ORLANDO, Fla. - There will be stricter eligibility guidelines for who gets the next round of stimulus checks, which will disqualify more than 16 million Americans from getting one.
That's according to a preliminary analysis published by the left-leaning Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, which found that a plan by moderate Democrats to curtail benefits for higher-income earners will cut off cash payments for roughly 11.8 million adults and 4.6 million children.
Under the latest proposal, Americans earning $75,000 or less would still receive the fully promised $1,400 payment. But the checks would phase out faster for individuals at higher income levels than in the version passed Saturday by House Democrats, with individuals making $80,000 a year or more and couples making $160,000 a year, or higher, no longer qualifying for the money.
Lawmakers are racing to send the legislation to Biden's desk before March 14.
So how do you make sure you are getting the full amount? It will depend a lot on when you file your taxes.
The IRS will use your most recent tax return and will zero in on your adjusted gross income. If taxpayers don't file their 2020 tax return before Congress passes the relief measure, the IRS will likely rely on their 2019 tax return to calculate how much money that person is owed.
But that tax return may not accurately reflect an individual's current financial situation, given that millions of Americans lost their jobs, or saw their income reduced, last year as a result of the pandemic. Filing early could help Americans who made good money in 2019 but struggled financially in 2020.
If your income was lower (or you lost your job), or if you had a child, got married or could no longer be claimed as a dependent last year, you should consider filing your tax return as soon as possible in order to guarantee that you receive a stimulus payment.
However, some Americans may want to hold off on filing until after the measure is passed. Here’s why:
According to Yahoo! Finance, since the stock market rallied in 2020 and home prices hit record highs, many people actually made more money than they did in 2019.
"Let's say you're a single tax filer, had adjusted gross income of $73,000 for 2019 but saw a jump to $90,000 in 2020. Your income from last year would disqualify you from a full $1,400 stimulus check, but not your 2019 income," Yahoo reports.
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If that applies to you but isn’t a reflection of your current income, you may want to wait to file your taxes.
Watch FOX 35 News for the latest updates on the stimulus package.