WASHINGTON — The mission of the Verify team is to answer viewer questions about rumors circulating online. And the team has seen a lot of confusion, spreading online about the proposed second round of stimulus checks.
For all the details on the $900 billion proposal, click here. The Verify team is honing in on the $600 stimulus checks, to answer the biggest questions arising on social media.
- Congressional Bill - Economic Stimulus
- Joint Statement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer ,
- Statement, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
- Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, CNBC Interview
- Cari Weston, Director For Tax Practice and Ethics at the Association of International CPA's.
- Senator Tim Kaine, D-Virginia
- Senator Mark Warner, D-Virginia
How big are the checks? And who is qualified to get them?
The Verify team compared statements by Congressional leaders from both parties, and also looked through the released text of the bill.
According to Congressional leadership, qualifying adults will receive $600, an amount that is half of what was received in the first round of stimulus checks. A married couple that qualifies will receive $1,200. Parents will also receive an additional $600 for every dependent child in the home.
Just as with the last round of stimulus checks, there is an income requirement. Full payment will only be given to individuals with a salary below $75,000. A married couple is required to make less than $150,000 to receive the full payment.
As an example, a family of four, with two parents, and two children would receive $2,400, assuming the parents have a joint income below $150,000.
Cari Weston, The Director For Tax Practice and Ethics at the Association of International CPA's, outlined how the payouts would decrease, as people make more money than this salary cap.
"The amount of credit will be reduced by 5 percent for every dollar that exceeds the adjusted gross income limit," she said.
Weston said that this would mean that the rebate amount would be zero, for individuals that make $87,000 and married couples making $174,000, assuming that they have no eligible children.
Congressional leaders agree on these set of facts, despite mixed messages about who should be applauded for getting such a deal done.
"Thanks to the particular leadership and direction of President Trump and Secretary Mnuchin," said Sen. McConnell. "Households will receive a second round of direct relief checks — $600 per adult and per child."
"Democrats secured a new round of direct payments worth up to $600 per adult and child," said the joint statement from Sen. Schumer and House Speaker Pelosi.
When are people likely to receive their checks?
Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin addressed this question directly on CNBC’s Squawk on the Street with Jim Cramer.
"People are going to see this money at the beginning of next week," he said. "It’s very fast. It’s money that gets re-circulated.”
The office of Sen. Mark Warner said that this should be a speedy process since the government has already done one round of stimulus checks.
"The process should move quicker than last," he said. "Because IRS now has the infrastructure and experience from first go-round. Expect it to be similar in terms of those who set up direct deposit getting the checks first and those who received those by mail having to wait more."
Weston said that rebates should be directly deposited so long as the previous rebate was delivered electronically, or if a tax return with a refund or tax due was filed after January 1, 2019.
"The bill states that the rebates should be paid as rapidly as possible," she said.
Will the checks be taxable?
Our experts said that this is false.
"No. These are not considered taxable income," said Weston. "And will not be reported as such on 2021 tax returns."
"The payment is not income and taxpayers will not owe tax on it," said AARP in regards to the first stimulus checks. "The payment will not reduce a taxpayer's refund or increase the amount they owe when they file their 2020 tax return."
Will those receiving social security receive this $600 check?
Our experts said yes.
"Eligible taxpayers receiving Social Security, specified supplemental social security, specified railroad retirement benefits, or specified veterans' benefits," Weston said. "Will receive the rebates in the same manner as the 2019 process.
Weston said that the standard process will be followed if that person filed a return. If this person did not file a return, the "administering agencies will distribute the rebates via the payment method used for regular distributions."