Everything to know about $1,400 stimulus checks
Update: This article has been updated to reflect President Biden signing the bill.
The third round of stimulus checks will soon be on its way.
On Wednesday, the House passed the $1.9 trillion relief package that includes a $1,400 check for the majority of U.S. taxpayers. President Joe Biden signed the bill on Thursday afternoon, paving the way for checks to start going out as soon as this weekend.
But this round of stimulus checks is a bit different than the two rounds sent out in 2020. To help Americans better understand what the checks will look like, Fortune created a guide for everything you need to know about this third round of direct payments.
Who qualifies for stimulus checks? How much will the stimulus checks be worth?
This third stimulus payment will go out to fewer households than the two rounds sent in 2020.
Single filers earning up to $75,000 will get a full $1,400 stimulus check, and couples filing jointly with income of up to $150,000 will get a $2,800 stimulus check in the new round. The payments are based on adjusted gross income, which is in your federal tax filing. Additionally, those who qualify would get an extra $1,400 per dependent—which includes not only children, but for the first time, adult dependents as well.
A family of four making $150,000 or less would qualify for $5,600 in stimulus money.
In the new package, however, checks would begin to phase out faster than those in previous rounds. Single filers making over $80,000 per year and joint filers making more than $160,000 wouldn’t receive a check at all. By some estimates, that could leave out roughly 12 million adults and roughly 5 million children from getting a check this time around.
When will the stimulus checks be sent out?
The Biden administration plans to send out checks as soon as this weekend.
After the signing of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act in March 2020, it took two weeks for the first of $1,200 checks to go out. But after the passage of the $600 checks in December, it took direct deposits only four days to start. The Treasury Department should be able to stick to that four-day turnaround, or possibly even faster.
Simply put, all signs point to the Treasury Department getting checks out this month.
How will my check be delivered?
Taxpayers who are eligible and previously provided their direct deposit information to the IRS will not be required to do anything. Their check will automatically deposit in their bank account.
Taxpayers who don’t have direct deposit set up will instead receive a paper check in the mail. In 2020, stimulus checks delivered via mail were sent out a few days after direct deposits started. It’s reasonable to expect the same delay this go-round.
Will my stimulus check be based on my 2019 or 2020 income?
For this third stimulus check, eligibility will be based on taxpayers’ most recent return: either 2019 or 2020.
That means Americans who saw income declines in 2020 could potentially benefit if they had already filed. That’s what Sen. Ron Wyden suggested last month when he tweeted: “Tax filing season starts February 12. By filing your taxes early, you’ll ensure your next relief payment will be based off of your most recent income. If you lost wages in 2020 as a result of this pandemic, file your taxes ASAP to ensure you get the help you need.”
However, if you believe you received a smaller amount of stimulus money in 2020 than you qualified for because you had changes to your income or life (such as losing a job or having a child last year) that wouldn’t be reflected in your 2019 return, you might be eligible to get those funds through the Recovery Rebate Credit, in addition to the new $1,400 payment. In that case, you can fill out the Recovery Rebate Credit Worksheet in the Form 1040 instructions.