Here are a few observations on the latest version of the Senate bill. I found it at
The good parts are at Pages 144-155.
1) Unlike last week’s version, there is no reference to changing the due date of returns to July 15, or estimated tax payments to October 15.
2) The $1,200/$2,400/$500 rebate is, technically, a credit against 2020 taxes. That means it will require a computation next year. However, if the 2020 credit turns out to be less than the amount already paid – for example, AGI in 2020 is higher, or kid count is lower – the difference does not have to be paid back.
3) The $500 per child is only for those under 17.
4) The credit is based on 2019 AGI and qualifying children. If no 2019 return has been filed (yet), the credit is based on 2018 AGI and QC's. If no return has been filed for either year, the credit is based on information from Form SSA-1099 (Social Security benefit statement) or Form RRB-1099 (good ol’ Railroad Retirement).
5) The credit is phased out starting at $75,000 for single or MFS; $150,000 for MFJ; and $112.500 for HH. It goes down 5% for every $1,000 of AGI above those amounts. Oddly enough, qualifying widow(er) is not mentioned, so apparently gets only the $75,000. As I read it, a taxpayer with a qualifying child and $99,000 income would still get $500; that would be phased out once AGI reached $109,000.
6) The payment is made even if the person owes federal taxes or other amounts subject to refund offset.
7) The payment goes to “any account to which the payee authorized, on or after January 1, 2018, the delivery of a refund of taxes under this title or of a federal payment...” which would include Social Security and VA benefits.
As always, don't count these chickens before they hatch. Any or all of them could turn into Easter eggs.
Since the United States will be back in business by Easter as our Great Leader says, no one will fuss if the chickens become Easter eggs.
What really surprised me is the use of AGI rather than MAGI. Maybe they're feeling generous this time.
Timing will also be interesting. Some people may want to game the system by not filing 2019 until the check arrives, not realizing that it's only an advance refund. Those who have balances due may decide to wait to make sure the credit will be reflected on their returns but there's no telling whether the IRS will put 1040 update on the back burner (as it will take time) so that checks can get out the door asap.
A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well.