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Who counts as a dependent on your taxes, and what it means for a second stimulus check


If you claimed according to your 2019 tax return, you should have received at least $ 500 during the first round of stimulus checks.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Who counts as dependent on your taxes to the IRS? The answer may be worth another $ 500 or more on yours next stimulus control, if a bill is passed in Congress. The the first incentive payment included in total up to $ 1200 per qualified adult, with $ 500 per addiction added. However, the definition of “addictive” – ​​and especially who counts as “addicted to children” becomes quite complicated.

The legal definition of “child dependence” is based on tax law and is filled with omissions which meant millions of young people were excluded from the first round of payments for stimulus assistance. This term applies to both your tax return and your first and potentially second incentive check. Since another relief cost has not gone yet, it is unclear how the next stimulus check will define an addict, but there are strong suggestions that the qualifications may include more people. (Here is how the IRS defines adults entitled to receive their own check.)

We go through everything you need to know. Also, here’s how to claim the $ 500 that the IRS missed for your relatives apply for a paymentand here is most important stimulus control facts to absorb. This story is updated frequently.

How does the government define an addiction?

When it comes to tax law, a subordinate can fall into two categories: a qualified child or a qualified relative. They do not have to be children or directly related to you, but they must meet certain requirements from the IRS.

To claim a qualified child as dependent on your taxes, they must be either under the age of 19 or be a student under the age of 24 at the end of the calendar year. But if your child is what the IRS calls “permanently and completely disabled,” you can claim them as addicted regardless of age.

To claim a qualified relative, whether a child or an adult, as an addict, they must meet other IRS criteria. This may include an elderly relative who relies on you for care.

Even if a maintenance claimant was claimed on your tax return, they may not have been entitled to receive money from the first round of stimulus checks due to the requirements of the CARES Act. However, it is likely that some requirements will change if another bill is approved.

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Where can I find the total number of relatives stated on my self-declaration?

If you filed tax in 2018 or later, you will find your relatives on Form 1040, US Individual Income Tax Return. In the middle of the first page you will see a box that is dependent. Your relatives, together with their social security number, the relationship with you and whether they are entitled to a child tax deduction or credit for other relatives will be listed there.


Find your dependency on your tax form 1040 for 2019.


What is the most I can get for my relatives in a second stimulus check?

The first incentive payment under the two-party CARES law passed in March included $ 500 for people 16 years of age or younger. There was no limit to the number of children who could be considered eligible for maintenance, as long as they were 16 years or younger and required by the taxpayer on their tax return, according to the Tax Foundation.

As another stimulus package has not yet been approved, we do not know exactly how much money will be allocated to providers. Under Republican support HEALS Act, you would get $ 500 per addict, with no limit on the number of people who could get the money. Under the Democracy-Supported Heroes Act, you get $ 1,200 per addiction, for up to three people. Both bills would provide these maintenance dependency payments regardless of age, including students and adult relatives, including potentially older relatives who depend on you for care.

How much money you get in a second incentive payment depends on yours 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.

What if I have more relatives today than I did when I filed my last tax return?

If a child was born or adopted into your family in 2020 and therefore not listed on your 2019 tax return that you submitted this year, you can claim them on your 2020 tax return to receive $ 500 dependent incentive payment from the CARES Act sometime in 2021 This would likely be the case if a second stimulus check were also approved.

You can also find out if you can claim a child or another relative as your dependent on your taxes with this tool from the IRS.

What happens if my husband and I share a child but file taxes separately?

In this case, a child can still only be required as dependent on a return during a tax year. To find out who should apply for the child on return, check the IRS information on a qualified child of more than one person.

How does it work if I am divorced or legally separated from my husband, but we share custody of a person entitled to maintenance?

A child can only be required as maintenance for a taxpayer during a tax year. The child is usually counted as the guardian’s parent – the parent with whom the child lived for a longer period of the year, even if financial support came from the other parent. However, this is not always the case. Find out more from the IRS here.

What happens if my addiction has passed?

If a subordinate was listed on your most recent tax return but has since passed away, it is likely that you still received an additional $ 500 and that they would be included in a second incentive payment. However, a payment made to someone who died before they received it must be returned to the IRS. You can also not claim a stillborn child as an addict, according to the IRS.

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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