Did you get more money in your third stimulus check? All the reasons why
With the $1,400 per person maximum in the stimulus check, you're automatically eligible to receive more money than in the first two payments. Keep in mind a number of other factors could make your potential payment even larger.
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The new stimulus checks for up to $1,400 per person started hitting bank accounts recently, and while you can track your payment online now, the IRS website won't tell you the amount of money you're due. In addition to our stimulus calculator, there are other clues that can reveal every way your check size could increase.
1. $1,400 per dependent means your check total could grow
While dependents don't get their own checks, they do count toward the family total. With the first check, children age 16 and undercounted for $500 apiece, while adults factored in for up to $1,200. The second check counted child dependents for $600, the same as their parents or guardians.
Watch this: Stimulus check 3: How much money you'll get
2. Why could more dependents qualify overall? Age isn't a limiting factor anymore
Who counts as a dependent? The next stimulus package would have a different answer. For the first and second checks, a dependent was understood to be any child aged 16 or younger. But the new definition would include anyone you can claim on your tax returns -- such as children over 16, older adults under your care and child dependents of any age with disabilities. If approved, that could bring your family more money by raising the number of overall dependents who qualify.
3. Babies and other additions: What if your household gained a dependent in 2020?
If you have had or adopted a new child, if an older relative moved in with you or if for whatever other reason you've gained a dependent since the last round of stimulus payments, you may see a larger check. In fact, parents of 2020 babies might be able to get $1,100 more.
4. Mixed-status families now qualify for a stimulus payment
Under the new stimulus plan, more families who are considered "mixed-status" would be eligible for a stimulus check. The second payment broadened the rules from the first check by making it possible for families where one spouse is a US citizen to be eligible for a payment. Biden's proposal would work with more scenarios: For example, it would potentially provide stimulus check money to a household of US-citizen children with noncitizen parents. It isn't clear if this would pass as part of the final bill.
5. If your job situation changed, you might get more money
If you became unemployed this year or your wages dropped, that could lower your adjusted gross income, which is used to determine your payment. For example, if you got a partial payment with the first or second check, a third check could bring you a full payment if you're no longer employed.
6. What if you recently got married and are filing together for the first time?
Depending on several variables that include your spouse's filing status and any new dependents, a change in marital status could result in a larger check. For example, if you're single and filing alone, you got $1,200 at most the first time around. Married, you could be eligible for up to $2,400, since the IRS formula used to determine your total stimulus money is based on your combined household income.
If a third stimulus check arrives for $1,400 per person, your spouse could double it to $2,800. Alternatively, if your personal AGI would only get you a partial stimulus check payment on your own, filing jointly with a spouse with an income under the threshold could qualify you for the whole check total.
7. Do you share custody of a dependent? It could make a difference
If you meet specific qualifications, you and the child's other parent may both be entitled to claim extra stimulus money. That means you could get an extra $500 or more in the third stimulus check, especially if anything in your situation changed between the time you filed your 2019 tax return and your future 2020 return. The third check allowance would be based on your most recent tax filing.
8. Incarcerated individuals can get a third stimulus check
With the third check, you'd need to have a Social Security number to be eligible, or be part of a mixed-status family where one household member has a Social Security number, if that's approved. On Feb. 4, the Senate passed an amendment blocking stimulus payments for undocumented immigrants. Though the amendment isn't binding, it seems unlikely that senators would change their position now that they're on the record.