First, it depends on your filing status: if you’re single, the payment is $1,200, but it doubles for a married couple filing jointly to $2,400. It also depends on your family size; you’ll get an additional $500 for every child under the age of 17. If you are claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return, you are not entitled to any payment at all.
For high-income taxpayers, it depends on just how high your income goes; a married couple will start to lose the payment once adjusted gross income (AGI) exceeds $150,000, and the same will occur for a single taxpayer once AGI exceeds $75,000.
Your payment also depends on whether or not you have filed your 2019 tax return.
According to the new law, the IRS is going to look first to your 2019 tax return to compute the payment. If no 2019 return has been filed, however, the IRS will grab your 2018 return instead. (If you receive Social Security and don’t need to file a return, the IRS will send you a payment based on your Form 1099-SSA).
An individual who has not yet prepared his or her 2019 return should take into account the relevant variables — adjusted gross income, marital status, number of children — and determine which year would yield the bigger payment. If it’s 2019, then you’d better hurry up and file; if it’s 2018, then delay filing 2019 return back until you receive your payment.