Coronavirus Stimulus Check Calculator
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- April 16, 2020 Updated
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- How Much Money Will You Get?
- Template Contents
- Know How Much Stimulus Money You Will Receive
- Frequently Asked Questions
As the coronavirus devastates much of the world, the United States Congress has passed a series of bills to aid people and companies impacted by the virus. One bill, known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or the CARES Act, was designed to provide economic stimulus. This $2 trillion bill included many different components.
Among these were help for small businesses, additional resources for healthcare workers, increased unemployment benefits, and loans for corporations. Additionally, many Americans will see a direct payment as a result of this legislation.
On Friday, March 27th, 2020, President Donald Trump signed the CARES Act into law. In a discussion with reporters, Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin said, “We're determined to get money in people's pockets immediately.” Many experts believe Americans will see these direct payments deposited in the coming weeks.
How Much Money Will You Get?
The majority of American workers who earn less than $75,000 will be eligible for a one-time payment of $1,200. Married couples would receive $2,400. In a family, each child would raise the amount by $500. Thus, a family of four who earned less than $150,000 could expect to see a payment of $3,400.
However, there are some exceptions to these numbers. People earning between $75,00-$99,000 will be reduced based on income. Individuals making more than $99,000 and couples earning more than $198,000 would not be eligible for any cash payment.
In addition to the income threshold limits, you have to have a social security number to receive payment. You also need to not be claimed as a dependent. This means that if you’re a college student and your parents claim you on their taxes, you are not eligible for payment even though you are an adult.
If you meet the requirements and are wondering how much money you can expect to see, this Coronavirus Stimulus Calculator can help.
When you download this free Coronavirus Stimulus Calculator, you will receive a file with two Excel worksheets.
- Tax Family
These are designed to help you accurately calculate the total amount of money from the CARES Act.
Tax Family Worksheet
The Tax Family worksheet is the only worksheet in this file where you need to input data. It looks like this:
You will notice that there are four cells that are orange. These are the cells where you need to input information. The rest of the calculations are done automatically in Excel. This is done to create an easy-to-use calculator. Please do not change any of these other numbers, or you will not get an accurate result.
On this spreadsheet, you will need to submit information from your tax return. You will want to use the most recent tax return that you have filed. If you did not yet file a tax return for 2019, you must use the information from tax year 2018.
By having your most recent return handy, you can refer to it when using the coronavirus stimulus check calculator.
Tax Filing Status
The first orange cell asks you to select your filing status. You have four options to choose from:
- Head of Household
- Married Filing Separately
- Married Filing Jointly
Use the arrow to open the drop-down menu. Then, select the appropriate filing status from there.
Number of Dependents
For each dependent age 16 and younger, you are eligible to receive up to an additional $500. In the second orange cell, enter the number of children you can claim on your tax refund. This stimulus package calculator limits the number you can enter to six. If you have more than six children, enter the number six.
There is not a limit to the number of dependents you can claim on your taxes, so if you have more than six qualifying dependents, this calculator will not give you an accurate amount. However, there is a way you can still calculate the total number with the information on this form. You will find directions for that later on in the article that will help you get the correct total if you have a large family.
Next, it’s time to enter your qualifying income, or your total income. You can refer to your latest tax return for this information. It is located on Line 7b of the 2019 1040 tax form, and Line 6 of the 2018 1040 tax form.
Again, this is your total income. It will include your earned income (from wages and self-employment), social security benefits, pension, and disability income.
Adjusted Gross Income
Once you have your Total Income entered in the Qualifying Income cell, it’s time to enter your final number. This is your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI).
Your Adjusted Gross Income is your taxable income. It is your total income minus any adjustments. The adjustments include items such as educator expenses, select business expenses, health savings account contributions, and moving expenses.
You can locate your AGI on line 8b of the 2019 1040, and line 7 of the 2018 1040. Enter this number in the fourth orange cell.
Calculate the Amount of Your Economic Stimulus Check
Once you have all the information entered, Excel will calculate the amount of money you are eligible to receive. Based on your filing status and income, the worksheet will calculate the standard deduction for your income.
Your qualifying taxable income is your adjusted gross income minus your standard deductions. This is the amount of money that the federal government will use to calculate your coronavirus stimulus payment.
You will notice some specific numbers on the form that provide additional information about your stimulus payment. Here’s a bit more information about each one.
Qualifying Tax Liability
Using the Brackets worksheet mentioned in the Template Contents section, this cell automatically calculates your qualifying tax liability. This uses your filing status, and your income to calculate your tax bracket and liability. This is an estimate of the tax you owe at the end of 2020.
