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Home / Tips and Tricks / Incentive Checks and Child Support: You Could Get an Extra $ 500 Per Child From This IRS Loophole

Incentive Checks and Child Support: You Could Get an Extra $ 500 Per Child From This IRS Loophole



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Stimulus controls for dependents were fraught with problems, with some parents not receiving payment, while other parents getting $ 500 each for the same child.

Angela Lang / CNET

You watched see if you qualify for a stimulus control for yourself and have checked how much you dependent children could add to the bottom line, but you’re still not sure how the slightly different rules apply to parents who pay or receive child support. That is understandable – different rules apply different groups of peopleso you want to make sure. If you are concerned that you will be less than the $ 1,200 stimulus check payment you expect if a second is broadcast, as was the experience for many parents the first stimulus check, we can help explain how to find out.

There are also situations in which parents who are divorced or divorced but jointly share custody can each receive an additional $ 500 per child as part of their check. It has everything to do with it the way you filed your taxes (again, keep reading for the explanation). Another thing you should know is that child support backlog is one of the few times that the the government will decorate your stimulus check.

That may or may not change or not with a possible second incentive payment, if one is eventually approved as part of it a new incentive account. (Here is the latest turmoil in the negotiations nowSome legislators support the imposition of late payment on children, others do not, and it will not be set in stone until a new law is passed.

Until then, here’s everything you need to know about incentive checks and child support, such as how much money you could get For you child dependent on either side of that financial equation. If you need a specific financial estimate, try our stimulus calculator, and here it is when we think a new check may come. This story is updated often.

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States were allowed to take some or all of the payment of a stimulus check to cover overdue child support bills.

Sarah Tew / CNET

States have deducted child support from incentive checks

While the government prevented debts such as student loan arrears and back taxes from being taken out of the first round of stimulus checks, one type of debt not covered by that protection was child support arrears, also known as backlog or backlog. If you owe more than $ 150 in late payment, your state may reserve the right to garnish all or part of your first stimulus checkbased on how much you owe.

And if you due child support, you can receive money from your child’s other parent, but how long it takes to get to you depends on many factors (the money must be handled by the state, which will then issue it to you) .

read more: Stimulus Control Formula Revealed: Here’s How the IRS Determines Your Total

Rules are subject to change for future audits

Depending on which language is included in the next incentive account – if successful at all – overdue child support may or may not be seized again. The Heroes Act, a proposal passed in the House of Representatives, but not law, specifically prohibits reducing or offsetting the number of incentive checks to pay a child benefit debt. The Senate’s HEALS Act, which is also not law, it allowed.

read more: You don’t have to be a U.S. citizen living in America to get an incentive check

There is a way to get back child support that has been unfairly garnished

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If your non-parent spouse has had money deducted from their child support stimulus check that you owe, the IRS will issue another check to make up for the difference.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Although states had the right to garnish. CARES Act stimulus check money of parents who owed child support, the IRS, which issued the checks, says that states were not supposed to also be able to deduct the stimulus check from a current, non-parental spouse.

If you are now married to someone who is not the child’s parent, and the child support backlog was deducted from funds intended for your current spouse, then in August the IRS instructed the taxpayer to complete a Form 8379 (PDF) for a replacement check. However, since then the agency says it is scouring to find such errors and will issue replacement checks, although it hasn’t provided a timeline for doing so. It looks like the IRS is smoothing out this particular wrinkle, so hopefully it won’t be an issue next time.

read more: In Joe Biden’s plan for incentives

Yes, you may each get a check for $ 500 per child with joint custody

Usually – but not always – the non-custodial parent pays child support to the caring parent, who probably will the child claims on their taxes. However, sometimes child support is due even when the parents share custody (for example, when one parent earns significantly more than the other). In many of those cases – but again, not all – parents alternately ask the child to pay their taxes (one in odd years, the other in even years, for example).

In situations like these, it is possible that the $ 500 dependent incentive payments were sent to the parent from whom due support child support while the one who is due receives nothing. If that happens, the parent who has not received the money can claim it on their tax return for 2020 and receive it along with any refund due in 2021, according to Janet Holtzblatt, a senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. “Double dipping” is not a malfunction in this case – both parents are technically eligible for the payment of $ 500 (for a total of $ 1,000 per child).

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If you need help figuring out dependent payments, you can contact the IRS directly.

Angela Lang / CNET

Still not sure what to do? Here’s how to find more help

Like anything related to taxes, this stuff can get confusing pretty quickly. If you need help and don’t have an accountant to help you, you can try searching for more information on the IRS website or call the IRS. At the bottom of the IRS letter with the paper checks is a number you can call for more information: 800-919-9835. The IRS help number is 800-829-1040.

Stay tuned for the latest information on incentive legislation negotiations here, see how much you might qualify for our payment calculator here and see when you can get a second stimulus, contact our stimulus timeline here.


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