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Home / Tips and Tricks / Which dependents ‘receive’ a second stimulus check and for how many? What you need to know now

Which dependents ‘receive’ a second stimulus check and for how many? What you need to know now


Who the IRS counts as a dependent can add up quickly.

Angela Lang / CNET

The $ 900 billion incentive bill passed by Congress last week and signed by President Donald Trump on Sunday night, the definition of an eligible dependent for a second stimulus control. Any dependent child claimed under this bill would have a additional $ 600 for the whole family – unless Congress votes this week to approve an amount of $ 2,000. The House approved the larger check Monday and sent the proposal for a larger payment to the Senate.

(Here’s how calculate your estimated stimulus control total and what we know about one third stimulus check in 2021.)

The definition of a dependent is one reason why some families received smaller stimulus controls than others in the first round, and some people may not be eligible for a second payment all the way. We’ll explain more below and come back to this story for updates.

Can the definition of a dependent still change before the second stimulus check?

The first incentive payment earlier this year included $ 500 for dependents aged 16 and under. There was no limit to the number of children who could count as dependents, as long as they were only 16 years of age or younger and claimed by the taxpayer on their tax returns, the Tax Foundation said.

The $ 900 billion stimulus bill would one day include 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 older adult.

However, the final law defines dependents as below 17, but leave it out about- 17 – including students and elderly relatives. (This is who counts as one eligible “adult” when it comes to incentive checks.)

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How much more money would the second incentive check for dependents make?

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 will remain fixed on who to claim, but it cuts the total amount per adult in half, which could reduce the total amount your household will bring in on this next payment. We Here are some examples calculated per household.

The total amount you can get in a second incentive payment depends on your adjusted gross income, which you can also find on your taxes.

How are dependents of incentive payments different from the definition for 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 what older adults should know about stimulus controls, 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 eligible count towards the household’s money from the first round of stimulus controls due to the requirements of the CARES Act.


Find your dependent on your 2019 tax form 1040.


Where are your family members listed on your federal 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, along with their social security number, family members will be stated their relationship with you and whether they qualify for a child discount or discount for other dependents.

What if you now have more dependents than the last time you filed a tax return?

Was a child born or adopted in your family in 2020 and is it therefore not on your 2019 tax return? Then you can claim them on your 2020 tax return to $ 500 dependent incentive payment from the CARES law sometime in 2021. This would probably be the case if a second stimulus check were also approved.

You can also find out whether you can claim a child or another family member using this tool from the IRS if you depend on your taxes.

What if you and your spouse share a child, but you file a separate file?

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 separated 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.

One case that has surfaced at the initial check is unmarried parents with joint custody who claim the years in which they each dependent child (or children) on their tax return. In that case, both parents were eligible under the CARES Act to receive $ 500 per child (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, you may be able to claim up to an additional $ 500 per child on that return when you file your 2020 tax 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 a 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 refunded to the IRS, even if both unmarried parents get a check for the same kids. (You can read our story on this how incentive controls affect child benefit payments here. 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 is 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 you may be eligible for a second stimulus check and how fast another payment might come. If you still haven’t gotten a first stimulus check, you can find out how to claim a missing payment and learning how to report your missing check to the IRS.

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