Questions and Answers about the Third Economic Impact Payment — Topic B: Eligibility and Calculation of the Third Payment

Generally, if you’re a U.S. citizen or U.S. resident alien, you are eligible for $1,400 ($2,800  for a joint return), plus $1,400 for each qualifying dependent, if you (and your spouse if filing a joint return) aren’t a dependent of another taxpayer on a 2020 tax return, have a valid Social Security number (SSN) (see exception when married filing jointly and exception for qualified dependents) and your adjusted gross income (AGI) does not exceed:

  • $150,000 if married and filing a joint return or if filing as a qualifying widow or widower
  • $112,500 if filing as head of household or
  • $75,000 for eligible individuals using any other filing statuses, such as single filers and married people filing separate returns.

Payments will be phased out – or reduced -- above those AGI amounts. This means taxpayers will not receive a third payment if their AGI exceeds:

  • $160,000 if married and filing a joint return or if filing as a qualifying widow or widower
  • $120,000 if filing as head of household or
  • $80,000 for eligible individuals using other filing statuses, such as single filers and married people filing separate returns.

For example, a single person with no dependents and an AGI of $77,500 will normally get a $700 payment (half the full amount). A married couple with two dependents and an AGI of $155,000 will generally get a payment of $2,800 (again, half the full amount). Filers with AGI of at least $80,000 (single and married filing separately), $120,000 (head of household) and $160,000 (married filing joint and surviving spouse) will get no payment based on the law.

You aren’t eligible for a payment if any of the following apply:

  • You could be claimed as a dependent on another taxpayer’s 2020 tax return
  • You’re a nonresident alien.
  • You don’t have a valid SSN issued to you by the due date of your tax return (including an extension to October 15 if you request it).

Also, payments will not be made to estates or trusts or for individuals who died before January 1, 2021. 

A payment won’t be issued for someone who has died before January 1, 2021. 

If you filed a joint return in 2020 and your spouse died before January 1, 2021, the decedent will not be included in the calculation of the third payment. You as the surviving spouse, if eligible, will be issued up to $1,400 for you and $1,400 for any qualifying dependents.

If you can’t cash or deposit the check: If you cannot cash or deposit the payment because it was issued to you and a deceased spouse, return the check as described in FAQ What should I do to return an Economic Impact Payment that was received as a direct deposit or a paper check.

Include a letter requesting that the third payment be reissued in the surviving spouse’s name only.

A person who’s a qualifying resident alien with a valid SSN is eligible for the payment only if he or she is a qualifying resident alien in 2021 and may not be claimed as a dependent of another taxpayer.  A nonresident alien in 2021 isn’t eligible for the payment. An alien who received a payment but isn’t a qualifying resident alien for 2021 should return the payment to the IRS by following the instructions as described in Returning the Economic Impact Payment for instructions.

Individuals will not be denied Economic Impact Payments solely because they are incarcerated.  An incarcerated individual may be issued a payment if all eligibility requirements are met and the individual filed a 2020 or 2019 tax return that was processed by the IRS.  

Eligible individuals who filed a joint tax return will receive up to $2,800, and all other eligible individuals will receive up to $1,400. Those with qualifying dependents on their tax return will receive up to $1,400  per qualifying dependent. If a 2020 tax return has not been processed when eligibility and amount of payment are being determined for you, your 2019 tax information may be used for this purpose. 

If your 2020 tax return is processed after a payment is made, we will review the information on your 2020 tax return and may send you an additional payment beyond what you were already paid if you qualify for more based on your 2020 tax information. 

Eligible individuals don’t need a minimum income for the third payment. However, for higher income individuals, the payment amount is reduced when their adjusted gross income exceeds the following thresholds:

  • $150,000 for taxpayers filing a joint return or filing a return as a qualifying widow or widower
  • $112,500 for taxpayers filing as head of household
  • $75,000 for eligible individuals using any other filing status

The third payment is reduced if their AGI is above these thresholds. No payment is made when AGI is at least the following amount:

  • $160,000 for taxpayers filing a joint return or filing a return as a qualifying widow or widower
  • $120,000 for taxpayers filing as head of household
  • $80,000 for eligible individuals using any other filing status

For example, a single person with no dependents and an AGI of $77,500 will normally get a $700 payment (half the full amount). A married couple with two dependents and an AGI of $155,000 will generally get a payment of $2,800 (again, half the full amount). Filers with incomes of at least $80,000 (single and married filing separately), $120,000 (head of household) and $160,000 (married filing joint and surviving spouse) will get no payment based on the law.

