Calculate your second stimulus check total now: $600, $1,200 or more? – CNET


You can get an estimate of how many you could get in your second stimulus check with your calculator.

Sarah Tew/CNET

As part of the new $900 billion relief bill that passed the House of Representatives and is now before Congress, a second stimulus check of up to $600 for adults and dependent children. We pored through the text of the legislation to work out how the IRS calculates your second stimulus check total. 

Understanding the upper limit is easy, but as with the first check, Congress is using a lot of rules to decide how much you, your family, and your dependent children actually get. For example, the most an adult who qualifies for the second stimulus check can get is $600 apiece, but that becomes more complicated as you add in child dependents — each one under 17 years old will bring in an additional $600. The reality is that with the next round of payments, more people are expected to hit an income limit that could make them ineligible for any check at all.

Our calculator for this second stimulus check makes it simple by breaking down how much you might be able to receive, based on the rules Congress has set out for this $600 payment (here’s the calculator for the $1,200 stimulus check from March). Keep in mind that our calculator tool is for estimates only, and is not a final figure supplied by the IRS. There may be other factors that could determine the final size of your payment. This tool will not store or share your personal details.

What you need before calculating your second stimulus check

Before you can get an estimate of your second check amount, you’ll need your adjusted gross income (AGI) from your 2019 tax information. On your 2019 federal tax return, you can find that figure on line 8b of the 2019 1040 federal tax form. Keep reading for how to estimate your amount if you don’t typically file taxes.

With the second check, you enter all your child dependents age 16 and younger for $600 apiece. For tax purposes, a single taxpayer claims no dependents, where a head of household is a person who does not file jointly and claims at least one dependent.

Calculate your second stimulus payment

Use details from your 2019 tax return.

1. Choose your filing status below.

SingleMarriedHead of Household

Stimulus check qualification basics

Broadly, here’s who is eligible for money with the second stimulus payment. Payments top out at $600 apiece, and as you reach the upper AGI limit, the amount of your check will decrease. A family of four that qualifies, for example, could receive up to $2,400. For a complete breakdown, check out our qualifications guide.

To get the full $600 stimulus per person:

  • As an individual without qualifying children, you have an adjusted gross income of up to $75,000 (this completely phases out at $87,000, down from the $99,000 used for the first check).
  • You file as the head of a household (you claim children) and earn under $112,500.
  • You file jointly without children and earn less than $150,000 and no more than $174,000 (down from $198,000 from the first check).
  • Any dependent child under age 17 will count for an additional $600.

Note, if you don’t qualify for a second stimulus check based on 2019 data but you would with 2020 financial situation, you will not receive a second check this year. However, you can get that amount as a credit against your 2020 taxes.

If you qualify based on 2019 tax information but will be over the limit in 2020, you will receive a second check and do not need to repay it.

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How will your second stimulus payment arrive?

If the IRS has your banking information on file, either from your federal taxes or from the first stimulus payment, you’ll receive your payment directly to your bank through direct deposit. The Treasury Department said as of this summer, about 75% received their payments straight to their bank, 22% by paper check, 3% through a prepaid EIP card.

When will the payments go out?

Soon. According to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, “The good news is [direct deposit] is a very, very fast way of getting money into the economy. Let me emphasize: People are going to see this money at the beginning of next week.” 

Starting in the new year, the IRS will send out payments on paper checks and prepaid debit cards to those it does not have banking information on file. But the payments will not drag on for months, like they did with the first payments. By Jan. 15, if the IRS has not sent your payment — or sent the wrong amount — you can claim your money when you file your taxes this year.

What if you aren’t required to file taxes?

As with the first checks, the IRS will automatically send stimulus checks to many who normally aren’t required to file a tax return — including older adults, Social Security and SSDI and SSI recipients, certain veterans and railroad retirees. The IRS refers loosely to this group as nonfilers.

If you fall in one of these categories, enter your best guess in the calculator where it asks for your adjusted gross income.

Who doesn’t qualify for another direct payment?

We have a list of people who may not qualify for a second stimulus check. If you are over the income limit, a nonresident alien, or a dependent 17 years of age or older, you won’t qualify for a check. The People’s Policy Project think tank estimates 13.5 million adult dependents would be excluded under the requirements, including 7.3 million students.

For everything to know about the second payment, see what else is in the new stimulus bill, when the IRS could start sending checks and what we know about renewed federal unemployment benefits in the new bill.