It seems that after a wrestling over the rules, thewill keep the same definition of a “dependent” rather than expanding it as some proposals suggested – even the current stimulus bill before the kinks were ironed out on Sunday. Of course, we don’t officially know who’s included – or how that could play into one in 2021 – until signed into law.
How the IRS defined dependents in the first round of incentive relief is what left some families behind. This was especially true for parents with middle-aged children who are not making enough money , or , such as a parent or grandparent. However, some people cannot , including those with and some complex rules related to .
We have updated this story with new details.
Will the definition of a dependent change for a second stimulus check?
The first incentive payment included $ 500 for dependents ages 16 and under. According to the Tax Foundation, there was no limit to the number of children who could count as dependents, as long as they were only 16 years old or younger and were claimed by the taxpayer on their tax returns.
It was once said that the new incentive law included all eligible Americans, including dependent children and adults, with no limit on the number of dependents. That includes adults and children who rely on you for support, such as a student or.
However, the most recent view is that children under 17 years of age will be considered qualified dependent children and children over 17 – including students and older relatives – are not. (This is who counts as one.)
How much more money could another dependent incentive check bring in?
The first thing to remember is that a dependent does not receive their own check, but can add up the household’s total. Children 16 and younger that you claimed on your last tax return would add a flat rate of $ 600 to the total check. That’s $ 100 more per dependent than in the first round of payments.
Remember, the second stimulus check can increase the number of dependents you can claim, but it can also halve the total amount per adult, reducing the total amount your household will bring in with this next payment. We.
Also note that the total amount you can get in a second incentive payment depends on your, which you can also find on your taxes.
How does this definition differ from your taxes?
In terms of federal tax regulations, a dependent can fall into two categories: an eligible child or an eligible family member. They don’t have to be children, or directly related to you, but they must meet certain requirements set by the IRS.
To claim an eligible child as a dependent on your taxes, the child must be under the age of 19 or be a student under the age of 24 at the end of the calendar year. However, if your child is what the IRS calls “ permanently and completely disabled, ” you can claim it as a dependent regardless of their age.
To claim an eligible family member – a child or an adult – as a dependent, they must meet other IRS criteria. This could be an elderly relative who relies on you to provide care. (Read more about, including those who may be eligible family members.)
Even if a dependent was claimed on your tax return, only a specific definition of “dependent of the child” was eligiblefrom the first round of stimulus controls due to the requirements of the . In the however, that definition has changed to include dependents of any age – including dependent children over the age of 16 and adult dependents (such as older adults).
Where are your family members listed on your tax return?
If you filed taxes in 2018 or later, you can find your family members listed on Form 1040, US Individual Income Tax Return. In the center of the first page you will see a box labeled Dependents. There, relatives, together with their social security number, will state the relationship with you and whether they qualify for a child discount or discount for other dependent persons.
What if you now have more dependents than the last time you taxed?
Was a child born or adopted in your family in 2020 and is it therefore not on your 2019 tax return? Then you canto from the CARES law sometime in 2021. This would probably be the case if a second stimulus check were also approved.
You can also use this tool from the IRS to find out if you can claim a child or another family member if you depend on your taxes.
What if you and your spouse share a child, but file it separately?
In that case, a child can still only be addressed as dependent on one tax return in a tax year. To find out who should claim the child upon return, see the IRS Eligible Child Information for more than one person.
What if you are divorced or legally divorced and share custody of a dependent?
This is where things get a bit tricky. A child can only be claimed as dependent for one tax year by one taxpayer. Typically, the child counts as the dependent person of the caring parent – the parent with whom the child lived for an extended period of time during the year, even if financial support came from the other parent. However, this is not always the case. Read more from the IRS here.
While we’re not sure what would happen with a second stimulus check, one case that has surfaced with the first is unmarried parents with joint custody who alternate the years in which they claim each dependent child (or children). on their tax returns. In that case,(for a total of $ 1,000 per child between them).
Here’s how it works: If you’re a parent who didn’t claim your child on your 2019 tax return, when you file your 2020 tax return, you may be able to claim up to an additional $ 500 per child on that return, if you qualify for a claim the child as your qualifying dependent for 2020.
Briefly? A parent with 50/50 custody of one or more children who have not received payment of $ 500 per child as part of the incentive package can get that money along with their tax refund after filing taxes for 2020 (in 2021), regardless of whether the other parent received that payment for the same children in the first round of checks. Since these payments are essentially tax credits, they don’t have to be returned to the IRS, even if both unmarried parents get a check for the same kids. (You can read our story on this. And here’s more information from the IRS on more than one person’s eligible child.)
What Happens When Your Dependent Child Dies?
If on the first check, a dependent who was on your last tax return has since passed away, it’s likely that you still received the extra $ 500 and it would be included in a second incentive payment. However, any payment made to someone who died before receiving it must be returned to the IRS. You also cannot claim a stillborn child as a dependent, according to the IRS.
For more information, see if youand how fast . If you still haven’t gotten a first stimulus check, you can find out and learning .