Congress has approved the next coronavirus stimulus package. For the package to become law, President Donald Trump needs to sign it, but he is asking Congress to raise the stimulus check amount to $2,000. In case Trump signs the bill as it is (or just raises the check amount), there are many who may not qualify for the coronavirus stimulus checks this time as well.
Congress approved the $900 billion stimulus package on Monday. This package includes $600 in coronavirus stimulus checks for a single filer, as well as $600 in dependent payments. Though the check amount is different, the new package roughly uses the same formula and provisions to calculate the check amount.
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Because of this, the new package leaves out many, including those who didn’t get the check in the first round, such as dependents between the ages of 17 and 24.
Under the CARES Act, millions of young Americans didn’t qualify for the checks or for the dependent payment. Only those below 17 years were considered as a dependent, and thus, were eligible for the dependent payment.
Similarly, this time as well, only those below 17 would qualify for the dependent payment of $600. This means those between 17 and 24 years old and claimed as child dependents, won’t qualify for the dependent payment ,nor for a check of their own because of the definition of dependents for tax purposes.
Several lawmakers pushed to expand the scope of dependent payments, but the $900 billion package went with the same wording on this as the CARES Act. However, the new package does raise the dependent payment from $500 to $600.
Rule change for non-U.S. citizens
Another group that would not be eligible for the second stimulus check is "nonresident aliens."
Also, you don’t necessarily have to be a U.S. citizen to qualify for the stimulus payment. Even if you are a non-citizen, you need to have a Social Security number and live and work in the U.S. to qualify for the stimulus check.
This means if you have a taxpayer identification number (ITIN), you won’t qualify for the payment if you don’t have a social security number. The HEROES Act did include provision to give a stimulus check to non U.S. citizens who pay U.S. taxes using their IRS-provided ITIN. House Democrats approved the HEROES Act in May.
Separately, non-citizens may not qualify for the stimulus check, but a rule change in the $900 billion package would make a non-U.S. citizen with a U.S. citizen spouse to get the stimulus check as part of their household. This wasn’t possible with the first check.
Under the CARES Act, if a U.S. citizen is married to a nonresident alien and the two file taxes jointly, then both weren’t eligible for the check or dependent payment (even if they are a U.S. citizen). The new $900 billion package changes this rule. Now the family would be eligible for the stimulus payment provided they meet all other requirements.