If you’re wondering when your next stimulus check will arrive, we don’t have great news for you.
The truth is that no one knows when — or whether — American households will see another round of payments from Uncle Sam.
The adoption of another federal coronavirus relief bill of any kind would require a divided Congress to work together a few months before a presidential election. That’s not impossible — extraordinary times can bring the two sides together, as we saw earlier this year. But passing such legislation will be no small feat.
In mid-May, the House of Representatives passed a bill that includes a second round of stimulus payments — the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act, or Heroes Act. But the Senate has yet to vote on the $3.4 trillion bill, or to reveal its own version.
In the meantime, we’ve dissected the Heroes Act to show you what a second round of stimulus checks would look like if the Heroes Act becomes law — or if Congress agrees on another version that contains the same stimulus payment provisions in the Heroes Act.
How much would a second stimulus check be worth?
Under the Heroes Act, stimulus checks would be larger, on average, than they were under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act.
The CARES Act authorized what it called “recovery rebates” of $1,200 per eligible taxpayer and $500 per eligible dependent, while the Heroes Act would authorize $1,200 per taxpayer and $1,200 per dependent for up to three dependents.
The average Heroes Act rebate would be $2,170 compared with an average CARES Act rebate of $1,729, according to an analysis by the American Enterprise Institute.
Who would receive a second stimulus check?
More people would be eligible for a rebate under the Heroes Act. They include the following groups.
1. People who earn less than a certain amount
The Heroes Act uses the same income thresholds that the CARES Act used to determine a taxpayer’s eligibility for a payment:
- $150,000 for joint tax returns and surviving spouses
- $112,500 for heads of households
- $75,000 for people with other tax filing statuses, such as single
If you make more than the applicable amount listed above, you would not receive the full amount or would not receive a payment at all.
As was the case with the CARES Act payments, the Heroes Act payments would be available to Social Security recipients and people who do not earn enough money to be required to file a federal tax return, assuming they are otherwise eligible, according to the American Enterprise Institute analysis.
This means retirees could receive a second stimulus payment.
3. More resident aliens
Only people who have a Social Security number were eligible for a CARES Act payment. But people who have an individual taxpayer identification number, or ITIN, from the IRS would be eligible for a Heroes Act payment, the American Enterprise Institute reports.
This means a greater number of resident aliens would be eligible for a Heroes Act payment than were eligible for a CARES Act payment.
For example, resident aliens who don’t qualify for a Social Security number but have an ITIN could not receive CARES Act payments but could receive a Heroes Act payment, assuming they are otherwise eligible.
4. More dependents
Not only would dependents qualify for larger amounts under the Heroes Act, but more dependents would qualify for a payment under the bill than qualified under the CARES Act.
As the American Enterprise Institute summarizes it:
“Under the CARES Act, a household could receive an additional $500 for each qualifying child, defined as a child under the age of 17. … This excluded children that have turned 17, college students that may still be dependents, and other dependents, such as elderly parents. In contrast, the [HEROES] Act would provide [an] additional $1,200 to all dependents (up to three per household). This definition includes those left out of the CARES Act.”
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