$1,400 stimulus check: Here’s who may not qualify for a third payment – CNET

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Not everyone will get another stimulus check.


Sarah Tew/CNET

Congress is getting closer to passing President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package, which would include a third stimulus check of up to $1,400 per person. And just like with the first two stimulus checks, millions of people are waiting to find out if they’ll officially qualify for this payment, or if they’ll be left out completely. Any minor change between now and the time the bill is signed could make a big difference in eligibility.

With the new bill, Biden seeks to qualify more people who were left out of the first and second rounds. However, a “targeted” stimulus check could also mean many people who were eligible for the previous payments won’t be eligible this time around.

Here’s what you need to know about whether you’ll be disqualified from receiving a third check, if one is approved, based on what we know now. Also, here’s what will happen if a third stimulus check arrives in the middle of tax season.


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Individuals with an AGI over $100,000

The new stimulus check could begin to phase out after $75,000, per the “targeted” stimulus plan (see below). If your adjusted gross income (AGI) is $100,000 or over, you won’t be eligible for a third payment of any amount. However, if you make between $75,000 and $100,000, you could get a portion of the check; you’d receive the full amount if your yearly income is under $75,000 for the year. Here’s how to calculate the amount you could receive.

Heads of households who make $150,000 or more

Similar to the single-taxpayer cutoff, heads of households (people who do not file jointly and claim a dependent) with an AGI of $150,000 or more are excluded under the new proposal. In order to get a partial stimulus payment, you would need to make between $112,500 and $150,000. But to get the full amount, you must make below $112,500 if you’re the head of household.

Married couples filing jointly who make $200,000 or more

If you’re a married couple filing jointly and have an AGI of $200,000 or higher, you won’t be eligible for the third stimulus check under the new proposal. In order to qualify for the full $1,400 payment, your combined household income would need to be less than $150,000. The amount you could receive would phase out after that amount until you reach the cutoff.

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A “targeted” bill could mean less money for you.


Sarah Tew/CNET

Non-US citizens or ‘nonresident aliens’

If you’re considered a nonresident alien by the IRS, you won’t be included in the third stimulus check. The government defines a nonresident alien as someone who “has not passed the green card test or the substantial presence test.” For example, if you’re studying abroad in the US.

With the first stimulus check, noncitizens needed to have a Social Security number and live and work in the US to qualify for a payment. However, the second check amended the rules to allow families with a noncitizen spouse to qualify for a second stimulus check, even if they are issued a taxpayer identification number (ITIN) by the IRS and not a Social Security number. See more below.

What about noncitizens with a US citizen spouse?

If you’re considered a noncitizen, you may or may not get a stimulus check, depending on a couple of factors. Under Biden’s proposal, mixed-status households with at least one family member that has a Social Security number could be eligible for the third stimulus check, assuming they meet the other requirements, including the income limits. 

What if you live in a US territory like Puerto Rico?

With the first two stimulus checks, people who live in Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands may have been eligible to receive payments. Whether these groups qualified for a check has in the past been determined by the tax authorities in each territory. These agencies were also directed to make the payments. It’s likely to be the same situation for the third stimulus checks.

If you never received a payment for one or both of the previous stimulus checks, you’ll need to contact your local tax authority to inquire.

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Nonfilers will need to take an extra step to get their stimulus money.


Sarah Tew/CNET

What if I’m a nonfiler who doesn’t submit taxes?

If you’re a nonfiler and typically aren’t required to file income taxes, you’re probably eligible to receive the third stimulus check. However, if you’re missing money from a previous check you may need to take an extra step to get your money by filing your taxes this year. If there’s an issue receiving some or all of a third check, it’s likely you would need to file a claim during tax season 202 a year from now. We’ll know more once a third payment is approved.

Will my eligibility be based on my 2019 or 2020 income?

Right now, it’s still unclear which tax returns the IRS will base your personal stimulus check eligibility on. In fact, more or fewer people could qualify depending on which year — 2019 or 2020 — the IRS decides to use. 

For example, if you made over $100,000 in 2019, but made less in 2020 due to circumstances (like losing your job), you still wouldn’t get a payment unless the IRS goes off your 2020 tax return.

If you want your third check to be based on your 2020 taxes, it’s best to file early and make sure you add your direct-deposit details when you do.

What if a family member died since I filed my 2020 federal tax return?

It depends on which tax return the IRS uses (see above). For example, if the IRS goes by your 2019 tax return, it’s likely you’d get to keep the amount you received for the deceased person. With the first stimulus check, the IRS asked people to return the money for someone who had died since the previous tax filing. With the second check, if your spouse died in 2020 and your AGI was less than $112,500 a year, you would be eligible for the full $600 amount.

We’ll know more as soon as a third stimulus check is passed by Congress.

For more information, here’s why you should set up direct deposit with the IRS now, four reasons to file your taxes as soon as possible and who may qualify for a third stimulus check.

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