Stimulus check: Calculate how much money you could get
You might have some extra money coming from the U.S. government this spring.
The U.S. Senate approved a sweeping $2 trillion stimulus package that aims to help people affected by the coronavirus pandemic. People who are still working, those who are unemployed, those who are self-employed and contractors would all benefit. Businesses also stand to get financial assistance to avoid closing down or laying off employees because of the economic effect of the pandemic.
The legislation still needs approval in the U.S. House.
For individuals, the amount of money you receive is based on your household income and how many children you claim as dependents on your taxes.
How is the amount determined?
Here's how the amount is calculated under the current plan:
Adults receive a lump sum of $1,200 (or $2,400 for those filing tax returns jointly).
People with little or no tax liability would get at least $600 (or $1,200 for joint returns).
Families receive an addition $500 for each qualifying child claimed as a dependent.
The payment would be progressively reduced for higher-income earners, starting at $75,000, or $150,000 for a joint return.
Individuals earning more than $99,000 wouldn't qualify at all.
Married couples filing jointly are eligible for a $2,400 check if their household income is below $150,000. Similarly, that amount is reduced gradually up to $198,000.
Those filing as a "head of household," typically single parents, will receive the full $1,200 check if they earn up to $112,500 a year, and reduced checks up to $136,500 annually.
The government will use your 2019 tax return if you've filed it. If you did not file yet, your 2018 filing will be used.
How and when will the money be delivered?
The U.S. Treasury secretary has said "we will get his out in three weeks" after it passes Congress. It's hard to pin down specific dates at this point, though.
If you set up direct deposit with the IRS for your tax refunds, you should get the money faster than those who will get a check in the mail.
When the government sent checks to Americans in 2008 under President George W. Bush, the stimulus was signed into law Feb. 13 and checks didn't start going out until late April.