The Senate unanimously passed a massive $2.2 trillion coronavirus emergency rescue package late Wednesday, and among its many tools to bolster the economy amid the COIVD-19 pandemic is $290 billion set aside for direct payments to most Americans. Assuming the House passes the bill, expected to happen Friday, and President Trump signs it, most Americans will get a one-time payment of about $1,200 sometime in April, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says.
The payments will be based on tax returns from 2019 or 2018. Generally speaking, individuals with an adjusted gross income up to $75,000 will get $1,200 checks, or $2,400 for couples earning up to $150,000. Couples and "head of household" single parents will also get $500 per child. The checks taper off up to $99,000 in income per individual and $198,000 for joint filers with no children. The Washington Post has a calculator for estimating how much money your check should contain. Kiplinger also has a helpful stimulus calculator.
About 125 million people, or 83 percent of tax filers, will get checks, says Kyle Pomerleau at the American Enterprise Institute. "The main people excluded from receiving a payment are: the wealthy, nonresident aliens (i.e. foreigners who do not hold a green card), and 'dependents' who can be claimed on someone else’s tax return.," the Post reports.
Many Americans won't actually get a paper check. The first people to get funds from the program will be those who have direct deposit information on file with the Internal Revenue Service from 2019 returns, filed this year, or 2018 returns. If the IRS does not have your direct deposit information, it will send a check to the mailing address it has on file. "People who don't pay taxes, such as those with very low incomes, may be hard to reach the way the program is designed," Politico notes.
"The last time the U.S. government did anything like this, back in 2008," the Post reports, "the payments went out in batches and it took about eight weeks for the final people to receive their checks."
More stories from theweek.com
Dr. Anthony Fauci answers all Trevor Noah's coronavirus questions. Joe Biden tells Jimmy Kimmel his plan.
Elton John to host 'Living Room Concert for America' with stars performing from home
New Oxford study suggests millions of people may have already built up coronavirus immunity