As you enter income information on the Tax Family worksheet, information in columns D and E of the Brackets worksheet will change. You do not need to do any calculations or input any data on this sheet.
In the Adults row, you will see either a one or a two. This depends on your filing status. If you file single, head of household, or married filing separately, there will be a one. If you file jointly, there will be a two.
The maximum adult stimulus is $1,200. The minimum adult stimulus listed on this calculator is $600. The original draft of this stimulus bill would have paid less to Americans with a low- or no-income tax liability. However, that language was taken out before President Trump signed it into law. Now, qualifying adults who are not phased out by income will get the full $1,200, even if they have no tax liability.
This row of the spreadsheet multiplies the number of children you indicated in Row 2 (the second orange cell) by the $500/per child stimulus amount.
If you have a large family and could not enter a number greater than six in that cell, here is where you can manually change it. If you click on cell B23, you will see a formula in the formula bar that reads =500*B2.
To update this number to reflect the actual number of dependents under the age of 16, simply delete the B2 in this formula, and enter the number of qualifying children. For instance, if you have eight qualifying children, the formula will need to read =500*8.
Making this change updates the total amount for the child stimulus payment. This change is then reflected in your total stimulus amount.
Next is the total stimulus. This amount is the total coronavirus relief payment you are eligible for, if you make less than $75,000 as a single individual or $150,000 as a married couple. It is the adult stimulus amount plus the child stimulus amount.
Stimulus with Phase Out
Not all Americans will qualify for these payment amounts. There are income thresholds. Your Adjusted Gross Income is used to determine your eligibility.
Payment amounts will begin to phase out, or decrease, for individuals who make more than $75,000. For every $100 more than $75,000, $5 will be deducted from the $1,200. This means that the stimulus check is completely phased out for individuals making more than $99,000.
For married couples, the phase out process is the same. However, it doesn’t begin to phase out until the adjusted gross income is $150,000. For couples, it is completely phased out at $198,000.
On the Coronavirus Stimulus Tax Calculator, the bottom section of the Tax Family worksheet deals with phase outs. You can see your total amount in blue, down at the very bottom of the screen. This number considers any phase-out deductions.
Know How Much Stimulus Money You Will Receive
Once you complete the four orange cells on this worksheet, you can see how much money you will receive from this economic stimulus package. Having this number can help you budget for it, so you will have a plan for it when you receive it.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are many questions surrounding the stimulus package and direct payments. Here are a few common ones.
How Will Americans Receive Direct Payments?
If you qualify for an economic stimulus check, you’re probably wondering how it’s going to make its way to you. This depends on the information the IRS has on file for you.
Many Americans already receive tax refunds electronically, through a direct deposit. If you have ever received a direct deposit from the IRS, they will use that information to send you your relief payment.
If you do not have this set up, don’t worry. Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin indicated in a recent interview that there will be a way for you to go online and provide bank account information to the IRS. The details of this process are not yet finalized.
For those who do not provide direct deposit information, they can receive a check in the mail. However, physical economic stimulus checks will take longer to arrive.
When Will the Money Arrive?
While lawmakers are hopeful that the money will arrive soon, the honest answer to this question is that no one knows yet. According to the law itself, payments are supposed to be made, “as rapidly as possible.”
Secretary Mnuchin has indicated he’d like these to go out within three weeks. However, not everyone sees that timetable as realistic. Janet Holtzblatt, a senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, recently wrote, “I hope the IRS can get those checks out speedily, but I expect ... a lot of disappointed people who will have to wait months.”
You see, before any money can go out, the IRS website needs to be updated to reflect the information. And taxpayers will need to have a reliable system for reporting their bank account information to receive payment. There are still a lot of unknowns in the timing of these direct payments.
Many retired seniors do not have to file a tax return each year. That’s because their social security income is their only source of income. Despite not filling out a tax return for the past two years, senior citizens on social security are eligible for the relief payments.
The exact process of how these elderly Americans will claim their money is still being finalized. According to a recent NBC News report, these senior citizens will need to fill out a simple tax return. This will have the information from the form SSA uses for social security payments.
The IRS updates their website as more information becomes available, so it’s important to check there for details of the payments.
Will Direct Payments Be Taxed?
Many Americans have wondered if the stimulus checks are too good to be true. Some have asked if they must claim the money as taxable income.
According to the New York Times, this money is not taxable income. You will not need to pay additional taxes on it.
The Kiplinger website explains this a little more in-depth. “The stimulus checks will actually be advanced payments of a new tax credit added by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.” Tax credits are reductions in the amount of income tax you owe.
So instead of seeing this tax credit when you file your 2020 taxes next spring, the IRS is paying you in advance.
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