Who's Not Getting a Second Stimulus Check (Not Everyone is Eligible!)
Not everyone is getting a second stimulus check. See if you're on the list of people who aren't eligible for a second-round payment.
Now that President Trump has signed the COVID-relief bill, millions of Americans are expecting to receive a second stimulus check in the next few weeks (either by direct deposit or paper check). But if nothing shows up in your bank account or mailbox, it might be because you're not eligible for a second payment. Some people may have gotten the impression that everyone was entitled to a second stimulus check. Unfortunately, that's just not the case.
There are a few reasons why you could be left without a second stimulus check. It could be because of your income, age, immigration status, or some other disqualifying factor. Here's a list of people who won't be getting a second stimulus check from Uncle Sam. Hopefully, you're not on the list and you'll get a nice payment soon—especially if you're one of the millions of Americans struggling financially because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Second-round stimulus checks start at $600 per eligible person ($1,200 for married couples who file a joint tax return). If you have children who qualify for the child tax credit (basically, kids 16 years old or younger), there'll be an extra $600 tacked on for each child. So, for example, a married couple with two children can get up to $2,400. (Use our Second Stimulus Check Calculator to figure out how much you will get.)
However, second stimulus checks are gradually phased-out for people at certain income levels (based on your 2019 tax return). If your income is high enough, your check will be completely phased out and you'll get nothing! For single people, that happens if your adjusted gross income (AGI) is above $87,000. If you're married (or a surviving spouse) and file a joint tax return, you'll get nothing if your AGI exceeds $174,000. If you claim the head-of-household filing status on your tax return, your payment will be reduced to zero if your AGI tops $124,500.
If you can be claimed as a dependent on someone else's tax return (whether or not you're actually claimed as a dependent), you won't receive a stimulus check. That means no payments to children living at home who are 17 or 18 years old, or to college students who are 23 or younger at the end of the year who don't pay at least half of their own expenses.
Other dependents won't receive stimulus payments, either. For example, an elderly parent living with an adult child is out of luck and won't get a check.
A person who is a nonresident alien in 2020 is not eligible for a second stimulus check. Generally, a "nonresident alien" is not a U.S. citizen, doesn't have a green card, and is not physically present in the U.S. for the required amount of time.
See IRS Publication 519 for more information on the taxes for nonresident aliens.
People Without a Social Security Number
Generally, you must have a Social Security number to get a stimulus check. To get the extra $600 for a qualifying child, your son or daughter must also have a Social Security number. If they don't, then you probably won't get the addition amount.
There are, however, a few exceptions to this rule. First, an adopted child can have an adoption taxpayer identification number (ATIN) instead of a Social Security number. Second, for married members of the U.S. armed forces, only one spouse needs to have a Social Security number. And, third, if your spouse doesn't have a Social Security number, you can still receive a second stimulus check, including any extra money for qualifying children, if you have a Social Security number.
Note that the third exception is new. It wasn't available for first-round stimulus checks…but Congress made it retroactively available now for the first stimulus payments. As a result, if one spouse has a Social Security number, he or she can claim up to $1,200, plus an additional $500 for each qualifying child, as a recovery rebate credit on their 2020 tax return if they were denied a first-round payment because they both did not have a Social Security number.
It may seem obvious that a deceased person isn't eligible for a second stimulus payment. However, only people who died before 2020 are ineligible. Essentially, they're treated as if they don't have a Social Security number. In addition, the extra $600 for each qualifying child is not available if the parent died before 2020 or, in the case of a joint return, both parents died before then.
On the other hand, it seems as if anyone who died in 2020 is still entitled to a second stimulus check. The IRS may send a check to the decedent's address on file or deposit a payment in his or her bank account. A surviving spouse filing a joint 2020 tax return could also claim a recover rebate credit for the amount on their return.
People Who the IRS Doesn't Know About
The IRS will automatically send a second stimulus payment to people who filed a 2019 federal income tax return. People who receive Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, Railroad Retirement benefits, or veterans benefits will receive a second payment automatically, too. However, if the IRS can't get the information it needs from your tax records, or from the Social Security Administration, Railroad Retirement Board, or Veterans Administration, then it can't send you a check.
However, don't worry too much if you don't get a second stimulus check now. You won't lose out on the money if you're eligible for a payment—you'll just have to wait a little longer to get it. You can claim the proper amount as a recovery rebate tax credit when you file your 2020 tax return, which is due by April 15, 2021.
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See some of our other coverage of the second stimulus check:
- Is Your Second Stimulus Check Taxable?
- Second Stimulus Check Update: House Passes Bill for $2,000 Payments
- When Will Your Second Stimulus Check Arrive? It May Already Be On Its Way
- How Your Second Stimulus Check Will Differ from the First One
- Will College Students Get a Second Stimulus Check? (Hint: It Depends!)
- Your Second Stimulus Check: How Much? When? And Other FAQs