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If you’re on this list, you’re not getting a second stimulus check

Published Dec 23rd, 2020 2:10PM EST
New stimulus check
Image: Roman Lipovskiy/Adobe
  • In a 4-minute video he released Tuesday night, President Trump complained about the stimulus bill Congress sent to him to be signed, with Trump demanding that the new stimulus check amounts be raised for individuals.
  • In this new COVID relief bill, Congress set the new stimulus check amounts at just $600 for individuals, much lower than the $1,200 stimulus check amounts from earlier this year following passage of the CARES Act.
  • President Trump demanded the new stimulus check amounts be set at $2,000 for individuals.

All of Washington DC has basically been holding its breath since last night, waiting to see if President Trump will be sent a new coronavirus relief bill amendment of some kind to satisfy his demand that the new stimulus check amounts in the bill be dramatically increased (from $600 to $2,000 per person). Or if, here at the finish line with a bill having finally emerged after months of stalemate and gridlock, President Trump will torch the finished product so that the compromises and legislative scrambling will have been all for naught — at a time when, mind you, the coronavirus pandemic is getting worse, not better.

Democrats have signaled they agree with Trump’s complaint and will try to work to quickly increase the new stimulus check amounts to individual Americans. All of which is to say, this situation is still very much in flux. However, we do have a moderate amount of clarity around at least one thing — eligibility for the new stimulus payments. Read on to learn who is eligible for a new payment, and who might not get a new stimulus check at all.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has said the first wave of new stimulus check payments could start to be sent out as soon as next week.

The details: Married couples who file their taxes jointly, under the stimulus bill terms still in place as of the time of this writing (the terms that Trump is complaining about), would receive $1,200, with eligible children getting $600. Otherwise, $600 stimulus checks would go out to individuals.

The payments phase out as people’s incomes reach above a certain threshold — $75,000 in adjusted gross income for individuals, $112,500 for “head of households,” and $150,000 for married couples.

Who won’t receive any payment: Under the terms of the new stimulus bill in place as of the time of this writing, assuming nothing is changed because of Trump’s rant video from Tuesday night, you won’t receive a stimulus check at all if you’re an individual with an AGI of $87,000 or more, or if you’re a married couple filing jointly and earning at least $174,000.

Other important points to know: Eligibility for the new stimulus payments will be determined in a slightly different way than they were following the passage earlier this year of the CARES Act. Then, the IRS looked at your 2018 or 2019 tax returns. This time around, the income situation from your 2019 tax return will be used to determine whether you get a stimulus check.

“If you had ’18 income and it was low and your ’19 was much higher, you could have a situation where you go from having a full payment to having none at all,” Garrett Watson, senior policy analyst at the Tax Foundation, told CNBC.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.