What does AARP’s Coronavirus Stimulus Payment Calculator do?
Congress passed another coronavirus pandemic stimulus relief bill on Dec. 21, 2020, and President Trump signed the bill into law on Dec. 27, 2020. Our calculator provides an estimate of the amount you might receive in a second federal stimulus check, based on the information you enter. This is only an estimate; the actual amount you receive, if any, will be determined by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the government agency in charge of disbursing the second round of stimulus checks, formally known as economic impact payments.
How much is the stimulus payment?
Eligible individuals can receive a stimulus check of up to $600. Couples who file joint tax returns can receive up to $1,200. Families with children under age 17 can receive an additional $600 per child. Dependents 17 and over do not qualify for a check. People who are American citizens but filing jointly with someone who is not a citizen will be eligible for the stimulus check, which was not the case with the first round of stimulus payments. Stimulus checks are not taxable.
Will anyone receive a stimulus check who didn’t file a tax return in 2019?
Some people will. According to the House Appropriations Committee, eligible Social Security beneficiaries and railroad retirees who are not typically required to file a tax return will automatically receive a $600 stimulus check. The IRS will use information contained in annual SSA-1099 and RRB-1099 tax forms to generate the stimulus checks automatically. Recipients of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) also receive SSA-1099 tax forms and will receive $600 stimulus checks automatically. In addition, the House Appropriations Committee says Veterans Affairs (VA) beneficiaries and recipients of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will receive automatic $600 checks.
When can I expect to get my check?
The IRS will start distributing checks as early as the last week of December. Most people will get their checks via electronic bank deposit, which is the fastest method. Generally speaking, if you got your first stimulus check via electronic bank deposit, you’ll get the second one that way, too.
What information do I need to use the stimulus check calculator?
The calculator asks about three things: your tax filing status (single, married filing jointly, married filing separately, head of household, or qualifying widow or widower); your adjusted gross income (AGI) from your 2019 tax return; and the number of children under age 17 you claimed as dependents.
Is there an income limit to receive a stimulus check?
Yes. An individual with an AGI of up to $75,000 would receive the full $600 check; a couple filing jointly (or someone whose spouse died in 2020) with an AGI of up to $150,000 would receive $1,200 ($600 per eligible person). A head-of-household filer with an AGI of up to $112,500 would receive the full $600 check.
The amount of the stimulus check is gradually reduced once AGI exceeds these limits. An individual (either single filer or married filing separately) with an AGI above $87,000 would not receive a stimulus check. A couple filing jointly would not receive a stimulus check once AGI tops $174,000. Someone filing as head of household with an AGI above $124,500 would not receive a stimulus check.
How does the stimulus check calculator estimate reduced payments?
Once the AGI for a filer hits the income limit for the full stimulus check, the amount of the payment is reduced by $5 for each $100 above the threshold. The payment amount phases out completely once a filer’s AGI exceeds the maximum AGI for the filing status. Our calculator uses the rate of reduction provided by the IRS ($5 for each $100 above the threshold) to calculate your estimated stimulus check based on the information you provide.
Can I use the calculator if I haven’t filed a tax return for 2019?
Yes. Even if you haven’t filed a tax return, you can estimate your AGI and enter the amount into the calculator to get a ballpark estimate of your possible stimulus payment. Adjusted gross income, as the name implies, is your gross income (wages, dividends, capital gains, retirement distributions and other income) minus certain adjustments such as educator expenses, student loan interest, alimony payments and qualifying contributions to retirement accounts. You can find AGI on line 8b of your 2019 federal 1040 income tax return.
If you are not required to file a federal tax return due to your income level, you can wait until 2021 and file a 2020 tax return using a Form 1040 or a 1040-SR to claim the second stimulus payment. If you weren’t able to claim your earlier $1,200 stimulus check, you can do so on those 2020 tax forms as well.
Can I call the IRS to get more information about stimulus checks?
Yes, the IRS toll-free phone number is 800-919-9835.
Editor’s Note: This calculator has been updated for the second round of $600 stimulus checks.