Second Stimulus Check: What You Need to Know

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Congress passed the latest coronavirus relief bill on Monday that would bring the majority of adults in the United States who received the previous $1,200 stimulus check would be able to get a second one worth $600 if U.S. President Donald Trump signs the legislation.

Second Stimulus Check

The new package would also provide dependents with an additional $600 each, up from the previous bill’s $500. The funding aims to support parents suffering amid the recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Although some slight changes to the eligibility rules compared to the previous COVID-19 relief bill, the latest package gives most of those who received the first payment a second set of checks. However, the new bill would exempt previously eligible recipients, such as people who have died before 2020. Fortunately, it also adds more citizens to its eligible list, including those who have someone in their household without a Social Security number.

Additionally, the new package extends and expands the new $300 that would be deducted and given as charitable contributions for people who do not itemize.

Differences from the first

The first difference between the first and second stimulus payments is which tax return it bases its payments. Previously, the CARES Act ordered the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to provide stimulus checks to eligible individuals based on either their 2018 or 2019 tax returns.

However, the new bill would require that agency to base the sending of payments on people’s 2019 tax returns. This could mean that some people who were qualified based on their 2018 tax returns to not be eligible under the new bill.

Under the first or second stimulus checks, people who qualified based on their 2020 income but did not yet receive their payments can claim their money after they file their 2020 federal tax returns. Currently, the new line is called “recovery rebate credit.”

For Americans who do not file a tax return, the IRS could still send payments based on their Social Security, railroad retirement, veterans benefits, or on information they input into the agency’s online portal for non-filers.

People who did file a tax return but did not have a direct deposit of a tax refund are urged to provide their banking information into a separate web portal called “Get My Payment” to receive their first stimulus checks. The IRS could also use the information to distribute the second round of payments much quicker than before, but questions remain unanswered until the signing of the bill and the agency releasing notice.

Income limits

The new stimulus bill would provide less payments to adults, from $1,200 down to $600 each. Also, dependents are getting $600 each, an increase of $100 from the first set of stimulus checks, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The income limits in the new bill are also lower due to the decreased payment amount. Previously, single people would not receive payment when they have at least $99,000 income or $198,000 for joint filers. In the new legislation, adults with no children would receive no payment if their income is at least $87,000 for singles or $174,000 for joint filers.

The IRS continued to send out the first set of stimulus payments under the CARES Act for people who died if they had a filed tax return in 2019 or 2018. The agency later tried to retrieve the over one million payments made to deceased Americans.

However, the new bill prevents the IRS from providing dead people with stimulus checks if they died before 2020. For those that lost their lives this year, on the other hand, the new package would still allow them to be eligible for the second set of payments.

Danielle Joyce Ong

Danielle is a local journalist with a passion for exploring stories related to crime and politics. When Danielle isn't busy writing or reading, she is usually exploring the great outdoors and all the hiking trails in the Bay.