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Under 25? Here’s how to get your own money for stimulus checks


Find out if you are eligible to do a stimulus check yourself or if you are classified as dependent.

Angela Lang / CNET

At 18 you are old enough for it poll, drive, serve in the military, go to college, and have a full-time job. Even so, the vast majority of American young adults are were not eligible get one Coronavirus Stimulus test if the first payment round was approved in March. Unless a new stimulus bill If passed with different qualifications, young people may not yet receive their own check up to $ 1,200.

In the first round of stimulus checks, there were an estimated 13 million young people aged 17 to 24 claimed as dependents were not eligible for stimulus money at all. Many have to wonder who in this group was eligible for the first time and how old would you have to be to be considered an adult and qualify for your own payment.

It’s difficult, but we’re going to break down what happens when you are a student, live alone and have a job, when you are in the military, or when you are married or parents. We also address how some young adults can retrospectively receive the original stimulus payment of up to $ 1,200. (We have a tool for that help calculate how much incentive money you could get, also.)

What the IRS sees as an Eligible Age to Collect Stimulus Checks

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

To qualify for your own stimulus check, you had to have independently submitted your 2019 taxes, which means that you will not be claimed by anyone other than dependent on their taxes. You had to have one too adjusted gross income of under $ 75,000 to get the full $ 1,200 (the amount will decrease as your AGI increases and if you earned more than $ 99,000 you were not eligible for a check).

According to Janet Holtzblatt, Senior Fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, there are two different rules for people who are considered adults or dependents under applicable tax laws.

One is the support test. If you are unmarried, do not have children as your own dependents, your parents give you financial assistance of at least half of your annual income, and you earned less than $ 4,200 in 2019, your parents can continue to claim you as their dependent. Another is the residency test: if you are a full-time student under the age of 24 who resides with adult taxpayers for more than half the year (unless you live on a college campus), you may be claimed as a dependent no matter how much money you make.

Look at that:

Next Stimulus Tests: What To Expect


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

People aged 17 to 24 were excluded from the CARES Act because the bill was based on a tax definition of “child” which states that a “qualified child … has not yet reached the age of 17”. That means that even 17- or 18-year-old students who clearly lived with a parent or guardian were excluded as dependents and not counted towards $ 500 towards the family check.

The reason for this age limit is because of the Child Tax Credit, established in 1997, which allows parents to receive a tax refund of up to $ 2,000 for each child under the age of 17 each year they submit. We can only speculate why that definition wasn’t extended to young adults, but the reason is likely the additional cost to the federal government to extend the loan to more people, Holtzer said.

Will young adults get a second stimulus check?

It depends on whether. If you became financially independent in 2020 and independently file your 2020 tax return in the spring of 2021, you will receive the first stimulus check of up to $ 1,200 sometime in 2021, Holtzer said. This can also be the case if a second exam is passed. All you have to do is file your tax return for 2020 and meet the regular eligibility criteria for a business stimulus payment.

When filing taxes independently, the amount of money you get on a second incentive payment will depend on your money adjusted gross incomewhich you can also find on your taxes. Check out our story how to calculate how much money you could get in a second check.

However, if a parent or legal guardian claims you are dependent on their taxes, you will not receive your own check. Since another stimulus check was not approved, we do not know exactly how much money is being given to dependents. Both of those Republican-backed HEALS and the Democrat-backed Heroes Acts Providing stimulus funds to dependents, including students and adult dependents. So if you are in that age group, 17 to 24 years old, you would likely count towards your parent or guardian’s stimulus payment. However, you would not see a check paid to you individually.

The exact details vary: under the HEALS Act, families would receive $ 500 per dependent with no limit on the number of dependents who could receive that money. Under the Heroes Act, families receive $ 1,200 per dependent for up to three people. None of the proposals are likely to become law.


College students under the age of 24 may continue to be dependent on their parents or guardians.

Angela Lang / CNET

What if you are claimed as tax dependent but are working or studying?

Even if you work full-time or go to college (or both), you are still considered dependent if you pass either the support test mentioned above or the residency test. Basically, if you rely on your parent or guardian for more than half of your financial support, if you earned less than US $ 4,200 in 2019, and / or if you are a full-time student under the age of 24 who is living with a parent or guardian while doing so If you’re out of school, you likely still qualify to be dependent.

However, dependents also have to file tax returns. Income for dependents falls into two categories: earned income (money from work) and unearned income (money from investments like the stock market). These filing requirements are based on income. So if a loved one receives earned or unearned income, he or his parents must file a tax return for him.

Emancipated minors are an exception to the rule

If you were emancipated from your parents by court or by marriage (state laws apply in both cases), you probably wouldn’t be considered dependent (provided you provide more than half of your own financial support and don’t live with your parents or legal guardians ) and would file taxes independently. So you can do your own stimulus check if you meet the requirements.

If you are serving in the U.S. Forces

If you are 17 years or older and have enlisted in the U.S. Forces, you are considered emancipated from your parent or guardian and would file taxes independently. Therefore, if you meet the requirements, you are eligible for your own stimulus check.

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 describe as dependent, you will be considered independent by the IRS. Therefore, you can do your own stimulus check if you meet the requirements.

More information can be found here if you are qualified for a second stimulus test and when you can expect a second stimulus check. If you haven’t received an initial stimulus check yet, you can do so Track the status of your stimulus check, learn How to report your missing check to the IRS and find possible Reasons why your stimulus check has not yet arrived.

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