On Friday morning, the Senate voted in favor of a budget resolution that will pave the way for Democrats to pass President Joe Biden economic stimulus bill. The final package has yet to be passed but, provided all Democratic senators vote with the party, it is expected to be enacted in the coming weeks.
However, a takeaway from the 3 p.m. Senate debate was the potential narrowing of eligibility conditions for the stimulus checks included in the package. The main factor determining the right to direct payments is Adjusted gross income (AGI), but what is it actually?
News: The US Senate, 51-50, passed the budget resolution, marking a key step on Dem’s path to craft their Covid relief plan.@VP Harris voted to break the tie
– Phil Mattingly (@Phil_Mattingly) February 5, 2021
What is adjusted gross income?
The new Covid-19 relief bill includes a third round of stimulus checks worth $ 1,400, but that total amount is only provided to people whose AGI is below a certain threshold. The process is administered by the IRS, which bases its decision on the details of the tax return available to them for previous years.
The IRS defines AGI as âgross income minus income adjustmentsâ. Gross income is the total amount you receive in one year and includes salaries, dividends, capital gains, business income, retirement distributions as well as any other income stream.
President Biden: âIf I have to choose between getting help now for Americans who are suffering so badly and getting bogged down in a long negotiation or compromising on a billâ¦ that’s an easy choice. I will help the American people who are suffering now. ” pic.twitter.com/XVYFFYt2Zh
– The hill (@thehill) February 5, 2021
The adjustments may include items such as educator expenses, interest on student loans, payment of child support, and contributions to a retirement account, so these items will not be included in the AGI. For this reason your AGI cannot be greater than your total gross income, but may be lower if you have adjustments.
Because this is covered by the tax authorities, married couples who jointly file will have their income and adjustments grouped together to produce a single digit.
Am I eligible for the third round of dunning checks?
Friday afternoon, President Biden reaffirmed his promise on the next round of dunning checks, saying: âThey’re going to be $ 1,400. Period. This is what the American people were promised.
It will be a relief after a final attempt by a group of ten Republican senators to reduce the amount to $ 1,000. However, the exact conditions for receiving direct payments have yet to be confirmed.
Biden had initially hoped to expand eligibility slightly, allowing dependent adults to receive both the $ 1,400 included in that bill and retroactive payment for the $ 600 included in the December emergency relief bill. It is believed that this would provide stimulus checks for about 29 million more Americans.
99-1, the Senate adopts the amendment proposed by Senators Susan Collins and Joe Manchin to exclude “high income” wage earners from stimulus checks. It was adopted in the budget resolution, which is not binding. But it is clear where the Senate’s point of view is on this matter. Rand Paul was a no
– Manu Raju (@mkraju) February 4, 2021
However, there have also been calls for some of the high incomes to be excluded of this round of payments, to make the support more targeted. Biden’s plan had proposed the same threshold as previous bills; a AGI of $ 75,000 for an individual Where $ 150,000 for a co-registrant.
During the Senate discussion on the budget resolution, a an amendment has been tabled who asked “High income taxpayers” to be excluded new stimulus check payments. The 99-1 vote is not binding, but shows that there is an overwhelming desire in Congress for stimulus checks to be more focused on lower incomes. It remains to be seen whether Biden will choose to act on this point.