$1,400 stimulus check calculator: Estimating your total isn’t that simple. Here’s what to know – CNET

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Here’s how to calculate how much money your household get with a $1,400 stimulus check maximum.


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Which version of the $1,400 stimulus check will prevail? On Friday, President Joe Biden made it clear he supports s “targeted” vision of a $1,400 payment, though Democrats are reportedly split on some line items in the stimulus check formula, including income limits that could get your household a much smaller stimulus check or perhaps disqualify you from receiving any part of the third payment at all.

The more “targeted” approach that could make it into the next COVID-19 stimulus package could also extend $1,400 to dependents and include more people in the qualifications. While a change to eligibility could dramatically increase a household’s stimulus total, it could exist alongside newly lowered income limits — that is, how much money you can make a year and still qualify for a full or partial check.

That income threshold is a lynchpin that helps determine how much your household could expect with the new payment. We’ll go over some possible changes and how you could estimate your total. We also offer some handy graphs that illustrate how a shift in the stimulus formula could affect your total share. This story has been updated with new information.

Stimulus calculator: $1,400 payment with lower income limits

One Democratic proposal, according to The Washington Post, would drop the income limit for individuals and families to qualify for a full stimulus payment. Here’s who would get the full amount under this plan, based on your AGI:

  • Single taxpayer who makes less than $50,000
  • Head of household who makes less than $75,000
  • Married couple filing jointly who makes less than $100,000

As an individual’s or couple’s income goes up, the size of the partial payment would get smaller. Under this new proposal, dependents would qualify for a $1,400 payment, up from the $600 Biden outlined in his rescue plan.

The calculator below shows how the payment you could receive phases out at $50 for every $1,000 of income earned above the baseline, which is how the first and second checks were structured. The stimulus calculator won’t store or use your data. (Congress could also decide to phase out payments more aggressively than with the first and second checks, reducing payments $100 for every $1,000 of income earned above the baseline.)

$1,400 ‘targeted’ stimulus check total

Use details from your 2019 or 2020 tax return.

1. Choose your filing status below.

SingleMarriedHead of Household

Estimate a $1,400 check with no changes to income limit

Let’s say Congress were to approve a third stimulus check for $1,400 using the income requirements for the first and second payments — that is, the full amount to:

  • Single taxpayer who makes less than $75,000 (based on adjusted gross income)
  • Head of household who makes less than $112,500
  • Married couple filing jointly who makes less than $150,000

Depending on circumstances such as your eligible dependents and other qualifications, you could get more or less. This calculator uses the same basic formula as the first two checks and in this scenario, keeps the $600 amount per dependent. (See below to calculate the new proposal.) CNET’s stimulus calculator doesn’t store or use your personal details and provides estimates only.

$1,400 stimulus check total with no changes

Use details from your 2019 or 2020 tax return.

1. Choose your filing status below.

SingleMarriedHead of Household

With a lower income cap, fewer people automatically qualify

When Congress dropped the second stimulus check limit to $600, it automatically disqualified many people, simply because it lowered the income limit (as a result of math). 

For example, with the first check, a single tax filer who earned under $75,000 since their previous tax return received the full $1,200. As their adjusted gross income level rose, the total they were entitled to receive dropped. After $99,000, they weren’t eligible to get anything at all. 


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With the second check’s $600 maximum amount, the cutoff remained $75,000 to receive the total, but using the formula laid out in the text of the bill, the threshold to receive any amount of stimulus money as an individual (with no children) is an AGI of $87,000. Make more than that and you’re not eligible for a check. 

If Congress sticks to the same upper income limits for a third stimulus check of $1,400, that would raise that income threshold from $600, making a single taxpayer with an AGI of $75,000 eligible to receive a full payment, with a cutoff to receive a partial payment at $103,000.

With a $1,400 payment using the proposed reduced income cap, however, the lower cap would exclude individuals and families who would have qualified using the first and second check formula. That same single taxpayer now would receive a full $1,400 payment up to an AGI of 50,000 and then phase out completely at $78,000.

Dependents would change the equation, which is why we once again recommend using our stimulus check calculator for a better estimate of your personal financial picture.

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How much money you get and who gets it all hinge on small changes Congress will decide.


Angela Lang/CNET

$600 vs. $1,400 checks: Total check size compared

Going from $600 to $1,400 — either with a higher or lower cap on income — is a big leap any way you look at it. So, we wanted to highlight just what a difference the approaches could make with the handy chart below. Note that the first two columns use the same formula, which makes it easier to compare apples with apples, and the third uses the one reportedly under discussion with the lower cap but more money for dependents.

All figures could change in a final stimulus bill and represent the highest amount a household could get, but remember that just like with the first and second payments, there will be reasons some people may not get the full amount

$600 vs. $1,400, two ways, check maximums

$600 stimulus check ($600 per child age 16 or under) $1,400 stimulus check ($600 for dependents of any age) $1,400 stimulus check ($1,400 for dependents of any age)
Individual taxpayer, 0 dependents $600 maximum $1,400 maximum $1,400 maximum
Head of household, 1 dependent $1,200 maximum $2,000 maximum $2,800 maximum
Head of household, 2 dependents $1,800 maximum $2,600 maximum $4,200 maximum
Head of household, 3 dependents $2,400 maximum $3,200 maximum $5,600 maximum
Married couple, 0 dependents $1,200 maximum $2,800 maximum $2,800 maximum
Married couple, 1 dependent $1,800 maximum $3,400 maximum $4,200 maximum
Married couple, 2 dependents $2,400 maximum $4,000 maximum $5,600 maximum
Married couple, 3 dependents $3,000 maximum $4,600 maximum $7,000 maximum

We know Biden wants to expand eligibility in the third stimulus check to dependents of any age. It’s a move that would make approximately 13.5 million more adult dependents able to count toward the household total, according to The People’s Policy Project. Biden’s proposal would also appear to include all families with mixed citizenship status; that is, where at least one family member is a US citizen.

For more information on stimulus checks, here’s how to report missing stimulus money to the IRS, what to do if you’re missing any stimulus money and all the important things you need to know about stimulus checks and your taxes.