By Liz Calvo
The second stimulus check, re-enacted after Biden’s presidential inauguration under the COVID-Related Tax Relief Act of 2020, comprised $1.9 trillion and was distributed to eligible Americans between Dec. 30, 2020 and Jan. 15, 2021.
“The stimulus package is much more than the checks,” said Irmadelin Olivier, a senior and finance major. “It provides fuel to increase employment and economic activity.”
It was originally proposed as the HEROS Act during Trump’s presidency back in October of 2020. However, it was withheld until Trump’s expected victory.
Olivier explained that “the amount of $1.9 trillion, which is roughly 10% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), is going to be pumped into the economy...as a result, the stimulus package is designed to boost job growth and overall economic activity.”
This check will be distributed as follows: $600 per eligible family member, $1,200 for those who are married and filed their taxes jointly, and an extra $600 for each qualifying child, aged 16 and younger.
Jonas Espinal, a junior majoring in special education, never received a stimulus check and complained about the eligibility because “everyone should be receiving the stimulus check because of the struggle we had to live through during the pandemic,” he said.
Victoria Riddick, a sophomore majoring in pre-nursing, said that she is satisfied with the $600 check because “the government is also struggling to keep up with funds during the pandemic.”
When asked how businesses would benefit, she stated that “because people have more money to spend, businesses will benefit from an increase in spenders.”
Sam LaMura, an adjunct English professor at Barry University, believed that the $600 check was “a joke and a rude statement to the public because of how former President Trump and Nancy Pelosi handled the stimulus deal.”
“Because Pelosi didn’t want Trump to have a win before the elections, she started debating in order to promise more money for the check, which caused the promised sum to be lower because of Biden’s winning the elections,” he said.
The eligibility for each stimulus check has changed since the first check, the most notable change being the decrease of the upper income limit. Information collected from the 2019 tax returns by the Treasury is being used to determine who qualifies for the check. The following includes the basic requirements for income eligibility when you filed your 2019 tax returns:
No more than $174,000 for the year if married and filing a joint return.
No more than $124,500 for the year if filing as head of household
No more than $87,000 for the year for eligible individuals using any other filing status in tax.
Payments were reduced by 5 percent if the adjusted gross income for 2019 exceeded the application threshold above.
Moreover, you were not eligible for payment if any of the following applied:
If you may be claimed as dependent on another taxpayer’s return
If you do not have a Social Security number that is valid for employment and if you are a nonresident alien
Possible Third Stimulus Check
The IRS is likely going to start sending the new stimulus check payments by late March. Therefore, you should start filing taxes as soon as possible. The federal government will send $1,400 to each eligible family member.
So far, there is not sufficient information on how the third check will affect the economy as of late. There is, however, information regarding how someone may qualify.
The following included the changes in the requirements made for this new stimulus check.
The eligibility requirements for this new stimulus check changed to allow dependents over the age of 16 to be able to receive benefits, which would include college students, older relatives, and people with certain disabilities.
Biden’s proposal would include all mixed-status households, potentially including citizen children and non-citizen parents, too. Also, the income limit may decrease from the previous check listed as the following:
No more than $150,000 for the year if married and filing a joint return
No more than $112,500 for the year if filing as head of household
No more than $75,000 for the year for eligible individuals using any other filing status
Espinal was glad to hear of the increased amount of the third check, saying that “$1,400 will definitely be more than enough money to support yourself temporarily.”
Riddick believes that this third stimulus check will most certainly benefit those who are eligible but will create animosity among those who are not eligible for these checks.
"People who are ineligible will see it as unfair because it is more money promised,” she said.
For more information, please look at the IRS website for more information.