The very meaning of a tax dependent would mean a difference of $500 in the next stimulus check that you may receive. In the beginning, the first stimulus check payment began with a sum of $1200 per adult. The sum allotted to dependents was $500. But the very meaning of what constitutes a dependent has slowly changed meaning- from ‘child dependent’ to ‘college dependent’. The definition of a dependent, legally, has been rooted deep in tax law and is hence rife with omissions that have continued to skip thousands from the youth. The very law also signifies that its application is not just limited to your tax returns- it can also be applicable on the second stimulus check- if it ever sees the light of the day.
Although another bill for relief hasn’t been given legislation, there is no knowing how and what will constitute a dependent under the second stimulus check. What can be almost guaranteed is that the very qualifications will keep getting broader. In order to correctly file for a stimulus check, here is what you need to know.
How the government defines a dependent for stimulus check?
As far as tax law goes, every dependent invariably falls in two different categories- either they are a qualifying relative, or a child. Remember, they don’t really need to be your children- or even be directly related- but they need to fulfill certain very important requirements to attain the stimulus checks.
If the dependent is a qualifying child, then they need to be younger than 19, or be a student below 24 years of age. But there’s an exception- if your qualifying child is totally and permanently disabled, you would be able to get the stimulus check no matter the age.
For a qualifying relative, the dependent has to meet other requirements under the IRS. And the dependent could be an elderly relative put in your care. There have been several cases where a dependent might have claimed for a tax return but didn’t receive any money from stimulus checks. This discrepancy came up due to the CARES Act requirements. But it is hinted that several changes would be brought about.
Where do I find the total number of dependents listed on my tax return for Stimulus Check?
In the event that you filed your taxes back in 2018, you would be able to find your list of dependents in the US Individual Income Tax Return, form 1040. The first page will contain all the details- in a box referred to as ‘Dependents’, you will find the names of all your dependents, along with their relationship to you.
What if my spouse and I share a child, but file taxes separately for stimulus checks?
In this specific case, your child can only claim as one dependent for one tax return in a calendar year.
What if my dependent has passed away?
In the event that your dependent passes away but was listed as your dependent, you would still be sent the extra $500. And chances are, they would be added to the next stimulus check payment. But, in the event that they passed away before receiving the payment, it would be your ethical duty to return it to the IRS.
If you want to check the status of your stimulus check, you can go to their official site and check it. You can also check for other requirements, that would make you applicable for receiving a stimulus check.