On Saturday, the Senate approved a $1.9 trillion stimulus package by a vote of 50 to 49, clearing the way for its final passage through the House early this week, after which President Joe Biden is expected to sign the package into law.
That means a third round of direct cash payments will soon be on the way, but there are a few differences from the stimulus bill Congress passed in December.
Specifically, this round of payments will be quite a bit larger for most of those who received checks previously. Instead of the $600 that was sent out in December, individuals will receive as much as $1,400, depending on their income. However, the income threshold to receive a check will also be stricter this time around, after moderate Senate Democrats used their leverage to negotiate a lower maximum eligible income with the Biden White House.
Those changes mean that about 17 million fewer people will receive a third round of stimulus payments than would have under the House-passed version of the bill, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, but some 280 million people will still be eligible.
Here’s what you need to know:
Who qualifies for a $1,400 direct payment?
Unlike previous rounds of payments, eligibility for the new $1,400 checks may be determined based on either 2019 or 2020 tax returns, depending on whether you’ve filed yet for 2020 — and whether the IRS has processed your return. In general, the federal government will use the most recent income information it has on file to determine eligibility.
Here’s who’s eligible for a payment:
- Adults who earned $75,000 or less in their most recent tax year will receive the full $1,400, as will
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