Written by Spotloan

Earlier this year, most American adults received an economic stimulus check as part of the original $2 trillion coronavirus recovery package. Now, we’re looking ahead to the next one, as negotiators work toward a new coronavirus relief package. Once the House and the Senate can agree on certain details in the package, a second Economic Impact Payment can be expected.

What's the Difference Between the First and Second Stimulus Package?

So, what’s the difference between the first package and the second? The same individuals will be eligible. According to the IRS, you’ll likely receive an Economic Impact Payment if:

  • You are a United States citizen
  • You are a permanent resident
  • You are a qualifying resident alien
  • You are not a dependent of another United States taxpayer
  • You have a Social Security Number (SSN) that makes you eligible for work

As far as eligibility goes, the second package looks the same so far. You may qualify for an Economic Impact Payment, even though you may not normally file annual federal and/or state taxes. If you made less than $12,200 as an individual or less than $24,400 as a married couple in 2019, the IRS didn’t require you to file a tax return. The good news about this coronavirus stimulus package is that your payment isn’t contingent on you having income to claim.

The second payment itself also doesn’t qualify as income, it won’t be taxed, and it won’t impair your ability to seek government assistance or participate in certain benefit programs. But if you don’t normally file taxes, you’ll need to complete an additional step or two for this money to find its way to you when the time comes.

You can sign up directly with the IRS through their non-filers tool. This will ensure that your $1,200 payment (and $500 for each qualifying child) gets to the right place when the bill passes and payments start going out. Read more about the non-filer tool and the IRS’s requirements here.