The stimulus bill worth $2 trillion was signed into law on March 27 when the coronavirus pandemic started spreading across the United States. It was the most extensive emergency aid package in U.S history.
Also known as the CARES Act, the first stimulus check was sent directly to millions of taxpaying Americans affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The IRS used the 2018 and 2019 tax return to determine who will receive the stimulus check worth $1,200 per household.
Single individuals received $1,200, couples received $2,400, and their dependents received $500 each with a maximum of three dependents.
The distribution of the first round of stimulus checks was done from March to May this year. Yet, many people are still confused about who is qualified for the COVID-19 relief, how the checks are distributed, and the details of the rumored second stimulus package.
Who is qualified?
American taxpayers who filed their tax returns for either 2018 or 2019 are eligible to receive stimulus checks of up to $1,200 for single people or $2,400 for married couples. Parents received $500 for each of their child that is under the age of 18.
For taxpayers with gross income above the amounts stated, the stimulus amount is reduced, and for those whose gross income exceeds $99,000 will not receive any stimulus check.
How to get the stimulus check
Around 75% of the first round of stimulus payments were distributed as direct deposits to bank accounts, according to the IRS.
In June 2020, around 159 million payments were made. Out of the 159 million payments, 120 million were issued as direct deposits, 35 million were sent by check, and 4 million were sent through a prepaid debit card.
Suppose an eligible recipient has their direct deposit set up with the government to receive tax returns or other government benefits. In that case, the IRS will use that information to send your stimulus check. Those with direct bank deposits were the first to receive the stimulus payment.
If you are still waiting for the first stimulus payment and believe it was not lost or stolen, you will need to check out the IRS tracking tool to see your payment status. If you opted for a check and believe that it was stolen or lost, you need to call the IRS to trace it for you.
Details of the second stimulus package
Earlier this week, President Trump tweeted that he will no longer allow any negotiations for a second stimulus check as the presidential election is near, much to the American people's dismay.
However, on October 9, the president changed his mind and wanted a better and larger stimulus package, according to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
The negations are back on, with the Republicans throwing $1.6 trillion on the table. Still, the Democrats want at least a $2 trillion relief package due to the scale of the pandemic's damage, according to CNN.
Suppose they do agree, and the Republican's proposal gets the green light. In that case, Americans will receive another set of $1,200 stimulus check (or $2,400 for married couples) before the year ends, and the qualifications will be the same.
If the proposal of the Democrats will get approved, the American taxpayers will get at least $2,000 per household (married couples will get $4,000) before the year ends, and the qualifications may change.
Related Article: US President Donald Trump Wants to Strike a Broad Stimulus Deal