All Your Coronavirus Relief Check Questions, Answered

All Your Coronavirus Relief Check Questions, Answered

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When the Senate passed a gigantic coronavirus economic relief bill that includes checks of up to $1,200 for many Americans, a lot of people reacted like it was a done deal. But even though the House of Representatives approved it today, the bill isn’t a law yet, and it might be a while until you get your “recovery rebate” check. So it’s not yet time to celebrate like it’s payday.

Not sure if you’ll be eligible to get a payment? Worried about what it’ll do to your taxes? Let’s answer some of your most common about your much-anticipated coronavirus relief checks.


If you don’t have a bank account tied to your tax return, you’ll get a paper check in the mail. It’ll likely be at least May before you get your payment. But it could take well into the summer for your check to arrive.

A quick rundown on how much money you’ll get:

  • If your adjusted gross income (AGI) on your last tax return was under $75,000, you’ll get $1,200.
  • If you filed jointly and your AGI is under $150,000, you’ll get $2,400.
  • If you filed as head of household and had an AGI under $112,500, you’ll get $1,200.
  • For every dependent age 16 or younger in your household, you’ll get $500. If you have adult dependents or students in college, you won’t get a payment for them.
  • If your most recent AGI was between $75,000 and $99,000, you’ll get less than $1,200, but you’ll still get a payment. The same goes joint filers with an AGI between $150,000 and $198,000 and heads of households with an AGI between $112,500 and $146,500—you’ll get less than a full payment, but you’ll get something. You can use a relief check calculator like this one to find out how much.
  • If you had an AGI of more than $99,000 (single people), $198,000 (joint filers) or $146,500 (head of household), you won’t get anything.

To check your AGI, look on line line 8b on your 2019 1040 form, or line 7 on your 2018 1040.

this IRS link for more information as it becomes available.


advanced refundable tax credit—basically the government is fronting you a tax credit in the form of cash. If you don’t receive a check (or the maximum payment), but your income decreases in 2020, you might find that you get a bigger refund next year. But if your income increases in 2020, you won’t end up owing the money back.

I haven’t filed my 2019 taxes yet. Should I wait until after I get my relief check?

Savage said not to wait, especially if you expect a refund.

The one exception to this rule might be if your income has fluctuated since you last filed. If your 2019 return would bump you over the income threshold while your already filed 2018 return would keep you eligible, you may want to hold off.

Will this affect my 2019 tax refund? What if I already filed my 2019 taxes but my refund is still processing?

“This check would be in addition to your 2019 refund, if you’re getting one,” Savage said.

Will I have to pay taxes on my check? How will it affect my 2020 tax return?

Your recovery check is not taxable. You’ll report receiving it on your 2020 taxes, but it won’t increase your tax liability for the year.

Will they withhold the rebate if I owe taxes?

No. You’ll still get your check if you owe federal or state back taxes.

My child was born in 2020. Will I get any money for them?

Not this year. You’ll see a $500 credit for your new dependent on your 2020 tax return.

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