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With more stimulus checks on the way, you may want to wait to file your taxes

When you file could impact next round of stimulus
stimulus checks
Posted at 12:24 PM, Feb 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-18 14:24:51-05

WASHINGTON — Congress is poised to pass legislation that would distribute another round of stimulus checks to most Americans.

The House of Representatives could vote on a bill next week and President Joe Biden wants to sign it into law by mid-March.

The checks are expected to total $1,400. The income threshold requirements that will determine who will receive those checks remain unclear.

Taxes and stimulus checks

Qualifying for a stimulus check up to this point has been based on a person's latest tax filing with the IRS. For instance, anyone who reported earning less than $75,000 in 2019 received a full stimulus check.

What Americans report on their 2020 filing will likely impact the next round of checks.

So, how should you go about filing your taxes, given that many details regarding the next stimulus bill are still up in the air? Read below on advice from experts on when to submit your taxes to maximize your return and your stimulus.

Scenario #1: You earned less in 2020 than you did in 2019

Advice: File ASAP

The reason? The lower the income, the higher the probability a person will receive a stimulus check. It's possible Congress changes the income requirements in the upcoming stimulus bill, but a lower income in 2020 will provide a better chance at a full stimulus check.

Scenario #2 You earned more in 2020 than you did in 2019

Advice: You may benefit from waiting

The reason? Taxpayers have until April 15 to file, and it's likely the next stimulus bill will be signed into law by then. Reporting a higher income will increase the chances of not getting a stimulus check. It's unclear what the new income limits will be in the next round of relief.

Scenario #3 You earned the same in 2019 and 2020

Advice: It doesn't matter when you file

The reason? Your tax information will not likely impact the next round of stimulus checks.

Scenario #4 You never received a stimulus check but know you qualify

Advice: File ASAP

The reason? The IRS is asking Americans if they actually received a stimulus check, and crediting those who qualify. Filing now will also make it easier to receive the next check.