$500 in missing stimulus money for your kids: To get it, you'll have to do your taxes first
The time has passed to file a claim for missing stimulus money. Here's what you can do now, and how to estimate the total amount you should get.
Katie TeagueWriter II
Katie is a writer covering all things how-to at CNET, with a focus on Social Security and notable events. When she's not writing, she enjoys playing in golf scrambles, practicing yoga and spending time on the lake.
ExpertisePersonal Finance: Social Security and taxes
Shelby Brown (she/her/hers) is an editor for CNET's services team. She covers tips and tricks for apps, operating systems and devices, as well as mobile gaming and Apple Arcade news. Shelby also oversees Tech Tips coverage. Before joining CNET, she covered app news for Download.com and served as a freelancer for Louisville.com.
She received the Renau Writing Scholarship in 2016 from the University of Louisville's communication department.
We'll provide more details about how to know if you're owed a stimulus payment and how you'll have to claim it now that tax time is almost here (hint: don't call the IRS). Meanwhile, read up on the second stimulus check, including who qualifies for more stimulus money -- and who doesn't. Here's what's going on with a third stimulus check and the current timeline for the new payment. This story was recently updated.
How do I know if I'm eligible for a stimulus check with child dependents?
Here's where things get tricky. On the surface, the rules to claim a first stimulus check -- with or without a child dependent -- including having an adjusted gross income under $99,000 (single people), $146,500 (heads of household) or $198,000 (married couples filing jointly). But, and here's the big catch, because of the way the IRS calculates your stimulus check, you may actually be entitled to some money if you claim a child on your taxes, even if you exceed the income limit.
The CARES Act from March 2020 stipulates a $500 allowance per child dependent in addition to the $1,200 cap for single filers and up to $2,400 for couples filing jointly. (We've also calculated how much money you might be able to get for dependents in the second stimulus check.)
There may be specific details you'll want to explore if your child dependent is adopted, disabled (of any age) or a citizen of another country.
Watch this: Second stimulus checks: Everything you need to know
For individuals who did not receive an Economic Impact Payment or the full amount that they believe they are entitled to, they will be able to claim the additional amount when they file a 2020 tax return in 2021. This will be called the Recovery Rebate Credit.
For more information, here's everything to know about stimulus payments. Here's what we know so far about a third stimulus check, including how much money it could be for, the IRS's potential timeline and every way it might be able to bring you more money.