I was incorrectly claimed as a dependent. How do I get my stimulus checks?

By Christine Tran, 2020 Get It Back Campaign Intern

You can use the new IRS Non-filer portal to claim any stimulus checks you haven’t gotten. You can also sign up for advance Child Tax Credit Payments (monthly payments up to $300 per child for parents and caregivers). 

One eligibility requirement to get the firstsecond, and third stimulus check is that you cannot be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return. If you didn’t receive your first or second stimulus checks because you were wrongly claimed as a dependent on a 2019 tax return, you can file a 2020 tax return in 2021 to get your stimulus payment(s). This is because the stimulus checks are an advance payments of a special tax credit (It is referred to as the Recovery Rebate Credit on the tax return). You will need to file a tax return to get your stimulus payment even if you aren’t required to file taxes.

If you can be claimed as a dependent on a 2020 tax return, you will not receive the first stimulus payment of $1,200, the second stimulus payment of $600, or the third stimulus payment of $1,400 as a tax credit in 2021.

Need help filing?

At the end of January 2021, contact your local VITA site or call your local 211 to find free tax services in your area. The deadline to file your taxes this year is May 17th, 2021.

NOTE: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many sites are closed for in-person services. Some may offer drop-off or virtual tax services to continue assisting people with safe tax preparation. Call your VITA or Tax-Aide site to see what services they provide.

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