3rd stimulus check: Tax filing impact, the child tax credit and other FAQs

ByJason Knowles via WLS logo
Friday, March 12, 2021
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Your stimulus money could arrive within days. But how will your 2020 tax filing affect your payment? And what about the child tax credit?

CHICAGO -- With the stroke of a pen, a third round of federal stimulus money is on the way. Your stimulus money could arrive within days. But there are questions like, how will your 2020 tax filing affect your payment? And what about those extra payments for parents?

If you're one of 22 million Americans who lost a job during the pandemic, you could benefit from having the third stimulus payment based on your 2020 tax filing.

"If you know that 2020 was a rough year for you and you didn't make as much money as you did in 2019 you should definitely file now, if you haven't filed already, you need to file asap today," says tax Preparer Connell Jones. He says the IRS will most likely use the latest income tax documentation on record, to determine how much stimulus money you're eligible to receive.

You'll get a $1,400 payment if:

-You're an individual with an adjustable gross income or "AGI" of $75,000 or less

-A head of household with an AGI of $112,500 or less

-Or filing jointly with an AGI of $150,000 or less.

And if you qualify, your dependents will also get the payment. A family of four could get as much as $5,600.

SEE ALSO | Child tax credit: Some families to receive direct $300 monthly payments per child starting in July

Jones said his phones are also ringing with questions about a monthly payment for parents that are part of the federal plan.

"Tons of text messages, tons of emails and tons of calls about that question," he said.

Starting in July, the new relief will give parents who have children under the age of 18, $300 a month per child under 6. It's $250 per child over 6.

The child tax credit relief will last a year. Half from July to December. The other half on 2021 taxes.

And the new legislation also increases eligibility.

"Before child tax credit cut off at 17, so it only included everybody under 17, this bill will include everyone under 18," said Jones, adding that "those of you who have had a child during the pandemic of 2020, I would tell you guys to go ahead and file your 2020 so you will receive a child tax credit when it does start those partial payments in July."

If you made less money in 2019 than 2020, experts say don't rush to file your 2020 taxes.

Some people could see payments deposited into their accounts as soon as this weekend. People with bank information on file with the IRS should see the money first as a direct deposit. Checks and debit cards will take a bit longer.

For more information, visit the IRS website.