Here's How Big Your Coronavirus Check Will Be

Most Americans will get a check ... or direct deposit
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 26, 2020 9:25 AM CDT
Here's How Big Your Coronavirus Check Will Be
A subway rider wears a glove while holding a pole as several riders wear face masks during the coronavirus outbreak on the D train in the Brooklyn borough of New York on Wednesday, March 25, 2020.   (AP Photo/David Boe)

The Senate on Wednesday passed the biggest economic relief bill in US history—the AP gives a sense of scope by noting the $2.2 trillion price tag is equivalent to half the size of the entire $4 trillion-plus annual federal budget. Assuming the House passes it as expected on Friday, how much will end up in your pocket? The Washington Post has created a coronavirus stimulus check calculator where you can see for yourself (use it here), but in general, here's how it will work:

  • The checks are expected to go out in April, and in most cases they won't be checks. If you qualify for a check, the government will see if it has your direct deposit info on file from the filing of your 2018 or 2019 taxes. If it does, you'll receive your payment that way.

  • If you earn no more than $75,000 a year you'll qualify for the full $1,200. Married couples can get $2,400 so long as their adjusted gross income doesn't exceed $150,000 a year.
  • Reduced checks will go to individuals making up to $99,000, with the total amount reduced by $5 for every $100 over $75,000. Married couples who make up to $198,000 will also get reduced checks.
  • Adults will also receive $500 per child under age 17. Forbes reports there is no limit on the number of kids, so the same thing applies whether you have one kid or six.
  • Based on these parameters, not every American will receive a check, but most will—about 83% of tax filers, per one estimate cited by the Post.
  • Your income level will be determined based on your 2019 taxes, or your 2018 taxes if you haven't filed them yet. The checks won't be taxed.
  • Another note on timeline: The Post notes that while Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin wants the first batch of checks to go out the week of April 6, "the last time the US government did anything like this, in 2008 ... it took about eight weeks for the final people to receive their checks."
  • CNN echoes that, with Howard Gleckman with the Tax Policy Center saying, "It is more realistic to expect them in a month or two."
(Read more coronavirus stories.)

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