- In order to qualify for a direct payment, you need to have a Social Security number, meet certain adjusted gross income (AGI) thresholds, and file your taxes either independently or jointly with a spouse.
- Dependents over age 16, people without a Social Security number, and individuals with incomes above $99,000 (or $136,500 if filing head of household) won't get a stimulus check.
- Read more personal finance coverage .
Americans are eagerly awaiting stimulus checks from the government as part of the massive coronavirus relief package the president signed into law last Friday.
These "recovery rebates" will pay up to $1,200 per person, plus an extra $500 per child to parents and they're completely tax-free. But not everyone is entitled to a stimulus check.
The Urban Institute and Brookings Institution's Tax Policy Center estimates that nine in 10 households will get some payment.
Here's who doesn't qualify:
1. Individuals with incomes above $99,000, or single parents with incomes above $136,500
The size of each stimulus payment is based on the adjusted gross income (AGI) listed on your 2019 tax return. If you haven't filed yet, it will be based on your 2018 return. The IRS will reportedly still issue payments to those who didn't earn enough to file a tax return in the last two years, though it's unclear what that process will entail.
The maximum payment is $1,200 for single filers with an AGI below $75,000 or single parents (head of household filers) with an AGI below $112,500. Married couples with no children who file jointly and have an AGI below $150,000 will get a total of $2,400 (double the maximum individual payment).
The $1,200 payment will begin to phase out at a rate of $5 for each $100 over the AGI threshold before ceasing at an AGI of $99,000 for single filers, $136,500 for heads of household (single parents), and $198,000 for married filers with no children.
Bear in mind that the stimulus payment is technically a tax credit to apply to your 2020 tax bill that the government is providing ahead of time. Since the IRS only has past tax returns to go off of, there are bound to be clerical errors.
For instance, if your past income disqualifies you for a stimulus payment but your earnings are below the qualifying threshold in 2020 which is likely the case for people who suddenly lost their jobs or had their hours reduced due to the coronavirus you won't get a payment right now, but you may be able to reconcile that on next year's tax return.
2. Dependent children over 16
Parents who have a Social Security number will receive $500 for each child aged 16 or younger. There is no limit on the number of children that qualify.
If you have a dependent child who is 17 or 18 years old, they don't qualify for the $500 payment.
3. Dependent adults
Any person over the age of 18 who is claimed as a dependent on another person's tax return is not eligible for an individual or child stimulus payment.
That means college students aged 19 to 23 whose parents pay for more than half of their expenses and claim them on their tax return won't be getting payments. Likewise, disabled adults or elderly folks who are claimed as a dependent on a family member's tax return are not eligible.
4. Anyone without a Social Security number
In order to get a stimulus payment, you need to have Social Security number. The Social Security Administration issues Social Security numbers to all citizens, permanent residents, and some noncitizens who are authorized to work in the US.
If a couple files jointly but only one person has a Social Security number, neither will be eligible for a stimulus payment, except in the case of military families, according to the Tax Policy Center .
- Read more on managing your money in this tumultuous time:
- 3 options for people struggling to pay their mortgage during the global health crisis
- 4 reasons to get disability insurance, even if you don't think you need it
- If you've been financially impacted by the coronavirus, you may be able to pause payments on these 8 bills
- How to get a stimulus check from the US government, which could pay up to $1,200 if you qualify
- In response to the coronavirus, credit card issuers like Amex and Capital One are letting customers skip payments without interest and more