If you claimed dependents on your 2019 tax return, you should’ve received at least $500 in the first round of stimulus checks.

Sarah Tew/CNET

If you claim a dependent on your taxes, you might receive more money in a second stimulus check than you did in the first, if a bill is approved in Congress. There are now three different proposals for a new stimulus bill that all expand the definition of a dependent in a way that’s sure to bring your family a larger sum, so long as you’re eligible for a new check (when and if it happens).

According to the latest proposal under consideration, a $1.8 trillion White House effort, the total for child dependents could rise from $500 to as high as $1,000 in a second round. Two other proposals wanted to bring $500 to dependents of any age, including an older relative who lives with you or a college student who doesn’t make enough money to qualify for a stimulus check of their own.

Who counts as a “dependent” versus “child dependent” belong to two different categories. Millions of young people didn’t get any stimulus money in the first round because of a legal definition based on tax law.

Read on for everything you need to know about your dependents when it comes to stimulus payments, and the most you could get. And here are all of the most important stimulus check facts to know. We update this story with new information on an ongoing basis.

How exactly does the IRS define a dependent?

In terms of tax law, a dependent can fall into two categories: a qualifying child or a qualifying relative. They don’t need to be children, or directly related to you, but they do have to


The CNET stimulus payment calculator can help you estimate how much money you could get from the IRS if a second check comes to be.

Sarah Tew/CNET

If Congress approves a second stimulus check by the end of 2020, how much money could you expect as a payment? There are a number of variables that factor in, so we built a handy calculator to help make estimating the amount as easy as possible.

The IRS is expected to follow the same guidelines as with the first stimulus check of up to $1,200 per person, but with a twist. If and when Congress signs off on a second direct payment, there could be changes to qualifications for you or your family members, which could result in more money for you. However, there are two different proposals for what that means, so things could get tricky. It’s important to read the next section below before you use the calculator tool.

Our stimulus check calculator is based on rules from the CARES Act, which governed the first stimulus check, and does not retain your personal details in any way. Keep in mind this tool supplies estimates only — the IRS may calculate a final figure based on other factors.

Read: What do your taxes have to do with stimulus checks? Everything.

Important: Before you start calculating

You will need your adjusted gross income, or AGI, from your 2019 or 2018 tax information. If you’ve filed your 2019 federal tax return, you can find that figure on line 8b of the 2019 1040 federal tax form. It’s line 7 on the 2018 1040 tax form. 

The CARES Act allowed you to claim child dependents for $500 apiece, as long as they’re 16 years old or younger (that is, under

13 ways to check 'Make more money' off your to-do list this weekend
13 ways to check ‘Make more money’ off your to-do list this weekend

A weekend is 48 hours, or even longer — if you count Friday night. That gives you plenty of time to get to work and drum up some extra cash for yourself.

During these days of high unemployment and rampant business closings, thanks to COVID-19, you could probably use at least a little more money. And you may not be able to count on the government sending more of those $1,200 stimulus checks.

So, this weekend will give you an opportunity to get ahead, whether you’ve got money woes you need to address or are just looking to pad your bank account. Don’t let it slip away — and find yourself facepalming on Sunday night.

We’ve checked out a bunch of income-boosting ideas to offer you 17 legit ways you can cross “Make more money” off your list this weekend.

1. Get paid if businesses behaved badly

<cite>Billion Photos / Shutterstock</cite>
Billion Photos / Shutterstock

When companies do the wrong thing, they get taken to court — and sometimes their customers get compensated.

Check to see if you qualify for reimbursement over products or services you purchased in the past that were falsely advertised, defective, or that you were overcharged for.

Recent settlements have involved companies including Apple, Tesla, Juul and others. Many class action claims can be completed online in a few minutes, though it may take up to a year to receive your rebate.

The criteria for eligibility will vary depending on the lawsuit, but in some cases you may not even need a receipt to get reimbursed. If proof of purchase is required and you can’t find your receipt, remember to check your bank and credit card statements.

2. Pay less for everything online

If you do

(Bloomberg) — Bloomberg News is checking the facts as Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris have their one and only debate.

Mike Pence wearing a suit and tie: Mike Pence speaks during the U.S. vice presidential debate at the University of Utah on Oct. 7.

© Bloomberg
Mike Pence speaks during the U.S. vice presidential debate at the University of Utah on Oct. 7.

Pence Claim: Biden and Harris support the Green New Deal

Harris co-sponsored legislation rooted in the far-reaching progressive climate plan known as the Green New Deal. And while Biden has said he does not support the Green New Deal, he has released a plan that aligns with some of its goals.


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A $2 trillion climate plan Biden outlined in July calls for achieving “a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035,” as well as spending on renewable energy infrastructure, getting cleaner cars on the road and creating zero-emission mass transit systems. The spending would also boost sustainable home building, clean energy innovation and conservation.

The sweeping Green New Deal, proposed by Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey, calls for a “10-year national mobilization” to shift the nation to 100% “clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources.”

Harris Claim: Trump’s trade war with China cost 300,000 American jobs

While the tariffs did hurt some manufacturers and spur job cuts, employment at factories still grew by a net 140,000 from mid-2018 to the start of 2020, before the pandemic. Harris’s point that the trade war spurred a manufacturing recession, however, is backed up by data showing U.S. factory output shrank in the first and second quarters of 2019.

Pence Claim: Biden will repeal all of Trump’s tax cuts

It’s true that Democratic nominee Joe Biden and Harris have both said they want to repeal the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, but their official campaign plan only repeals portions of the law. Harris said no


  • Trump accused Democrats of holding $1,200 stimulus checks hostage to aid for cash-strapped state and local governments
  • The president is still recovering from COVID-19 and is taking a steroid that interferes with thought processes and causes aggression
  • Trump’s shift in direction comes as the recovery from the coronavirus-induced recession appears to be losing steam

After putting the kibosh on further coronavirus stimulus negotiations, President Donald Trump Wednesday urged Congress to send him a trimmed-down measure that would provide $1,200 payments to individuals, along with funds to shore up the airlines and small businesses.

Trump sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average into a more than 375-point dive Tuesday, tweeting he had ordered an end to negotiations between Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The two sides were more than $500 billion apart on the size of the next round of stimulus. The president said there would be no new talks until after the Nov. 3 election.

The action came after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell urged lawmakers to pass a sizable stimulus package, warning failure would lead to a protracted recovery and permanent damage to the economy.

The Dow opened higher Wednesday, recouping Tuesday’s losses.

Hours after halting the talks, the president, who still is undergoing treatment for COVID-19 and taking a steroid that interferes with thought processes, tweeted Congress should move immediately to “approve $25 billion for airline payroll support and $135 billion for [the] Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses.”

He also accused Pelosi and other Democrats of “playing games” with stimulus payments for individuals, holding them hostage to funds for cash-strapped state and local governments reeling from the costs of dealing with the pandemic.

Wednesday morning, Trump urged Congress to “move fast” on stimulus checks for individuals.

Trump’s shift in direction comes as