How much was the first stimulus check? Your tax return may need that total
Before you file your 2020 tax return, use this handy stimulus payment calculator to estimate how much your household should have received with the first payment.
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In the meantime, the IRS is sending third stimulus checks for up to $1,400 apiece to people who qualify for the new eligibility rulesand income limits. Whether you already got your third stimulus check or you're still waiting, it's important to look back at what you received -- or didn't receive -- from checks one and two. (And here's what we know about a fourth stimulus check). This story was updated.
How much was the first stimulus check and when was it sent out?
The CARES Act was signed into law on March 27, 2020, and the first stimulus check, which maxed out at $1,200 per person (with an extra $500 per dependent), would have arrived as early as mid-April 2020, either as a paper check in your mailbox or via direct deposit into your bank account.
If you don't have an IRS Notice 1444 and you know (or think) you received money from the first stimulus check via direct deposit, start your search in your April bank statements. If you still can't find a record of receipt, use our first stimulus check calculator below to figure out how much you should have received. You can then find what you need to claim your money by logging into your tax account on the IRS website.
Watch this: Stimulus check 3: How much money you'll get
What about the second stimulus check amount and dates?
Congress approved another economic relief bill at the end of last year, and the second round of stimulus check payments began sending as early as Dec. 29, 2020. This payment capped out at $600 per person, and another $600 per qualifying child dependent. If you don't have IRS Notice 1444-B and can't find anything in your December and January bank statements, check out our handy stimulus check 2 calculator to get an idea of what you were entitled to and then head to the IRS website to get what you need.
Stimulus check 1 calculator
Although there's a new set of stimulus check qualifications for the third check, we left this calculator from the first stimulus check here for the sake of posterity, in case you wanted to compare estimates or to see if you got the amount you thought you would (if not, here's how to file for a Recovery Rebate Credit with the IRS).
By the way, the calculator doesn't retain your personal details in any way. Keep in mind that it provides an estimate of the total amount you might have received -- it isn't a final figure from the IRS.
Important: Make sure you have your AGI
CNET's stimulus check calculator tool is based on rules from the CARES Act that was passed in March, 2020. It's intended to give you an estimate of what you should have received in your first stimulus check. To use the tool, you'll need your adjusted gross income, or AGI, from your 2019 or 2018 tax information. You can find that figure on line 8b of the 2019 1040 tax form and line 7 on the 2018 1040 tax form. (And when you go to file your 2020 tax return, it'll be on line 11 of the 2020 1040 federal tax form.)