With the House of Representatives returning to work this week to consider President Joe Biden’s 10 Senate Republicans (PDF) also ready to present their own $600 billion economic rescue framework, the next few weeks could packed with news about a . Plus, if you’re still waiting for , the IRS will start processing , letting you claim missing money asand a group of
Almost from the day Congress approved theat the end of 2020, many in Washington started talking about the possibility of a . We’ll talk about , how some lawmakers would seek to , what to know about and how to potentially .
Below, we’ve broken down the most important stimulus check facts and developments right now. This story was recently updated.
February will be stimulus month
With Congress promising to start work in February on the next round of COVID economic and vaccine assistance, February will be busy. And that’s on top of thefor former President Donald Trump.
Promising to use the last week of January to lay the groundwork for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said House Democrats will return to work this week “completely ready to go to the floor” with the administration’s COVID proposal.,
The 10 moderate Senate Republicans are also looking move forward in February on their plan for COVID relief, sending Biden a letter (PDF) on Jan. 31 urging him to meet on their proposal. The GOP plan would drop some of Biden’s funding projects to make the $600 billion budget goal, including . “If you can’t find bipartisanship on COVID-19, I don’t know where you can find it,” said Ohio Senator Rob Portman, a member of the Republican group of 10, on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday.
Tax season 2020 is important for stimulus checks, even if you don’t usually have to file
February will also mark the start of tax-filing season, which carries extra weight for those who qualify for the first, second or potentially third stimulus checks — and that’s. That’s because the IRS uses the federal tax system to decide everything from (based on ) to how , or even if you should get a (it’ll be faster if you and ).
Ifor , or , the IRS will use your 2020 taxes to reconcile the difference — but only as, you guessed it, part of a . Again, that even applies to to file income tax. Here’s our primer on .
One more thing: If you got a, but you never got your funds, you may need to rather than use the IRS’ rebate credit.
A third stimulus check could happen pretty quickly
It took exactly nine months to get from the(March 27, 2020) to the (Dec. 27, 2020). Even , Biden has been bullish about Congress passing another — one that includes a . And he — along with congressional Democrats — want to see the third injection of funds sooner rather than later.
While Pelosi has suggested a bill could be ready for a vote in the House as soon as the week of Feb. 1, if Biden decides to work with the moderate Senators on their plan for a third stimulus check for $1,000 and funding for, talks on a new stimulus payment could get pushed out at least a few weeks. Here’s the as we know it now.
More people could qualify for the next stimulus check, but it may get complicated
Whether thewinds up having a or some other amount, as long as it’s more than $600 and uses the same income limits (and ), more people could . That’s because there’s an that’s part of a after which point you can’t get any money. That goes up when the per-person maximum goes up. So more people are eligible for some stimulus money with a $1,200 check than with $600, and so on.
The Senate Republican plan would significantly lower the income cap to qualify for payments — from $75,000 to $50,000 for an individual and from $175,000 to $100,000 for a family — to target payments at lower-income groups and “help those that need it the most,” Portman said Jan. 31.
In addition to setting up a higher overall payout with a larger check, Biden’s stimulus proposal also seeks to include two more groups of people:and families with (that means some members are not US citizens). Republicans offered no specifics on which groups would qualify under its framework.
What isn’t clear is how the payment will work for these groups. Will households all get another round of money per dependent, or just those who were excluded before? Will any amount of the payment be retroactive for mixed-status families who were barred from claiming the first and second check? Those rules aren’t yet determined.
Your stimulus check rights improved with the second round — mostly
For the most part, stimulus dollars are yours to spend or save as you please. Almost nobody can compel you to pass over your proceeds for rent, car payments, back taxes or debt — or even. That’s with the second check that went out last month, which changed some of the rules.
However, the government’s Taxpayer Advocate Service, which works with the IRS, has pointed out that anyone claiming a not automatically protected from garnishment.for catch-up stimulus money is
It isn’t clear how a third check would play into the mix. And there is still an exception that allows at least one entity to garnish your stimulus money. Make sure you.
The rules and exceptions can get very confusing
When it comes to stimulus checks, small details and exceptions can be dizzying. While some situations are easy to decipher, others concerning you and your dependents might make it unclear if you’re eligible, how much money you could receive and if there’s anything extra you have to do to claim your money.