The House of Representatives and Senate passed the new coronavirus stimulus package late Monday — paving the way for the federal government to start sending stimulus payments of $600 per person to those who are eligible.
The last step is for President Donald Trump to sign the legislation into law. Then, IRS will aim to make the automatic payments “in late 2020/early 2021,” according to the House Ways and Means Committee.
The eligibility criteria for a payment under the new stimulus bill are largely the same as those for the payments authorized by the CARES Act earlier this year. So if you received a payment the first time around, you can expect a second one.
There have been a couple of changes to the eligibility criteria, though. So here’s a look at the groups that should not expect to receive another economic impact payment, as the IRS calls them.
1. High earners
The new stimulus payments are available to most folks with an adjusted gross income (found on your tax return) of $75,000 or less — or $112,500 or less for heads of households, and $150,000 or less for joint tax returns.
Such households will receive $600 per eligible adult and $600 per qualifying child.
For households with higher AGIs, the stimulus payments start phasing out, meaning they will be reduced. Specifically, such a household’s payment will be reduced by $5 for every $100 by which their AGI exceeds the applicable threshold.
That means individuals without children would not receive any payment at all if their AGI exceeds $87,000. A couple without children would not receive anything if their AGI exceeds $174,000. A family of four would not receive anything if their AGI exceeds $198,000.
Dependents themselves — meaning people who are claimed as dependents on someone else’s tax return — are not eligible for a stimulus payment under the new bill.
3. Children age 17 and older
The new stimulus bill defines “qualifying children” as those who are under age 17. So households with dependent children age 17 or older will not receive an additional $600 for those children.
4. Nonresident aliens
Like the CARES Act, the new stimulus bill explicitly excludes “any nonresident alien individual” from the bill’s definition of an “eligible individual,” as far as economic impact payments are concerned.
The IRS defines a nonresident alien as someone who is not a U.S. citizen or U.S. national and has not passed the green card test or the substantial presence test. Or, as a Q&A from the House Ways and Means Committee puts it, someone who lacks “a valid work-eligible Social Security number.”
Someone who is otherwise eligible for an economic impact payment (EIP) but lives with someone who does not have a Social Security number (SSN) can receive an economic impact payment, though. This is a change — and a retroactive one, at that — from the CARES Act. The Ways and Means Committee explains:
“This legislation modifies the taxpayer identification requirement in the CARES Act to include families where some, but not all, members have SSNs. … This modification is made retroactively to the date of enactment of the CARES Act, meaning that it also applies to the first round of EIPs. Eligible families who did not receive an EIP earlier this year because one spouse does not have an SSN will be able to claim a credit on their 2020 tax return.”
5. Deceased people
You might think it goes without saying that folks who have passed away would not receive a stimulus check. But that’s not quite how it worked with the first round of economic impact payments authorized by the CARES Act, which was signed into law on March 27.
An investigation by the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that by May 31, the IRS and U.S. Treasury had made “payments to more than a million deceased individuals.”
This time around, lawmakers sought to prevent such an embarrassment from recurring.
“In order to stop payments to dead people, this legislation will remove hurdles to reducing improper payments,” as a blog post from the House Ways and Means Committee puts it.
Specifically, Congress will authorize the Social Security Administration to share the entirety of its death information with the Treasury’s “Do Not Pay” portal, which federal agencies use to prevent improper payments.
6. Estates and trusts
In case you were wondering whether your estate or trust can receive $600 as well, the answer is no. Like the CARES Act, the new stimulus bill excludes “an estate or trust” from its definition of “eligible individual.”
To learn more about the second round of economic impact payments straight from the horse’s mouth, check out:
- “Second Round of Economic Impact Payments: Frequently Asked Questions” from the Democratic side of the House Ways and Means Committee
- “Q&A: Economic Impact Payments” from the Republican side of the Ways and Means Committee
- “H.R. 133: Division-by-Division Summary of COVID-19 Relief Provisions” from the House Appropriations Committee (Skip to the section titled “Additional 2020 recovery rebates for individuals.”)
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