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In 2018, I was claimed by my parent on their tax return. But in 2019, after I graduated from college, I filed my taxes with a single status and made about $28K. My parent did NOT claim me in 2019. Am I eligible for a stimulus check? I filed my 2019 return in March 2020, but have not received a stimulus payment yet.

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  • You say that your parent didn't claim you in 2019, but what matters is whether someone could claim you. If someone could claim you as a dependent (i.e. met the conditions in the law for you to be considered their dependent), then you don't qualify for the stimulus payment (they would know because you would have had to check the box "someone could claim: you as a dependent" on your 1040), even if nobody actually claimed you. So could someone claim you as a dependent in 2019? – user102008 Oct 23 '20 at 7:31
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It depends on whether they made the determination of your stimulus "check" (advance payment) eligibility and amount based on your 2018 tax year or 2019 tax year. If your 2019 tax return had not been processed at the time they made the determination, they would have used your 2018 tax year, and determined that you did not qualify. In that case, you would not receive the stimulus check, even if you later filed your 2019 tax return and you qualify under the 2019 tax year. See Question B9 here:

Q B9. If the IRS used my 2018 tax return and determined that I am not eligible for a payment, and I later file my 2019 tax return that changes my eligibility, will the IRS issue a payment in 2020 based on the 2019 tax return? (updated September 24, 2020)

A9. No. If the IRS determined that you were ineligible for a payment based on your 2018 tax return prior to your filing a 2019 return, the IRS will not issue you a payment in 2020. If you meet the eligibility requirements based on your tax information in 2020, you may claim a credit in 2021 when you file your 2020 federal income tax return.

It's unclear whether your 2019 tax filing in March 2020 would have made it in soon enough for them to have processed it before they made the determination on eligibility for the stimulus check.

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  • +1. That is very interesting point. It is unfortunate that the IRS might use the 2018 status, and they might use the 2019 status, and you really can't tell which one they will use. Hopefully when the OP uses the Get My Payment tool the results will shed some light on what happened. – Ben Miller - Remember Monica Oct 23 '20 at 14:38
  • Note that either way, the actual calculation will be based on all our 2020 filings. So if OP didn't get the check this time around, assuming the 2020 income is still in the limits, then they will be getting a credit when they file this year's taxes in early 2021. – R. Hamilton Oct 23 '20 at 16:01
  • @R.Hamilton: But the other way around is not true. If they qualified under the 2019 tax year, and got a stimulus check based on that, and they don't qualify under the 2020 tax year, they don't have to pay anything back, so they permanently keep the money. But if they didn't get the stimulus check in the same situation, and they don't qualify under the 2020 tax year, then they don't get the money. So it is much better to get the check under the 2019 tax year, for which the OP knows they qualify, than risk the uncertainty of whether they will qualify for 2020 (which hasn't ended yet). – user102008 Oct 23 '20 at 16:27
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Assuming that you are a U.S. citizen or resident alien, then yes, you should be eligible for the stimulus check, or Economic Impact Payment, as it is officially called. You have filed your 2019 return and are not a dependent, and are well under the income limits necessary for the payment.

The IRS has a page called Get My Payment, where you enter your Social Security number, birthday, and address, and it will tell you the status of your payment. The tool may tell you that it has already been paid with details on where the money was sent, or it may tell you that it needs more information from you before a payment can be made.

If, for some reason, you end up ultimately not receiving the payment that you were eligible for, you will get a tax credit equal to the payment you should have gotten when you do your 2020 tax return next year (assuming you are still eligible in 2020).

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  • "If, for some reason, you end up ultimately not receiving the payment that you were eligible for, you will get a tax credit equal to the payment you should have gotten when you do your 2020 tax return next year." That's assuming their tax situation for the 2020 tax year still qualifies for the stimulus (and still qualifies for the same amount). – user102008 Oct 23 '20 at 7:32

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