Here’s What You Need To Know About The $600 Stimulus Checks

Here’s What You Need To Know About The $600 Stimulus Checks


Congressional leaders reached an agreement over a $900 billion stimulus package early this week. The bill contains several key measures, including a second round of direct payments to Americans. However, the $600 amount has left millions slighted by lawmakers’ perceived indifference to their struggles.


Many have been quick to criticize the smaller payments, including President Trump, who called on Congress to increase the amount to $2,000 Tuesday evening. 


In a video published on Twitter, the president stated, “I am asking Congress to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2,000, or $4,000 for a couple.”


Although he never explicitly said he would veto the latest deal, President Trump referred to it as an unsuitable “disgrace,” according to CNBC. 


Because the stimulus bill passed in both the Hosue and Senate with veto-proof majorities, the president cannot directly increase the amount. 


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer have both said they would approve a larger stimulus check, with Pelosi tweeting, “Democrats are ready to bring this to the Floor this week by unanimous consent. Let’s do it!”


One top Democratic aide informed CNBC that the House would try to approve an independent measure for $2,000 stimulus checks on Thursday. However, it’s unlikely to gain the full support of the House, let alone the Senate. 


Proponents of the standalone bill have not clarified if Americans would receive both checks or just the $2,000.


A lot of uncertainty remains, but CNBC explains what there is to know about the next round of COVID-19 assistance.


Who Will Receive Stimulus Checks?

For many people, stimulus checks are the main feature. Under the next relief bill, eligible taxpayers will receive $600, with an additional $600 for each child dependent. 


The full amount will go to individuals earning less than $75,000, married couples earning $150,000, and single parents filing as the head of household making under $112,500. For every $100 over the income threshold, the amount will decrease by $5.


Single filers earning $87,000 or more and spouses filing jointly making $174,400 are ineligible. This means fewer Americans will be eligible for the checks, and those who qualify may see a considerably smaller amount.


When Will You Receive Your Stimulus Check?

Taxpayers who already filed their bank account information with the IRS will receive their second stimulus checks as quickly as a matter of days, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC in a Monday interview.


“This is a very, very fast way of getting money into the economy. Let me emphasize: People are going to see this money at the beginning of next week,” he said.


That covers people who opted to receive their 2018 or 2019 tax returns as a direct deposit. It could also apply to anyone who updated their information with the IRS last spring.


Qualifying individuals who have not filed their information with the IRS will be sent a physical check or prepaid debit card.


According to CNBC, the Treasury will send between five and seven million physical checks per week, plus benefits for other government programs. There is a chance that the IRS and Treasury will send payments to lower-income workers, beginning with those earning under $20,000 annually.


What If You Never Received Your First Stimulus Check?

Many people never received the first stimulus payment, but there’s still time to claim your money, tax professionals note.


“They can get the stimulus payment they are eligible for in the form of a Recovery Rebate Credit when they file their 2020 taxes,” Lisa Greene-Lewis, certified public accountant and TurboTax expert, told CNBC.


According to Mark Steber, Jackson Hewitt Tax Service’s chief tax officer, the simplest way to get your benefit is by applying the amount on your 2020 taxes.


“There will be a schedule and line on the tax return to reconcile what they have received so far, and the amount actually due to them based on their 2020 tax return,” continued Steber. 


Qualifying taxpayers can claim the Recovery Rebate Credit on Form 1040 or 1040-SR when filing their 2020 taxes. Americans who typically do not need to file taxes but qualify for the credit can also submit these forms.


If you’re worried that the stimulus checks will make filing your taxes more difficult, Greene-Lewis says that most tax software will automatically account for them. 


“TurboTax has guidance related to stimulus payments and other impacts of Covid-19,” she explained. “It will ask up front if the filer received a stimulus payment and then calculate the Recovery Rebate Credit based on actual 2020 income.”


Either way, most tax professionals agree that this should be the year that you file early.


  • Sigalos, MacKenzie. “Trump Demands Congress Increase Second Stimulus Check from $600 to $2,000. Here Are the Chances of That Happening.” CNBC, CNBC, 23 Dec. 2020,
Ian Schindler