WASHINGTON — Most adults will get checks of $1,200 per person and $3,400 per family of four in the massive coronavirus stimulus bill the Senate is preparing to pass.
The giveaway became more generous as senators negotiated the final package and is likely to be sent to the House on Wednesday.
Senators removed an original phase-in for low-income people, meaning that now, even destitute people, retirees and students are eligible for a full $1,200 each.
For earners between $75,000 and $99,000, the amount gradually reduces, with individuals who earn more than $99,000 and couples over $198,000 getting zilch.
Each child, however, scores parents $500, which even higher earners can receive.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) announced the tweaks in a Wednesday afternoon speech, and committee spokesman Michael Zona confirmed the details to The Post.
Zona said the IRS will apply the means test to 2018 tax filings unless someone already has filed their 2019 taxes.
Ultimately, however, the package will be “reconciled after the fact” with a person’s 2020 earnings, meaning if you earn more or less this year, you stand to either pay back some of the bonus or get a bigger rebate next year.
“This is ultimately an advance of sorts for when filers do their 2020 return. Of course, 2020 hasn’t happened yet, so that data does not exist,” Zona said.
About 85 percent of individuals earn under $75,000, meaning they would get the full amount. Roughly 90 percent of individual earners are under the $99,000 cap. About 90 percent of households would get the full $2,400 for two adults.
The larger bill is expected to run more than 700 pages and a final copy has not been released, though it’s expected to pass Wednesday. It includes hundreds of billions in loans to businesses and a big boost in unemployment pay for workers furloughed because of the crisis.
The precise cost of the direct checks is unknown, but they are expected to cost several hundreds of billions of dollars.
The plan for checks to Americans has evolved. The White House sought two waves of $1,000 for all American adults. Later, Senate Republicans introduced a sliding scale capping the amounts for higher incomes and phasing it in for people who earn at least $2,500. The initial GOP plan called for lower-income people to get at least $600.
The checks will be mailed or direct-deposited as soon as the IRS is able. Hill officials believe that may be in April.