How Your Second Stimulus Check Will Differ from the First One

The COVID-Related Tax Relief Act authorizes a second round of stimulus checks. While your second stimulus check will be similar to your first payment, there are some important differences.

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A second stimulus check will be a blessing for people who are struggling financially because of the coronavirus pandemic. Thankfully, Congress finally passed, and the president finally signed, another economic stimulus bill (the COVID-Related Tax Relief Act of 2020), which authorizes a second round of direct payments to many Americans.

However, while your second stimulus check will look a lot like the earlier stimulus payment you received under the CARES Act, there are several important differences. The amount, for one, won't be the same. Eligibility for a second stimulus check is different, too. So that you're not caught off guard, let's take a look at the second-round stimulus checks and see how they differ from the CARES Act payments. You might benefit more from your second-round stimulus check than you did from your first payment. But you won't know unless you read on!

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Rocky Mengle

Rocky Mengle was a Senior Tax Editor for Kiplinger from October 2018 to January 2023 with more than 20 years of experience covering federal and state tax developments. Before coming to Kiplinger, Rocky worked for Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting, and Kleinrock Publishing, where he provided breaking news and guidance for CPAs, tax attorneys, and other tax professionals. He has also been quoted as an expert by USA Today, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, Reuters, Accounting Today, and other media outlets. Rocky holds a law degree from the University of Connecticut and a B.A. in History from Salisbury University.