Coronavirus stimulus checks up to $1,200 arrive soon: How much will you get and when?


As part of the stimulus package, you may be eligible for a payment from the federal government.

Angela Lang/CNET

The first wave of coronavirus stimulus checks is anticipated to go out any day, and if you’re eligible, the Treasury Department and IRS will deposit the cash directly into your bank account or mail you your check. Not everyone will receive the total $1,200 payment amount, and some won’t get a stimulus check at all.

But your chances to get some amount of the 2020 stimulus money are high. As many as 83% of taxpayers may qualify to receive an economic impact payments, according to The Washington Post, including people who regularly receive Social Security payments.

We’re here to answer your questions: Are you eligible to receive a $1,200 payment? What is the deposit date if the IRS is sending your check directly to your bank? How will the money arrive, what are the requirements and how much will you receive? What should you spend it on? And can you track your 2020 stimulus check

But first, some background: Eligible US taxpayers can receive up to $1,200 from the federal government as part of a $2 trillion relief package intended to help people pay rent, purchase essentials and jog the economy as unemployment levels rise. The first 2020 stimulus checks could have gone out as soon as Thursday, according to the Washington Post. The IRS did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

In addition to the payments for individuals who meet the requirements, the new economic stimulus law includes help for people who are unemployed or owe student loans, and financial support for small businesses and their employees.

Keep reading for help on finding out how much you’re entitled to. We’ll continue to update this story as developments occur. Here’s more information on how to avoid COVID-19 scams and how else you can get financial relief during the coronavirus outbreak.

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How much stimulus money you get depends on your taxes

The total amount of your stimulus check will be based on your adjusted gross income, or AGI, from your 2019 federal tax filing or — if you haven’t filed this year — your 2018 filing.  

If you’ve filed your 2019 federal tax return, you can find that figure on line 8b of the 2019 1040 federal tax form. It’s line 7 on the 2018 1040 tax form. If you haven’t filed this year, don’t worry. The US government has delayed the due date for 2019 taxes to July 15 as a result of coronavirus.

This is who is eligible for a stimulus payment

The amount you’ll receive will depend on your total income in 2019 or 2018. If you qualify, you’ll receive one payment. Here’s who qualifies:

  • If you’re a single US resident and have an adjusted gross income less than $99,000
  • If you file as the head of a household and earn under $146,500
  • If you file jointly without children and earn less than $198,000

Read on for how your payment is calculated and how much you can expect. You can also look at this calculator from the Washington Post.


Every little bit helps.

Angela Lang/CNET

How much you’ll get as a single taxpayer

A single US resident must have a Social Security number and an AGI under $75,000 to receive the full amount of $1,200. The sum decreases as your AGI goes up. If your adjusted gross income reaches $99,000, you won’t be eligible for the stimulus. 

Heads of household

If you file as head of a household, you will get the full $1,200 payment if your AGI is $112,500 or less, with the amount decreasing till you reach $146,500.

Couples filing jointly

Married couples filing jointly without children with an adjusted gross income below $150,000 will get a $2,400 payment, decreasing to zero at $198,000. For each child age 16 or younger in the family, parents will get a payment of $500. Older children and other dependents may not be eligible for a payment.

If you haven’t filed federal taxes for 2018, do that right now

The IRS said if you haven’t filed your 2018 federal taxes, that could affect your stimulus check and urges anyone who hasn’t filed a 2018 tax return to file now. Be sure to include direct deposit banking information on the return.

Read more: The best tax software for 2020: TurboTax, H&R Block, TaxSlayer and more

If you’re typically not required to file a tax return, you still can receive a payment

Many who normally are not required to file a tax return — including senior citizens, Social Security and railroad retirees — will not need to file a simple tax return to receive the payment, the IRS said. The Social Security Administration said it is working the Treasury Department for payments for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients.

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What about Social Security recipients?

The Treasury Department said that Social Security beneficiaries who are not typically required to file tax returns will not need to file an abbreviated tax return to receive a payment. Instead, the IRS will use the information on Form SSA-1099 for Social Security beneficiaries who did not file tax returns in 2018 or 2019.

When will the checks will go out?

The first people should begin receiving their checks around the middle of April if they have direct deposit set up with the IRS. According to the Washington Post, the first checks may have gone out April 9. We’ve contacted the IRS asking for confirmation.”If you’ve not set up direct deposit with the IRS, it may take longer and the government will mail your check. Here’s what we know about tracking your stimulus payment so far.

You’ll be able to set up direct deposit to have the check sent to your bank account

If you don’t have direct deposit set up but want to receive the payment electronically, the federal government will create an online system that will let you set up electronic payments so you get the money deposited directly into a bank account, according to US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin. 

The IRS said the online tool will be available by mid-April. To avoid scams, the IRS cautions you not to provide your direct deposit or other banking information to others who offer to help you set up an electronic transfer.

Do you need to sign up, apply or request your check?

For most, the federal government will automatically send your check to you electronically or in the mail, if you qualify. If you’ve not filed a tax return for 2018 or 2019, the IRS said you may need to file one to receive a payment. The IRS’s coronavirus page will soon have instructions who is required to file and how.

What to do if you don’t receive your check

If you qualify for a payment, you should expect a notice in the mail from the government with information about where and when it sent your check. If you receive the notice but not the check or direct deposit, contact the IRS using information in the notice.

We have tips for how best to use your stimulus check and how to avoid being scammed. In addition to the economic stimulus package, the US government delayed the income tax filing deadline to July 15. If you need more help, here’s how to get financial relief.