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American Rescue Plan FAQ

 

On Wednesday, March 10, the House voted to pass the latest stimulus package and the following day President Biden signed it into law. We’ve included some frequently asked questions and answers about the American Rescue Plan below.

 

How much are the stimulus checks and who will get them? When will they arrive?

You can use this calculator to get a good sense of how much you will receive, here.

Under the bill, single filers with incomes up to $75,000, head of household filers with incomes up to $112,500, and joint filers with incomes up to $150,000 will receive payments of $1,400. Those making more than that income threshold will receive lesser amounts, and those single filers making more than $80,000 (head of household filers making $120,000, and joint filers making $160,000) will receive no stimulus payment at all.

If you have direct deposit set up with the IRS, you may have already received the check - if not, you should very shortly. If you receive your tax refunds via check or prepaid debit card, those should arrive in the mail over the next few weeks.

 

Are adult dependents eligible for stimulus checks?

Unlike previous payments, adult dependents (those who are 19-24, retirees, or adults with disabilities who rely on another person for more than half of their expenses) are now eligible for payments, as long as the filer who claims them as a dependent meets the eligibility requirements listed above. 

The check will be sent directly to the filer who claims the dependent, not the dependent.

Previously, only dependents under 17 were eligible.

 

Are mixed-status or undocumented families eligible for a stimulus check?

In cases of mixed-status families where only one spouse has a Social Security number, the family would get a payment of $1,400 for the spouse with a number, plus $1,400 for each dependent who also has a Social Security number.

If both parents are undocumented but their dependent is a U.S. citizen, then that dependent does qualify for a check— if their parents filed their taxes with individual tax identification numbers (ITINs).

 

What tax return year is the government using to determine eligibility for a stimulus check?

Under the bill, the IRS is directed to make payments initially based on people's 2019 tax returns or their 2020 returns if they've already been filed.

 

What if I never received my first or second stimulus check?

If you were eligible to receive the first or second stimulus check and didn’t receive it, you must claim the Recovery Rebate Credit when you file your 2020 taxes. This form is for paper filers. E-filers should have the option in whatever software they used to file.

 

Are stimulus checks tax-free?

Yes, stimulus checks are not considered taxable income; therefore, they will not be taxed and will not affect your eligibility for any federal government assistance or benefit program.

 

Will unemployment assistance be extended? 

The current $300/ week federal benefit will be extended through early September. 

 

Do I have to pay taxes on my unemployment benefits?

The first $10,200 of unemployment benefits received in 2020 have also now been designated tax-free for households making less than $150,000.