Third stimulus check calculator: Estimate your payment before it arrives

March 18, 2021 0 By boss

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


Sarah Tew/CNET

For millions of people, the third round of stimulus checks have already hit their bank accounts. More precisely, 90 million accounts, according to the IRS and US Treasury, with mailed checks going out through the postal service shortly. If you’re not in that first group, however, you can still see how much money you’ll get before it arrives either in your bank or the mail. Using our stimulus check calculator for the 2021 payment, you can get an idea of what to expect so you can better plan. (To get a heads-up on its status, here’s how to track your payment.)

Since the eligibility rules are different this time, calculating your payment for your larger check — which maxes out at $1,400 instead of $1,200 or $600 — is a bit more complicated this time. That makes the IRS formula different, too. Plus, income limits have been lowered, but eligibility rules for dependents aren’t as strict. Because of these changes to the stimulus check formula, the math doesn’t always lead you to the result you might expect.

When using our stimulus check calculator, scroll down and enter your adjusted gross income, or AGI, and dependent information — the calculator doesn’t retain your personal details in any way. When you’re done, here’s what to know about claiming missing stimulus money on your 2020 tax return (if, for instance, you had a baby in 2020), and how tax season will affect your stimulus payment. This story was recently updated.

Third stimulus check calculator: How much of the $1,400 amount will you get?

The Senate made a notable change to the third check before the bill was signed into law by reducing the upper income limit to receive any check. If your AGI 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.

Note that this calculator should be used as an estimate only. If you think the check size you receive is in error and doesn’t match your below estimate, it’s possible you may need to claim the rest of your payment at a later time.

Proposed $1,400 stimulus calculator

Use details from your 2019 or 2020 tax return

1. Choose your filing status below.

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

Stimulus check income limits

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

New qualification guidelines for all dependents

There two new rules for the third stimulus check affect you if you have dependents. 

  • Each dependent counts for $1,400.
  • Dependents are no longer restricted by age. College students, adult children with disabilities and older adult relatives will 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. 


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An extreme example of the last one: a single parent of four who makes $120,000 won’t qualify, where a single parent with four dependents who makes $119,000 will still get some amount of money. The amended bill also includes families with mixed citizenship status; that is, where at least one family member is a US citizen.

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

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


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We calculated a few common stimulus payment scenarios

To give you an idea of how much you should 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, what we know about setting up direct deposit, how to track your 2021 payment and what to do 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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