If you file jointly with your spouse and only one individual has a valid SSN, you will receive up to $1,400 for the spouse with a valid SSN and up to $1,400 for each qualifying dependent claimed on the tax return.

If neither spouse has a valid SSN, you will only receive up to $1,400 for each qualifying dependent claimed on the tax return.

A valid SSN for the third Economic Impact Payment is one that is issued by the Social Security Administration before the due date of your tax return (including an extension to October 15 if you request it).

Active Military: If either spouse is an active member of the U.S. Armed Forces at any time during the taxable year, only one spouse needs to have a valid SSN for the couple to receive up to $2,800 for themselves, plus up to $1,400 for each qualifying dependent.

If you can be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s 2020 tax return, then you cannot claim a dependent on your tax return. You are also not eligible for the third Economic Impact Payment.

The third payment includes up to an additional $1,400 for each dependent you claim on your 2020 tax return (or your 2019 return if a 2020 return has not been filed or processed) with a valid SSN or Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number issued by the IRS. A valid SSN for the third Economic Impact Payment is one that is issued by the Social Security Administration before the due date of your tax return (including an extension to October 15 if you request it).

A child is your qualifying child if the following conditions are met:

  • Relationship to the individual who’s eligible for the payment: The child is your son, daughter, stepchild, eligible foster child, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, half-brother, half-sister, or a descendant of any of them (for example, grandchild, niece, or nephew).
  • Child's age: The child was:
    • under age 19 at the end of the tax year,
    • under age 24 at the end of the tax year, a student, and younger than you, or
    • any age and permanently and totally disabled.
  • Child's citizenship: The child’s a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, U.S. resident alien, or a resident of Canada or Mexico.
  • Child's residency: The child lived with you for more than half of the tax year.
  • Support for child: The child didn’t provide over half of his or her own support for the tax year.
  • Child's tax return: The child doesn’t file a joint return for the year (or files it only to claim a refund of withheld income tax or estimated tax paid).

A person is your qualifying relative if the following conditions are met:

  • The person can't be your qualifying child or the qualifying child of any other taxpayer.
  • The person either is related to you in one of several ways or lived with you all year as a member of your household (and your relationship must not violate local law).
  • The person is a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, U.S. resident alien, or a resident of Canada or Mexico.
  • The person's gross income for the year must be less than $4,200 for 2019 tax returns or $4,300 for 2020 tax returns. (Exceptions exist if the person is disabled.)
  • You must provide more than half of the person's total support for the year. (Exceptions exist for multiple support agreements, children of divorced or separated parents, and parents who live apart.)
  • The person doesn’t file a joint return for the year (or files it only to claim a refund of withheld income tax or estimated tax paid).

No, the third economic impact payment in 2021 will not include an additional amount for these children because the third round of payments is based on information from your 2020 or 2019 tax return. If the child is your dependent in 2021, you may claim a 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit for the child, if you’re eligible for the credit, on your 2021 tax return that you will file in 2022. 

To claim a person as a dependent on your tax return, that person must be your qualifying child or qualifying relative. See Whom May I Claim as a Dependent? to determine if you can claim someone as a dependent.

No, the payment will not include an additional amount for this dependent because the third round of payments is based only on information from your 2020 tax return. If eligible, you may claim a 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit for the dependent on your 2021 tax return that you will file in 2022.

See Whom May I Claim as a Dependent? to determine if you can claim someone as a dependent.

You can still receive up to $1,400 for a qualified dependent claimed on your return, even if you do not have a valid SSN, but you must meet all of the other eligibility and income requirements.

For example, if you file as head of household and your adjusted gross income is over $120,000 you would not qualify for any payment for you or your qualified dependent. If your income was under $120,000, you are a U.S. resident alien and not a dependent on another taxpayers 2020 return, you will not receive a $1,400 for yourself, but you may still receive up to $1,400 for a dependent you claimed on your return, if they have a valid SSN and meet all of the qualified dependent requirements.