the first round of stimulus checks went out and was ineligible based on 2018 income.  My 2019 return has since been filed and I am now eligible.  How much will I receive? 

You should expect to receive the appropriate amount of the current round of stimulus money based on your 2019 tax return.  The first round of stimulus checks will not be included in this payment, but the rebate for that amount should be claimed on your 2020 return.

I only received a portion of the total available rebate because my AGI exceeded the limit, but my 2020 income is much lower.  Will I receive any of the missed rebate?

A decrease in your 2020 income may result in all or some of the missed portion of the rebates becoming available to you in the form of the recovery rebate credit.  For example, a single taxpayer with no dependents and a 2019 AGI of $84,000 should have received $800 of the $1200 rebate available in round #1.  The same taxpayer should receive $200 of the $600 available in round #2.  If the taxpayer’s 2020 income decreases to $60,000, for example, he/she would be eligible for the full $1800 distributed over both rounds of stimulus payments.  Since he/she would have already received $1000 in stimulus, the remaining $800 should be claimed on the 2020 return as a credit.

I added a dependent in 2020.  Can I claim the credit for dependents retroactively?

The amount of the missed credits (up to $1100 per dependent) can be claimed as part of the recovery rebate credit on your 2020 return.

If I claim the credit on my 2020 return, how do I receive the stimulus money?

If you are eligible for the payment on your 2020 return, the credit will either reduce your balance due OR be added to your refund.

What documentation do I need to provide at tax time for any stimulus money I’ve already received?

Taxpayers should receive documents titled Notice 1444 (for stimulus round #1) and Notice 1444-B (for stimulus round #2) that will list the amount of stimulus money received.  Confirm that the numbers listed match the amount you actually received each round.  Both of these documents, if applicable, should be provided to your tax preparer.