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Published: Mar 16, 2021 7 min read
Photograph of a stimulus check under a 1040 tax form
Money; Getty Images

Third stimulus checks have started hitting Americans' bank accounts, following President Joe Biden’s signing of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan last week. Some recipients got their direct deposit as early as March 12, according to the IRS, and many will see theirs arrive by March 17.

Your eligibility for a stimulus check of up to $1,400 is based on your income as reported on the most recent tax return that the IRS has on file for you, whether that's 2019 or, if you've already filed it, 2020.

If you haven't filed your 2020 return yet and it looks like your income for the year is just above the eligibility cutoff, there are steps you can take to lower it (legally, of course) and increase your chances of getting a check later this year, thanks to a look-back provision in the new stimulus law. Bonus? These moves are good for your financial health.

Here's how to lower your adjusted gross income and increase your chances for a third stimulus check (or, if you've already received the payment, a bigger one).