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Who is dependent for the second stimulus check? Children, adults and what to know


Child Dependents for Incentive Controls and Taxes are not always the same. This is how it works.

Angela Lang / CNET

The second stimulus controls are on their way through direct deposit, paper check and EIP card; and you can follow yours now (even all the way to your mailbox). While adults that meet the stimulus check requirements only gets a maximum of $ 600 per person in this second stimulus check, instead of $ 1,200 in the first period, qualified dependents will be able to bring in $ 600 each on behalf of the household.

As last time, people considered to be dependents do not receive an incentive fee of their own. Exactly who the government defines as a dependent in this case is critical to many families waiting for the second stimulus controlsas the result can added together possibly thousands of dollarsdepending on your household. (Here’s how calculate your second stimulus total.)

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. Read on for everything you need to know about where stimulus controls and dependents intersect with age, custody, exceptions, and taxes. And here’s what we know about one third stimulus check in 2021. This story was recently updated.

Who defines the IRS as a qualified dependent on stimulus controls?

The first incentive payment earlier this year included $ 500 for dependents aged 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.

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 age 17, omitting that 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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Second stimulus checks: everything you need to know


How much money could the second incentive payment make per dependent?

A dependent person does not receive their own stimulus check, but can add money to the total of the household. 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.

The second stimulus check holds on to who to claim, but cuts the total amount per adult in half, which can reduce the total amount your household will bring in with 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 does the definition of dependents for incentive payments differ 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. The same is true for the second round under the $ 900 billion bill: the dependent child must be 16 or younger as of your 2019 tax return to be eligible for any payment.


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, 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 charged fewer dependents 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 of the CARES Act or the $ 600 payment of the new bill sometime in 2021.

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 custody, but you file each individual 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 happens if you are divorced or legally divorced and you split 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 claim 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, 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 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 if your dependent child has died?

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. The same probably applies to the second check. 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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