As reported by cnet,

The second stimulus check is over… or is it? We’ll help you make sense of it all.

Sarah Tew/CNET

By now, the IRS and Treasury Department have stopped making automatic payments of the second stimulus checks to bank accounts and mailboxes. What do we mean by that? We’ll tell you, and we’ll also explain what you need to do to claim your stimulus payment (at this point, the IRS will refer to it as a “credit”) as part of the tax-filing season that starts Feb. 12. For example, what can you do if you qualify to get a second check but the IRS didn’t send the right payment amount?

Or what happens if your check is held up by one of the common issues that could tangle up your stimulus money? We’ll go over that, too, plus how to track down your stimulus check, what your payment rights are and what to do if you don’t receive your stimulus check by next week.

Along with this second payment, a third round of stimulus checks could be close behind. On Thursday, President-elect Joe Biden introduced a $1.9 trillion stimulus package that would include a new stimulus payment for up to $1,400. Here are the details you need. This has been updated with new information.

The IRS has stopped delivering $600 stimulus checks

Second stimulus check payments had a Jan. 15 cutoff as part of December’s bill authorizing the money. As a result, there are now two phases for stimulus checks going out — those that arrived before the deadline, and those that have to be reconciled from here on out.

Some more resources:

Does that mean I can’t get my stimulus payment?

You haven’t missed your opportunity to get your second stimulus payment, though at this point it may not come in the usual way you recognize. If you don’t get your second check shortly after Jan. 15 (it could take a few days in the mail,) eligible individuals will have to claim it when they file their 2020 taxes in 2021. Feb. 12 is the first day you can file. The later you file taxes, the longer it might take to get your second stimulus check.

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Second stimulus checks: Everything you need to know


There are two ways to track your second stimulus money

If you’re missing your first check and waiting for your second, there are two things you can do to get some visibility into what’s going on. The first is to use the IRS’ free online Get My Payment tool. The online application can show if there’s an issue that’s delaying your second stimulus payment delivery. Make sure you read our tips on how to use it, since it isn’t always completely straightforward. 

The second method, which is specifically for people who are getting physical checks and EIP cards, is to sign up for a free USPS service that scans your mail and lets you know when it’s coming. That takes the guesswork out of the whole operation. 

Third stimulus check proposals are now for $1,400, $2,000

On Thursday night, Biden sketched out a framework for his administration’s stimulus package proposal and has backed a third stimulus check for up to $1,400 per adult. This is clearly less than the $2,000 last-ditch effort in late December and discussed earlier this month. 

Biden’s proposal isn’t a given, and there may be an extended runway between the $1,400 suggestion now and the final dollar amount that passes. That figure, and any changes to stimulus check qualifications, would be points of negotiation and debate among the new Congress. Here are all the ways you could get more money with a third stimulus check.

If I have a problem with my stimulus payment, should I call the IRS?

When the IRS facilitated sending the first stimulus checks, it sent a letter with phone numbers to call if you ran into trouble. The agency also staffed up call center representatives. That’s not the case this time around. Instead, the IRS wants you to claim your missing money using the Rebate Recovery Credit as part of your 2020 taxes and use online tools. It tells you not to call. Here’s how to contact the IRS about a missing stimulus check.


The delivery of second stimulus checks has now entered Phase 2.

Angela Lang/CNET

Qualifications for dependents changed in the second check and could change in the third

The second stimulus check gave households a $100 raise on the amount given child dependents, a flat rate of $600. Compared to the first direct payment, this is an increase from $500 per child dependent 16 years or younger. There is no cap on the number of children 17 and under who would contribute the household’s total.

A third check could potentially change stimulus eligibility again, but expanding the definition to dependents of all ages, according to Biden’s stimulus plan. (Here’s who the IRS considers an adult for stimulus checks.)

If you don’t file taxes, you could still get a stimulus check

While taxes and stimulus checks are tied together, you don’t need to have filed a tax return to qualify for a check. If you’re over age 65, for example, and receive Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance, you could still qualify for a stimulus check under the CARES Act. You might need to take an extra step to request your payment (you had until Nov. 21 for the first batch) to get your check if you don’t receive it automatically during tax season.


You still have a few weeks to claim a stimulus check this year.

Angela Lang/CNET

Your stimulus money doesn’t count as taxable income

The IRS doesn’t consider stimulus money to be income. That means a payment you get this year won’t reduce your refund in 2021 or increase the amount you owe when you file your 2020 tax return. You also won’t have to repay part of your stimulus check if you qualify for a lower amount this year. The IRS said if you didn’t receive everything you were owed this year, you can claim it as a credit on your 2020 federal income tax return by filing in this year.

Qualifications aren’t simple. Some rules and exceptions to know

When it comes to stimulus checks, small details, rules and exceptions can be confusing. While some situations will be easy to understand, others concerning you and your dependents might make it unclear if you’re eligible and how much money you might receive.

For example:

This time, your stimulus money will not be seized for rent or debt

In most cases, your check is yours to spend or save how you want and it isn’t taxable. But there were a few situations where the state or federal government or a debt collector can take all or part of your first check to cover a debt, such as if you owe child support. However, with the second check, the money can’t be used to pay past-due federal or state debts, and the payments are protected from bank garnishment and from private creditors or debt collectors.

Source link: cnet


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