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Who counts as a dependent on your taxes, and why 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

Do you know who the IRS counts as dependent on your taxes? The answer may give you an additional $ 500 or more on yours next stimulus control, if a bill is passed in Congress. The the first incentive payment offered up to $ 1200 per eligible adult, with $ 500 per addiction added. However, the definition of “addictive” – ​​and who actually counts as “child addictive” can be 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 incentive charges. In fact, a lot to do with Stimulus checks are based on your taxes.

The term “addiction” applies to your tax return as well as your first and potentially second stimulus 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.

We go through everything you need to know. Also, here’s what to do if you missed the deadline claim $ 500 that the IRS missed for your relatives, and that main stimulus check facts to learn. This story is updated frequently.

How does the IRS 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 who is 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 is dependent on you for care. (Find out more about what older adults need to know about stimulus controls, including those who may be eligible for relative dependency.)

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 all my relatives on my tax return?

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.


Will a new stimulus proposal change the definition of an addiction?

It is very likely. The first incentive payment under the two-party CARES law passed in March included $ 500 for people aged 16 and under. 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. On October 1, the House passed a new, updated version of the Hero Act It includes $ 500 for all addicts, regardless of age. This is consistent with Republican-backed HEALS Act, which makes it more likely to reach a final bill. No proposal is currently law.

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

The short answer is that you can use our calculator tool to estimate how much money you can get in a second check.

The slightly longer answer is that if the definition of an addict expands (see above), you could in theory add $ 500 for each addict you claimed in your most recent tax record on top of your stimulus payment forecast.

The total amount you would receive 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 in 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 we 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 but 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 subordinate dies?

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 should 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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