Stimulus check update: A calculator for the third payment

March 10, 2021 0 By boss



You can calculate how much money you and your family could expect with a $1,400 stimulus check maximum.

Sarah Tew/CNET

You may have heard that your third stimulus check will be much larger than either of the first two. And you may have also heard that it could be smaller, or that you may not even qualify for any money at all. The reason for the confusion is that, as the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill was debated and amended in the Senate, things like income limits and eligibility rules have been in flux. 

And there’s no blanket answer to the question of how the third payment might compare to the first or second stimulus checks. It’s almost a sure thing that checks will max out at $1,400, but some Americans will experience phase-outs (or total ineligibility) even if they received one or both of the previous checks in full.

The best way to know what to expect is to plug in your particular scenario and let our third stimulus check calculator spit out a projection for you. We keep our calculator updated to account for changes while we wait for the American Rescue Act to be finalized and officially signed by President Joe Biden, likely by March 14. For more payment details, here’s how a third check arriving during tax time could go. And if you had a baby in 2020 or you’re one of the millions of Americans who didn’t receive the first or second stimulus check, here’s how to claim it on your 2020 tax return. This story was recently updated.

$1,400 stimulus calculator: How much could you get exactly?

There’s just one more hurdle to go before President Joe Biden signs the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill into law, and that’s passing the amended bill in the House — an event set to take place this week. The Senate made a notable change to the third check by reducing the upper income limit to receive any check. If your AGI, or adjusted gross income, is equal to or more than $80,000 (single taxpayers,) $120,000 (head of household,) or $160,000 (filing jointly), you won’t be eligible. See below for more details.

Proposed $1,400 stimulus calculator

Use details from your 2019 or 2020 tax return

1. Choose your filing status below.

Here’s who would get the full stimulus amount and when you would completely phase out of receiving a payment, using the new Senate guidelines. As an individual or couple’s income goes up, the size of the partial payment would get smaller. (Here’s our first stimulus check calculator, and here’s the calculator for the $600 second check.)

Stimulus check income limits (March 8 version)

Full $1,400 per person maximum (based on AGI) Not eligible (based on AGI)
Individual taxpayer Less than $75,000 $80,000 or more
Head of household Less than $112,500 $120,000 or more
Married couple filing jointly Less than $150,000 $160,000 or more

How the latest dependent qualifications could affect your stimulus check calculations

There are two new rules with the third stimulus check that could affect you if you have dependents. 

  • Each dependent counts for a flat rate of $1,400, even if the adult counts for less (e.g. a married couple with a combined AGI of $155,000)
  • Dependents are no longer restricted by age. College students, adult children with disabilities and older adult relatives would now count toward $1,400 each. 
  • Unlike the first two checks, you can’t receive any money if you exceed the upper income limit, even if you have dependents. 

An extreme example of the last one: a single parent of four who makes $120,000 wouldn’t qualify, where a single parent with 4 dependents who makes $119,000 would still get money.

Expanding qualifications to dependents of any age makes approximately 13.5 million more adult dependents count toward their household total, according to The People’s Policy Project

The current proposal would also include families with mixed citizenship status; that is, where at least one family member is a US citizen.

Read more: Stimulus money and tax breaks for kids and older adults: Not just a $1,400 check

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Stimulus check No. 3: What you need to know


Stimulus payments by income and dependents

To give you an idea of how much you might expect to receive in a third payment using the new income guidelines, we calculated a few scenarios for individuals, heads of households and families in the chart below. You can see how setting a hard upper limit changes your payment, based on the amount of money you could expect.

Payments for different incomes and dependents

Individual Head of household Married couple, filing jointly
AGI of $75,000 and no dependents $1,400 $1,400 $2,800
AGI of 79,000 and no dependents $280 $1,400 $2,800
AGI of $90,000 and no dependents $0 $1,400 $2,800
AGI of $100,000 and no dependents $0 $1,400 $2,800
AGI of $100,000 and 1 dependent $2,800 $4,200
AGI of $115,000 and 1 dependent $1,867 $4,200
AGI of $120,000 and 1 dependent $0 $4,200
AGI of $130,000 and 1 dependent $0 $4,200
AGI of $100,000 and 2 dependents $4,200 $5,600
AGI of $115,000 and 2 dependents $2,800 $5,600
AGI of $155,000 and 2 dependents $0 $2,800
AGI of $160,000 and 2 dependents $0 $0

For more information on stimulus checks, here’s how to report missing stimulus money to the IRS, what to do if you’re missing any stimulus money and here are the important things to know about stimulus checks and your taxes.

The editorial content on this page is based solely on objective, independent assessments by our writers and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It has not been provided or commissioned by any third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.


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