Many Americans are angry about a gap in the stimulus check rules that prevents anyone claimed as a dependent from receiving payment, but a fix might be on the way. According to a report by Forbes, lawmakers may be looking for a way to patch this mistake and get the $1,200 check out to Americans who fall into this category. However, there is no guarantee that it will go through at all.
Americans have been scrambling for new information and updates on their Economic Impact Payments, or stimulus checks, guaranteed by the CARES Act. The checks are being sent out based on information from 2018 and 2019 tax filings, and not all of that information has proved relevant to the coronavirus crisis. Pub 501 of the bill prevents anyone who is a dependent from receiving a stimulus check, and prevents guardians from receiving the additional $500 credit on their behalf. That may change soon, however, if lawmakers can pull it off.
In an FAQ published by Forbes, Kelly Phillips Erb wrote that "There is a suggested fix in the works to change this, but I don't know if it's going to happen in time." In another article back in March, she noted that the U.S. Congress and Senate were working hard to find guidance on the issue of dependents, which might ultimately come from the Treasury Department itself.
If there is more concrete information on the way, it has not been made public yet, and there are some IRS deadlines for the stimulus check approaching. At the time of this writing, there is nothing new about dependents on the IRS' Get My Payment website either. Many Democrats in the U.S. Congress and Senate are now openly talking about future stimulus checks, and how those would be distributed more easily than this one — including provisions to ensure adult dependents are eligible.
In the meantime, many young adults and seniors have been left out of this round of payments because they are claimed as dependents, even if they pay their own bills. Since many college students rely on service industry jobs while they pursue their studies, this is all the more troubling for them.
An article published by Refinery29 advised young adults to approach their parents and ensure that they are not listed as a dependent on their parents' 2019 tax filings, which may be possible in some cases. However, Erb wrote that this may not be an option for many families. She explained that, even if a young adult is not claimed as a dependent, they may still be defined as one under tax law, and therefore be left out of the stimulus check anyway. In that case, all this would do is prevent the parent from making certain deductions on their own taxes.