COVID-19 and Direct Payments to Individuals: Comparison of the Second Round of 'Stimulus Checks' in P.L. 116-260 to the First Round in the CARES Act (P.L. 116-136) [January 13, 2021] [open pdf - 702KB]
From the Document: "At the end of 2020, lawmakers included a second round of direct payments in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (P.L. 116-260). The payments equal $600 per eligible individual ($1,200 for most married couples) plus an additional $600 per eligible child, phasing down for higher-income households. The first round of direct payments was enacted in the CARES [Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security] Act (P.L. 116-136) in March 2020. As with the first round of direct payments, the second round of payments are structured as a new one-time refundable credit against 2020 income taxes. Generally, these payments are being automatically issued by the Treasury based on 2019 tax data until January 15, 2021. Eligible households who do not automatically receive a second payment (or who receive less than they would based on their 2020 income and family size) are to generally be able to receive the payment (or receive an additional payment) as a refundable credit when they file their 2020 income tax return. These payments are not taxable and do not count as income or resources for a 12-month period in determining eligibility for, or the amount of assistance provided by, any federally funded public benefit program."
CRS Insight, IN11576
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/