Before taking office, President Joe Biden consistently and vocally called for increased stimulus payments to Americans amid the coronavirus pandemic. He released a stimulus plan before the inauguration and wanted immediate $1,400 relief checks. However, lawmakers have made little progress on negotiations, and it appears many key portions of the next stimulus plan are up in the air.
Despite all the momentum a third stimulus check has in Washington, it could be a while before Americans receive relief payments – if payments come at all. And while the dollar amount may be higher than previous checks, fewer people may qualify for this round than before.
What We Know About The Third Round of Stimulus
As it stands, there’s no set timeline on when legislators will present and pass another stimulus bill. As we’ve seen with past relief bills, Congress can work incredibly quickly or drag its feet indefinitely. And while President Biden came into office with a full stimulus plan, it seems to have gotten pushed back on his agenda amid a frenetic first few weeks in office.
Still, stimulus negotiations are ongoing. While we don’t know what the final bill will look like whenever it lands on the president’s desk, we have a sense of what’s being discussed. For starters, it seems likely that the third round of checks will be sent. Currently, $1,400 appears to be the most likely number, but it’s not set in stone. Some progressive Democrats are calling for payments as high as $2,000, but most seem content to couple this check with the second stimulus received ($600) to total a $2,000 payment.
However, the restrictions may be tightened. Many critics of further relief are concerned that these payments are not “targeted” enough, and thus won’t be as useful as possible. As a result, the income threshold could be lowered, meaning some middle-class families may be excluded from this round.
On the flip side though, these payments might be based on 2020 tax returns as opposed to 2019, potentially allowing those who lost income last year to qualify for stimulus. The IRS will start processing filed taxes on February 12th, so it’s a good idea to get ahead of filing if you want your check based on your 2020 taxes.
Families might see more relief this time around, too. The first stimulus checks included $500 payments to parents per child, and the second round paid $600. Now, there’s momentum for much larger child payments – potentially upwards of $1,000 per kid.
The Next Steps
There is some good news in all of this. Whenever the third round of stimulus payments is agreed upon, checks should come out relatively quickly. The IRS has come a long way from the months-long delays that some face during the first stimulus payment.
As we mentioned earlier, it might be a good idea to get ahead of your taxes if you want your stimulus check to be based on your 2020 return.
In the meantime, we have to wait and see how negotiations go on Capitol Hill. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said he hopes for another bill by mid-March, according to Bloomberg, but it could come much sooner or later.