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As of Wednesday, May 5, the IRS says it has distributed approximately 164 million payments as part of the third round of stimulus checks approved when the American Rescue Plan was passed in March. Included in those 164 million payments are checks to parents or caretakers who claim other adults as their dependents — such as college students or someone who is disabled.

While the extra money is certainly nice for the parents, some dependents may be left wondering why they didn’t receive the check directly, since they are over the age of 18 and/or file their own tax return. Essentially it all comes down to if a dependent’s parent or guardian claimed them as a dependent, regardless of the dependent’s own tax situation.

According to the IRS, in order for someone who already qualifies for their own stimulus check to receive an additional check for a dependent, several conditions must be met. There are conditions for children who are dependents and for qualifying relatives that are dependents. The conditions are retroactive to the last tax return on file — either 2019 or 2020 — for the person claiming the dependent.

For your children to be considered a dependent, the simplest condition is that the child was under the age of 19 at the end of the tax year for your latest filing. However, if your child was under the age of 24 at the time of the filing and was a student, they would also qualify. Any child that is permanently and totally disabled is also considered a dependent.

Your child must also have lived with you for more than half of that tax year and didn’t provide over half of his or her own support for the tax year. Finally, the child must not have filed a joint return for the year. However, if they did file a return to claim a refund of withheld income tax or estimated tax paid, they still qualify for a stimulus check.

For qualifying relatives, the person may not be your child or able to be claimed as a child dependent by another person. The person must be related to you and have lived in your household for the entire tax year and also may not have a gross income for the year more than $4,199 for 2019 tax returns or $4,299 for 2020 tax returns.

You must also have provided more than half of the person’s total support for the year. There are exceptions in place for some of these conditions and more information on those can be found on the IRS website.

If those conditions are met for children or qualifying relatives, a parent with a 20-year-old student in college can claim that child as a dependent and is then entitled to the stimulus check, even if the 20-year-old files their own separate return. Because the 20-year-old is technically a dependent and was claimed as such on their parent’s tax return, the money will be deposited in the parent’s bank account or a check would be sent to the parent and not the child.

The third round of stimulus checks expanded eligibility from the previous two rounds to include dependents over the age of 17. The third payment is worth up to $1,400 for each dependent you claim on your latest tax return. In order to qualify for the payments, certain income thresholds could not be exceeded.

The income thresholds were set at $75,000 for a single person in order to receive the full $1,400, however those who earned between $75,000 and $80,000 saw their checks diminish by $100 per $1,000 over $75,000. Single tax payers who earned over $80,000 are not eligible for the third stimulus check.

Couples who earned under $150,000 combined were eligible for full checks as well. However, if couples earned more than $160,000 combined, they are not eligible either.

READ MORE:

White House says 4th stimulus checks will be up to Congress: ‘Those are not free’

Child Tax Credit portal coming soon, UM offering guidance on how to claim credit

IRS says unemployment refunds will start being sent in May, how to get yours

Already have your third stimulus check? You could still be eligible for new ‘plus-up’ payment

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