You missed the deadline to claim $500 in missing stimulus money for your kids. What now?

January 16, 2021 0 By boss



You can still file to claim your missing $500 stimulus payment for child dependents. But not this year.

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Saturday, Nov. 21, was your last day to claim $500 the IRS owes you for each qualified child dependent this year. This payment should’ve been included with the first stimulus check, but administration errors mean that some people didn’t receive all the money the IRS owed for kids. The same general process applies for people who didn’t get the $600 owed for each child dependent in the second stimulus check.

People who met the deadline to claim all outstanding payments should have gotten the catch-up money by the end of December. But if you didn’t register in time, the IRS said you’ll be able to claim the additional amount when you file a 2020 tax return in 2021. The IRS is calling this payment a Recovery Rebate Credit.

CNET’s first stimulus check calculator and your adjusted gross income will help you determine the payment amount you were supposed to get in the initial check. Parents who pay or receive child support could each qualify for $500 per dependent with the first check, but they must share custody of a child dependent and may need to file a claim in 2021 to get the payment. And in some cases, the IRS might also garnish a stimulus check to settle child support debts (that rule doesn’t apply to the second check).

Read on for more details about how to know if you’re owed a payment and how you’ll have to claim it now that the deadline has passed. Meanwhile, read up on the second stimulus check, including who qualifies for more stimulus money —  and who does not. Here’s what’s going on with a third stimulus check. This story was recently updated.

How do I know if I’m eligible for a stimulus check with child dependents?

To be eligible for a payment, you must be a US citizen, a permanent resident or a qualifying resident alien.

You must also have a Social Security number and can’t be claimed as a dependent of another taxpayer.

Here’s where the rules get tricky. On the surface, the rules to claim a 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 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 calculated how much money you might be able to get if rules about dependents change for a 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. Here’s how the IRS defines an adult eligible to receive their own check.

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What can I do if I missed the IRS’ Nov. 21 deadline?

If you missed the Nov. 21 deadline, you can still get your payment, but you’ll have to wait. When you file your taxes in 2021, you can claim the additional amount on behalf of eligible dependents. According to the IRS:

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.

The IRS said it will provide more details on what action you may need to take as the filing deadline gets closer.

I made the deadline, so when will the IRS send the $500 stimulus money per dependent?

If you filed by the original Sept. 30 cutoff, the IRS has said it would start issuing checks in October. If you file by the Saturday, Nov. 21 deadline and the IRS is able to process payments with the same schedule as the first deadline, you could receive your payment in December. If you miss the deadline, however, your check will be included in your 2020 tax return in 2021 once you claim it.


If you get a catch-up payment, you can either get it sent to you or have it deposited in your account.

Sarah Tew/CNET

You’ll be able to track the status of your IRS payment by visiting the IRS Get My Payment webpage. From there, you’ll need to provide your Social Security number, date of birth, home address and ZIP code.

For more information about stimulus payments, here’s how fast the IRS could send out a second stimulus payment if a bill is passed issuing them. And if you still haven’t received your stimulus check and you think it’s lost or missing, try this IRS phone number to file a report.


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