CORONAVIRUS

Second stimulus check: what are the differences with the first round of payments

The second stimulus check has not been agreed upon yet with the HEROES Act yet to be discussed by the Senate but what are the differences being talked about.

Second stimulus check: what are the differences with the first round of payments

Republican lawmakers are not entriely convinced about the second stimulus check mentioned in the Democrats' HEROES Act. The CARES Act saw millions of Americans receive economic aid during the start of the pandemic and the HEROES Act, which was passed by the House but was said to be 'DOA' once it reached the Senate, is still in the works. It would include another round of $1,200 checks for eligible citizens. But what would be the differences between the first stimulus check and the second?

The Heroes Act would see Americans who qualify for a stimulus check receive $1,200 ($2,400 in the case of joint return) plus another $1,200 for every other dependent with a maximum of $3,600 and immigrants would retroactively receive the $1,200 payment they were denied under the CARES Act.

Everyone is eligible regardless of income despite fears that unemployment might affect eligibility. The IRS has encouraged people from low incomes homes to register for a check. People with low income are eligible, homeless people are eligible and even those who aren’t legally required to file federal taxes can get a $1,200 stimulus check. That should not change with a second stimulus check as it is aimed at helping those struggling the most during the coronavirus pandemic.

Republicans are more interested, however, in helping the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program and helping with unemployment benefits. The HEROES Act includes an extra $200 billion would be set aside for Hazard Pay, money dedicated to essential workers. It would also allow full-time students under the age of 24 to receive payments as dependents.

Changes in the HEROES Act

The new act modifies the requirements regarding the provision of a valid Social Security number (SSN), which some dependent immigrants do not have and as a result, missed out on the stimulus payments through the CARES bill. It would require individuals, at least one spouse for married couples, and dependents to provide taxpayer identification numbers, which include SSNs and Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers issued by the IRS to some individuals who aren’t eligible for SSNs but must file a U.S. tax return.

There are no changes however to the original act in that people who earn over $75,000 do not make the cut for the maximum amount and it reduces by 5% above the amount of the stimulus check. For example, as explained by Forbes, a person who makes $99,000 and has no children would not receive a stimulus check.

The Heroes Act adjusts the language of the bill to reduce the benefit designed for just that person to $0. Under the Heroes Act, joint filers with just one TIN would receive a $1,200 check from the CARES Act.

As well as the short-term payments for individuals and businesses, Democratic are also pushing to have a clear focus on renewable energy within the package.