Want a Bigger Stimulus Check? Consider Filing Your Tax Return Early

Want a Bigger Stimulus Check? Consider Filing Your Tax Return Early
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WASHINGTON—The size of your next stimulus check might depend on when you file your tax return.

For many Americans, income in 2020 was lower than it was in 2019 because of the pandemic-induced recession. And because the stimulus payments of up to $1,400 per person will have limits based on household income, it matters which year the payments are based on.

So why would it matter when you file your tax return? That’s because Congress is likely to tell the IRS to use 2019 or 2020 income—whichever the government has when the payment is made, according to the Senate Finance Committee.

Those who file soon after the Internal Revenue Service starts accepting returns on Feb. 12 will likely have their payments based on 2020 income and family size. Those who wait would have their…



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