There are $1,400 stimulus checks and there are $1,400 stimulus checks. The maximum amount a person could receive in a third payment may not be the total you’d eventually get, especially when you factor in other qualifications, how many dependents you might claim and any changes to the stimulus check formula. This time around, there could be plenty.
A group of 10 moderate Republican senators has issued a counterproposal to President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package, for around a third of Biden’s asking price. Their $600 billion framework (PDF) would issue $1,000 stimulus checks to qualified adults, with an extra $500 for dependents of all ages. But it would also disqualify any single taxpayer who makes $50,000 a year or above, and any married couple making over $100,000 a year.
After meeting with Biden, the group suggested they could raise the stimulus check total to $1,400, but remained focused on “targeting” the stimulus payment so that fewer people overall would receive one. Changing the maximum amount would already influence how many people get a stimulus check. Further adjustments to the rules would introduce a complete shift in who would and wouldn’t qualify, and how much money they could receive. You can calculate your estimate for both potential check amounts here and compare the outcomes below.
Stimulus calculator: Your estimated total if Biden’s $1,400 check is approved
Let’s say that a third stimulus check does get approved for $1,400, with all the current rules in place. As with the first two rounds, the total per person limit isn’t necessarily what you’d get in a final payment. Depending on circumstances such as your adjusted gross income, eligible dependents and other qualifications, you could get a lot more or less.
For the sake of simplicity (and because there’s no formal stimulus bill quite yet) the calculator below follows the same formula the IRS used for both stimulus checks so far, and keeps the $600 flat rate for child dependents from the second stimulus check. Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package proposal would seek to include dependents of all ages, including college students and older adults, so go ahead and add them now. You’ll need your AGI to get started. CNET’s stimulus calculator doesn’t store or use your personal details and provides estimates only.
Calculate your $1,400 stimulus check total
Use details from your 2019 tax return.
1. Choose your filing status below.
What would happen if a “targeted” approach like the $1,000 Republican proposal is adopted?
If the $600 billion stimulus proposal (PDF) were to make it out the gate as is (which is unlikely), it would provide a full $1,000 to single taxpayers making under $40,000 a year and married couples making under $80,000. You’d get a partial payment up to a $50,000 a year AGI or $100,000 as a married couple. After that point, you wouldn’t be eligible for a check. That said, dependents can change the outcome. The $600 billion proposal would allot $500 to dependents of any age.
Again, CNET’s stimulus calculator won’t store or use your data, and provides estimates only.
Calculate your $1,000 stimulus check total
Use details from your 2019 tax return.
1. Choose your filing status below.
$1,400 versus new $1,000 proposal: What’s the difference?
You’ve calculated your total above, but we also ran some numbers based on our stimulus check calculators, to compare the totals each household could get under these financial conditions. These are estimates only, based on the current suggested stimulus check frameworks.
$1,400 Biden versus $1,000 GOP: Stimulus checks compared
|Head of household||Married couple, filing jointly|
|Estimated total with:|
|$40,000 and no dependents [$1,400 Biden]||$1,400 (single taxpayer)||$2,800|
|$40,000 and no dependents [$1,000 GOP]||$1,000 (single taxpayer)||$2,000|
|$80,000 and no dependents [$1,400 Biden]||$1,150 (single taxpayer)||$2,800|
|$80,000 and no dependents [$1,000 GOP]||Not qualified||Not qualified|
|$40,000 and 1 dependent [$1,400 Biden]||$2,000||$3,000|
|$40,000 and 1 dependent [$1,000 GOP]||$1,500||$2,500|
|$80,000 and 1 dependent [$1,400 Biden]||$1,750||$3,400|
|$80,000 and 1 dependent [$1,000 GOP]||Not qualified||$2,500|
|$40,000 and 2 dependents [$1,400 Biden]||$2,600||$4,000|
|$40,000 and 2 dependents [$1,000 GOP]||$2,000||$3,000|
|$80,000 and 2 dependents [$1,400 Biden]||$2,600||$4,000|
|$80,000 and 2 dependents [$1,000 GOP]||Not qualified||$3,000|
Why the $1,400 sum would automatically qualify more groups of people, for now
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.
Fast-forward to the $600 maximum amount in the second check. 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.
A third stimulus check for $1,400 would raise that income threshold, making a single taxpayer eligible to receive a full or partial payment up to an AGI of $103,000. With a $2,000 stimulus check, that cutoff to receive a partial payment would be $115,000 for a single taxpayer. (According to the formula used by the IRS, and a $1,400 per person limit, single taxpayers who make $102,900 a year would get a $5 stimulus check.)
Children change the equation, which is why we once again recommend using our stimulus check calculator for a better estimate of your personal financial picture.
Lawmakers seeking to target the third stimulus check could succeed in sending it to fewer people by changing the upper income limit, for example by making it smaller than $1,400 maximum. Or they could change the formula so fewer people could get a partial check. We’ll have to wait and see what happens.
$600 vs. $1,400 vs. $1,000 (GOP proposal): Comparing maximum limits
Going from $600 to a $1,400 or $1,000 check (with new limits) is a huge leap any way you look at it and we wanted to highlight just what a difference the three numbers make with a handy chart below. Note that only the first two columns use the same formula, which makes it easier to compare apples to apples. The GOP proposal changes the terms and reduces the rate per dependent from $600 to $500.
All figures could change in a final stimulus bill and represent the highest amount a household could get, but remember that just like the first and second payments, there will be reasons some people may not get the full amount.
$600 vs. $1,400 vs. $1,000 (GOP) check maximums
|$600 stimulus check ($600 per child age 16 or under)||$1,400 stimulus check ($600 for dependents of any age)||$1,000 stimulus check ($500 for dependents of any age)|
|Individual taxpayer, 0 dependents||$600 maximum||$1,400 maximum||$1,000 maximum|
|Head of household, 1 dependent||$1,200 maximum||$2,000 maximum||$1,500 maximum|
|Head of household, 2 dependents||$1,800 maximum||$2,600 maximum||$2,000 maximum|
|Head of household, 3 dependents||$2,400 maximum||$3,200 maximum||$2,500 maximum|
|Married couple, 0 dependents||$1,200 maximum||$2,800 maximum||$2,000 maximum|
|Married couple, 1 dependent||$1,800 maximum||$3,400 maximum||$2,500 maximum|
|Married couple, 2 dependents||$2,400 maximum||$4,000 maximum||$3,000 maximum|
|Married couple, 3 dependents||$3,000 maximum||$4,600 maximum||$3,500 maximum|
We know Biden wants to expand eligibility in the third stimulus check to dependents of any age, 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.
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