The idea is to get checks into the hands of Americans as quickly as possible to stave off the worst of the damage to the U.S. economy from the spiraling coronavirus pandemic, which has shuttered businesses and sent unemployment numbers through the roof.
Generally speaking, the $2 trillion rescue bill calls for $1,200 payments to individuals earning $75,000 or less, and $500 for children under the age of 17. While there’s no minimum-earning amount to qualify for the money, there are plenty of crucial details to consider. And mailed checks could reportedly take up to four months to arrive.
To qualify a payout, you’ll have to be a U.S. resident with a social security number. You don’t need to have actually paid any taxes recently, but you must have at least filed your paperwork.
After a certain point, the more you normally make, the less you’ll get from this emergency rescue measure.
If you earn more than $75,000 (or $150,000 for a couple), your payment will be reduced at a rate of $5.00 for each $100 you earn over that benchmark.
That gradual phase-out means that, for example, an individual earning an Adjusted Gross Income of $85,000 would receive a check for $700. An individual who reported an AGI of $95,000 would get a check for $200.
Some people make too much to qualify for any payout at all. That includes individuals with incomes over $99,000, or head-of-household filers with one child who earn more than $146,500, and joint filers with no children who earn $198,000 or more.