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Stimulus check addicts: who counts and why are they important for a second payment?


If you claimed dependents on your 2019 tax return, you should have received at least $ 500 in the first round of stimulus checks.

Sarah Tew / CNET

How she Define that someone who is dependent on you may not be the same as the IRS. This can mean a difference of $ 500 Your next stimulus check (If it happens) or more.

The first stimulus payment started with a maximum of $ 1,200 per adult, with a charge of $ 500 per “dependent” based on tax law but with omissions and exceptions It didn’t make sense to many people and it stopped millions of people from receiving a check.

Well, if another relief bill expands it Qualifications and goes by the end of the yearit could mean receiving more than $ 1,200 by check, direct deposit or Economic Impact Payment Debit Card. We’ll walk you through the legal definition and explain how your loved ones can help affect your federal tax return and your next stimulus payment, if there is one. (And here’s how to claim $ 500 that the IRS missed for your loved one Submission of a catch-up payment.)

According to the government, who is dependent?

For tax purposes, a dependent can fall into two categories: a qualified child or a qualifying relative. They don’t have to be children or be directly related to you, but they do need to meet certain requirements from the IRS.

To claim a qualified child as subject to your taxes, they must either be under 19 or under 24 at the end of the calendar year. However, if your child is labeled “permanently and completely disabled” by the IRS, you can claim them to be dependent regardless of their age.

To claim a qualified relative, be it a child or an adult, as a dependent, they must meet other IRS criteria. This may include an elderly relative who will depend on you for care.

Even if a loved one was claimed on your tax return, they may not have been eligible to receive money from the first round of stimulus reviews due to the requirements of the CARES Act. However, it is likely that some requirements will change when a different invoice is submitted.

Where can I find the total number of dependents I have listed on my tax return?

If you filed tax in 2018 or later, you can find your loved ones on Form 1040 (US Individual Income Tax Return). In the middle of the first page, you’ll see a box labeled Dependents. There your loved ones will be listed along with their Social Security number, their relationship with you, and whether they are eligible for a child tax credit or other loved ones credit.


Find your dependency on your 2019 1040 tax form.


What could I get the most for my loved ones if a second stimulus payment is approved?

The first boom under the bipartisan CARES bill passed in March included $ 500 for dependents 16 and under. According to the Tax Foundation, there was no limit to the number of children who could be considered dependent as long as they were 16 years or younger and claimed by the taxpayer on their tax return.

As another stimulus package has not yet been passed, we do not know exactly how much money would be made available for relatives. Under the Republican support HEALS ActYou would get $ 500 per loved one with no limit on the number of loved ones who could receive that money. The Democratic-Backed Heroes Act gives you $ 1,200 per dependent for up to three people. Both bills would provide for these payments to dependents regardless of age, including college students and adult dependents, including potentially elderly relatives, who depend on you for care.

The amount of money you would get on a second stimulus payment depends on yours adjusted gross incomewhich you can also find on your taxes. Check out our story How do you calculate how much money a second check can get?.

What if I have more relatives today than when I last made my tax return?

If a child was born in 2020 or was taken into your family and therefore is not listed on your 2019 tax return that you filed that year, you can claim it on your 2020 tax return to $ 500 sometime in 2021 – Receive a dollar-dependent incentive payment from the CARES Act. This would likely be the case if a second stimulus test were also approved.

You can also use this tool from the IRS to find out if you can claim a child or other relative as dependent on your taxes.

Look at that:

Senate leaders argue over “thin” stimulus bill


How does it work if I am divorced or legally separated from my spouse and share custody of a dependent?

A child can only be claimed as dependent for one taxpayer for a tax year. As a rule, the child is considered to be dependent on the caring parent – the parent with whom the child lived for a long period of time during the year, even if the financial support came from the other parent. However, this is not always the case. You can find more information about the IRS here.

What if my spouse and I share a child but we file taxes separately?

In this case, a child can still only be claimed as dependent on a tax return in one tax year. To find out who should claim the child upon return, read the IRS information on the Qualified Child of More than One Person.

What if my loved one dies?

If a dependent was listed on your most recent tax return but has since passed away, you likely still received the additional $ 500 and that would be included in a second stimulus payment. However, a payment to someone who died prior to receiving it should be returned to the IRS. You also can’t claim a stillborn child as a dependent, according to the IRS.

More information can be found here if you are qualified for a second stimulus test and when you can expect a second stimulus check. If you haven’t received an initial stimulus check, you can Track the status of your stimulus check, learn How to report your missing check to the IRS and find possible Reasons why your stimulus check has not yet arrived.

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