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Home / Tips and Tricks / Stimulus check: What is the youngest you can be to get your own money? It’s a little complicated

Stimulus check: What is the youngest you can be to get your own money? It’s a little complicated


Find out if you are entitled to a stimulus check on your own, or if you claim to be addicted.

Angela Lang / CNET

At 18, you are old enough to vote, drives and serves in the military. Yet the vast majority of American young adults were not eligible to get a coronavirus stimulus control during the first round of relief. And unless the qualifications change with a new stimulus billyoung people may still not get their own check for up to $ 1200.

In the first round of stimulus controls, an estimated 13 million young people aged 17 to 24 were also present claimed as dependent were not entitled to any incentive money at all. So who was qualified the first time, and how old do you have to be to count as an adult and qualify for your own stimulus check?

It is tricky, but we break down what happens if you are a student, if you live alone and have a job, if you are in the military or if you are married or a parent. We also discuss how some young adults can get back the original stimulus payment of up to $ 1,200 with retroactive effect. (We have a tool to helps you calculate how much stimulus money you can getalso.)

Who is an eligible adult when it comes to stimulus money?

The first incentive payment was sent out in March CARES Act awarded up to $ 1,200 for qualified American adults, and $ 500 for the relatives listed on their tax return for 2019 – as long as they were 16 years or younger.

The age range was based on IRS definitions of adulthood (more below). To qualify for the stimulus control, you must have submitted your taxes for 2019 independently, which means that no one else claims you on their taxes as an addict. You also had to have one adjusted gross income of under $ 75,000 to get the full $ 1,200 (the amount decreases when your AGI goes up, and if you earned more than $ 99,000, you were not eligible for a check).

There are two different sets of rules for who counts as an adult or addict under current tax law, according to Janet Holtzblatt, a senior colleague at Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center.

One is the support test. If you are unmarried, do not claim children as your own relatives, your parents provide you with financial support equal to or greater than half of your annual income, and you earned less than $ 4,200 in 2019, then your parents can still do claim you as their addict. Another is the residency test: If you are a full-time student under the age of 24 who lives with the adult taxpayer for more than half of the year (unless you live on campus), you may be entitled to an addiction, no matter how much money you earn.

But that does not necessarily mean your parents is claims you as an addict. And there are some exceptions (continue reading below).

If you are married or have a child that you claim to be dependent on, the IRS considers you to be independent – even if you are still in college.

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Why did the IRS skip 17- to 24-year-olds for the first stimulus check?

People aged 17 to 24 were exempted from the CARES Act because the bill was based on a tax code definition of “children” which states that a “qualified child … has not reached the age of 17.” This means that even 17- or 18-year-old high school students who clearly lived with a parent or guardian were excluded as eligible for maintenance and were not counted for $ 500 for family control.

The reason for this age limit has to do with the child tax deduction, which was established in 1997, which allows parents to receive up to $ 2,000 tax refund for each child under 17 each year they file. We can only speculate as to why this definition has not been extended to include young adults, but the reason is probably the extra cost to the federal government of extending credit to more people, Holtzer said.

Will young adults get a second stimulus check?

It depends on. If you became financially independent in 2020 and you file your tax return for 2020 in the spring of 2021 independently, you will receive the first stimulus check for up to $ 1,200 sometime in 2021, Holtzer said. This may be the case if a second check also passes. All you need to do is submit your tax return for 2020 and meet the usual eligibility criteria for an incentive payment.

If you file tax independently, it depends on how much you get in a second incentive payment adjusted gross income, which you can also find on your taxes. Check out our story at how to calculate how much money you can get in a second check.

However, if a parent or guardian claims that you are dependent on their tax, you will not receive your own check. As another incentive check has not been approved, we do not know exactly how much money will be set aside for those entitled to maintenance. But both Republican-backed HEALS and Democracy-backed heroes act provide incentive money to addicts, including students and adults who are addicted. So if you are in the age range of 17 to 24, you would probably expect your parent’s or guardian’s incentive payment, but you would not see a check paid out individually to you.

The exact details differ: According to the HEALS Act, families would receive $ 500 per addict, without a ceiling on the number of people who could receive the money. According to the Hero Act, families would receive $ 1,200 per addiction, for up to three people. No proposal is likely to become law.


University students under the age of 24 can still claim their parents or guardians.

Angela Lang / CNET

What happens if you claim to be tax dependent but work or go to college?

Even if you work or go to college full time (or both), you still count as an addict if you meet either the support test or the residency test mentioned above. Basically, if you trust your parents or guardians for more than half of your financial support, if you earned less than $ 4,200 in 2019 and / or if you are a full-time student under the age of 24 living with a parent or guardian while not in school, you probably still meet the requirements to be addicted.

However, dependents still have to file self-declarations. Income for relatives is divided into two categories: earned income (money earned by working) and earned income (money earned from investments such as the stock market). These filing requirements are based on income, so if a maintenance recipient receives either earned or earned income, they or their parents must file a tax return for them.

Emancipated minors are an exception to the rule

If you have been released from your parents by court or by marriage (state laws apply in both cases), you would probably not be considered an addict (provided you provide more than half of your own financial support and no longer live with your parents) and would submit taxes independently. So you would be entitled to your own stimulus control if you meet the requirements.

If you serve in the United States Armed Forces

If you are 17 years of age or older and have been employed by the U.S. Armed Forces, you are considered exempt from your parents or guardians and would file taxes independently. Therefore, you would be entitled to your own stimulus control if you meet the requirements.

If you are married or have a child

If you are under the age of 24 but are married or have a child of your own who you claim to be dependent on, you are considered independent of the IRS. Therefore, you are entitled to your own stimulus control if you meet the requirements.

Find out for more if you are eligible for a second stimulus check and when you can expect a second stimulus check. If you still have not received a first stimulus check, you can track the status of your stimulus control, learn how to report your missing check to the IRS and find possible reasons why your stimulus control has still not arrived.

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