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

By Christine Tran, 2020 Get It Back Campaign Intern

One eligibility requirement to get the first and second stimulus check is that you cannot be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return. If you didn’t receive your 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). (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 or the second stimulus payment of $600 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 April 15, 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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