How Big Will Your Stimulus Check Be?

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The stimulus bills announced on Monday did not include checks, although many lawmakers — and Americans — wanted them included. Now, as Congress debates the stimulus package before the December 18 deadline, it seems clear that checks to taxpayers will be included. Now the question is, how much will they be, and who will get the full amount?

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Yesterday, the Commerce Department announced retail sales for November, which showed a decline of 1.1%, more than expected and leading to a downward revision in holiday sales expectations. Furthermore, the economy created fewer jobs in November than in the previous six months, also contrary to expectations, while jobless claims ballooned to their highest point since September.

In the first CARES act passed in the spring, taxpayers received checks of $1200, plus $500 per qualifying child under age 16, then reduced the amount based on Adjusted Gross Income.

Legislators are feeling pressure to keep the new stimulus cost below $1 trillion. The amounts discussed for the second check have varied from $300 to $1200, with the adjustment formulas for children and income also under discussion. No matter what the final amount is to make headlines, the amounts that people receive will likely be very different from what they received in May.

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CNET reports that adjustments are likely to be based on these factors:

See: Basic Income: Could This Out-There Idea Get America Out of the COVID Crisis?
Find: Stimulus Negotiations Signal Unemployment Changes

Most families will not know how much they will receive until after the holiday shopping season ends. It may be too late to boost December retail sales figures, but just in time for January clearance bargains.

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