By Christine Tran, 2020 Get It Back Campaign Intern
One eligibility requirement to get the first, second, 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.
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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.