Estimate your second stimulus check amount: $600, $1,200 or more? – CNET


You can estimate how much money you could get in your second stimulus check with our calculator tool.

Sarah Tew/CNET

On Christmas day, President Donald Trump once again called for a $2,000 second stimulus check to replace the $600 maximum direct payment contained within a $2.3 trillion joint package for COVID-19 relief and 2021 government funding package. The roller coaster of a situation means it’s unclear if Trump will relent and sign the bill into law if members of Congress attempt to adjust the total and fail, or if he’ll continue to rebuke the $600 maximum a qualified adult could get with the second stimulus check.

The House will try to pass a $2,000 stimulus check bill Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, although it isn’t expected to be taken up by the Republican-led Senate, which has balked at greater stimulus spending, including a larger second stimulus check. After Trump publicly attacked the joint bill Tuesday night and pressured Congress to raise the sum to $2,000, the House of Representatives attempted and failed to approve the raise, blocked by Republicans. 

The twists and turns are dizzying, and so is figuring out your total. If the situations resolves and Trump signs the bill as is, with a $600 upper limit, our second stimulus check calculator can help you estimate your payment amount. That would include factors like the number of child dependents you have and your adjusted gross income. Note that more people will likely be ineligible for any check at all in this second round of stimulus payments because they’ll be disqualified by the new income limit. CNET’s calculator provides an estimate only and does not store or share your personal details. This story is updated often.

How to calculate your second stimulus check total

Before you use the calculator tool below, you’ll need your adjusted gross income (AGI) from your 2019 federal tax return: find that figure on line 8b of the 2019 1040 federal tax form. (If you don’t typically file taxes, we share more details below.) To estimate the amount of the second check, enter all your child dependents age 16 and younger. A single taxpayer claims no dependents, and a head of household does not file jointly with a spouse 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 qualifications: The basics you’ll want to know

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 stimulus check qualifications guide.

To get the full $600 stimulus per person, either:

  • 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 qualify based on your 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 would I get my second stimulus payment?

If the IRS has your banking information on file, either from your federal taxes or from the first stimulus payment, your payment should come directly to your bank via direct deposit. The Treasury Department said as of this summer that about 75% of recipients were paid via direct deposit, 22% by paper check and 3% through a prepaid EIP card.

When could the IRS issue the payments?

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 EIP cards to those for whom it does not have banking information on file. But sending the payments shouldn’t drag on for months, as the first payments did. 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 I’m not 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 might not be eligible for another stimulus check?

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 will 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.