Stimulus check update – how filing your tax return early could land you more cash from the third Covid relief package

FILING your tax return early could land you more stimulus cash in the third Covid relief package.

On Friday, the House passed a new $1.9trillion Covid relief package, but the details of when exactly additional $1,400 stimulus checks will be sent are still unclear.


Since many Americans made less money in 2020 than in 2019, due to the Covid pandemic, it could be beneficial to file last year's taxes before those checks start going out.

Check sizes in the past two stimulus packages were based on how much income a household made in 2019, and family size.

If your income was lower for 2020, or your family size grew, the stimulus check the IRS doles out could be bigger if you file early.

If you wait to file taxes, the IRS will likely use your household's 2019 income and family size again to calculate your eligibility for the next check.

However, if you file shortly after the IRS begins accepting returns – on February 12 – there's a strong possibility that the agency will use your 2020 income and family size.

If you file electronically, the return becomes available to the IRS almost immediately.

On Friday, President Joe Biden vowed to "act fast" to get $1,400 stimulus checks to Americans during a press conference.

"I'm going to help the American people who are hurting now," Biden said.

He also confirmed that the relief payments would not be cut down.

"Here's what I won't do: I'm not cutting the size of the checks," he said. "They're going to be $1,400. Period. That's what the American people were promised."

The $1.9trillion package was approved with instructions for committees to write their parts of Covid-19 relief legislation, based on Biden's plan, by Feb 16, according to reports.

Biden's speech came just hours after he hailed the "chance to do something big" on Friday.

"The one thing we learned is we can’t do too much here, but we can do too little," the president said.

"Real live people are hurting and we can fix it. We’ve got a chance to do something big here."

At the end of about 15 hours of debate and back-to-back votes on dozens of amendments, the Senate found itself in a 50-50 partisan deadlock over passage of the budget plan.

That deadlock was broken by Vice President Kamala Harris early Friday morning, whose "yes" vote provided the win for Democrats.

"On this vote, the yeas for 50. The nays are 50," Harris said at the close of the session.

"The Senate being equally divided, the vice president votes in the affirmative and the concurrent resolution, as amended, is adopted."

The vote then went to the House, which also passed it.

Shortly before the final Senate vote, Democrats flexed their muscle by offering an amendment reversing three earlier votes that Republicans won.

Those had used the coronavirus aid battle to voice support for the Canada-to-United States Keystone XL pipeline that Biden has blocked and support for hydraulic fracking to extract underground oil and natural gas.

Also overturned was a Republican amendment barring coronavirus aid to immigrants living in the United States illegally.

With Democrat Harris presiding, she broke a 50-50 tie to overturn those Republican victories.

It marked the first time Harris, in her role as president of the Senate, cast a tie-breaking vote after being sworn in as Biden’s vice president on January 20.

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