As of this article’s publishing, millions of Americans have received their $600 stimulus check, the 2nd to be sent to Americans since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
So what is the $600 stimulus check? What is it for? Do you need to pay it back? These questions, and more, will be answered in this article.
If you have yet to receive your stimulus check, this article will tell you what you can do to make sure you get it.
Background of the December 2020 $600 Stimulus Check
In the latter days of December 2020, Congress reached a deal to provide a $900 billion COVID-19 stimulus package to individuals, businesses, and other organizations. This stimulus was part of a $1.4 trillion spending bill to outline how federal programs would be funded through September 30, 2021.
This deal was reached after Democrats fought for a $2,000 one-time stimulus payment, which was rejected by Senate Republicans.
This stimulus package includes a plan for COVID-19 vaccine distribution, unemployment aid, $525 billion in aid to small businesses, funding for schools, rent assistance, and improved broadband Internet access.
This also includes an extension to the eviction moratorium by an additional month. However, student loan forbearance is still scheduled to end at the end of January.
The $600 December 2020 stimulus check is an advance payment for the Recovery Rebate Credit, just like the first stimulus check. Learn more about the original COVID-19 stimulus check!
Who Qualifies For The $600 Stimulus Check?
Americans who earned less than $75,000 in 2019 will receive a $600 direct payment, plus $600 per dependent child in the household. Couples filing jointly who earned less than $150,000 per year will receive a $1,200 direct payment.
The benefit amount decreases by $5 for every additional $100 earned above $75,000 (or $150,000). Those who made $87,000 or more in 2019 (or couples filing jointly who made $174,000 or more) will not be eligible for the stimulus payment.
Recipients of the payment who meet the eligibility requirements will not need to pay it back.
The number of dependent children that a household can claim is not capped, so a family with 3 dependent children and 2 parents filing jointly will receive up to $3,000.
All American citizens that paid tax in 2019 are automatically eligible. If you did not pay tax in 2019 (or if you didn’t use the IRS non-filers tool for the 1st payment), you can claim the Recovery Rebate Credit when you file your 2020 return.
Resident aliens are eligible for the stimulus payment provided they meet the eligibility criteria. Also, mixed-status couples (couples where one party does not have a Social Security number) are also eligible for the stimulus payment.
I Did Not Receive My Stimulus Check: What Happened?
In early January, it was reported that millions of eligible recipients did not receive their stimulus check. The problem was found to be linked to those who have filed with TurboTax, Jackson Hewitt or H+R Block. These providers create temporary accounts for taxpayers so they can deduct their preparation fee from the client’s tax return. These temporary accounts may have received the payment.
To check if this happened to you, go to the IRS’s Get My Payment tool. If the payment has been issued but you don’t recognize the account number, then it’s likely one of those temporary accounts.
If you filed your taxes with TurboTax, H&R Block, or Jackson Hewitt, you have two options. The first is to get in contact with your tax preparer and see if you can recover the payment. The second is to file your 2020 tax return as soon as the tax package is released and claim your Recovery Rebate Credit.
As of January 12, 2021, most of the checks have either been mailed out or sent through direct deposit.
- The $600 stimulus check was issued as part of a $900 billion relief response to economic conditions created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- All Americans earning less than $75,000 per year are eligible for the full $600. Americans earning more than $75,000 but less than $87,000 per year are eligible for partial payment.
- You will also receive an additional $600 per dependent child claimed on your 2019 tax return.
- If you have not received your stimulus check, you may simply have to wait, contact your tax preparer, or claim the credit through the Recovery Rebate Credit on your tax return.