Filing 2020 taxes could be difference between receiving stimulus check or not for some Americans

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- President Joe Biden agreed to reduce the maximum income to receive any portion of stimulus checks from $100,000 to $80,000.

UWM political science professor Hong Min Park said the compromise with moderate Democrats is necessary because the Senate is split 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans.

“President Biden can not afford to lose any one vote," Park said. "Any single vote from the Democratic party side.”

Howard Gleckman, senior fellow in the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center at the Urban Institute, said the compromise will affect mostly the upper middle class, and remove about one in 20 people from the list of those receiving checks.

"It’s not a big deal," Gleckman said. "It’s going to be important for about 8 million people who will not get payments. And we estimate that’s going to reduce the payments by about $15 billion.”

Gleckman said checks will go off the most recent tax return Americans filed. That means for some affected by the pandemic, filing your 2020 taxes could be the difference between qualifying for the check or not.

“If your income went down in 2020 because of the pandemic or for any other reason, you’ll want to file your 2020 tax return as fast as you can,” Gleckman said.

Past stimulus checks have been sent out close to one week after Congress passed measures signed by then-president Donald Trump.

UWM economics professor Kundan Kishor says the change in who’s eligible will likely not have a large impact on stimulating the economy.

“People looked at the last stimulus check and found that most of the increase in the spending happened at the lower income level.”

Kishor said some economists are concerned about the opposite problem. He said it's possible the package is so large, it could cause inflation.

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