Stimulus checks and child support: IRS lets some parents ‘double dip.’ What to know


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While the clock is ticking on a second stimulus check, some people are still trying to wrap their minds around the first payment of up to $1,200 per person and $500 more per “child” dependent. Navigating the eligibility rules regarding dependents is a winding road, and for parents in situations where child support is involved, a wrong turn could cost you.

It isn’t just enough to qualify for the first or second payment, if a new federal bill is approved. There are specific rules that apply to child support. Those apply to the parents who owe it, and also the ones who receive the payment.

For example, some parents who owed a debt for unpaid child support wound up not only having their own stimulus checks garnished, but some or all of their current spouse’s $1,200 was taken as well. On the other end of the spectrum, some parents who are separated or divorced but maintain joint custody have actually gotten two $500 checks per child, one for each parent. Then there’s the issue of figuring out if the wrong parent got the dependent check.

We’ll tell you what you need to know about how the first round of checks for child dependents was processed and what that might mean for any future stimulus check, whenever that payment could arrive. (Here’s who did not count as a dependent for the first check, and how stimulus totals are calculated.)

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Stimulus checks can be garnished for child support

Although the government prevented debts like overdue student loans and back taxes from being taken from the first round of stimulus checks, one type of debt not covered by those protections was overdue child support, also known as “arrears” or “arrearage.” If you owe more than $150 in arrears, your state may reserve the right to garnish some or all of your first stimulus check, based on how much you owe.

And if you’re owed child support, you may receive money garnished from your child’s other parent, although how long it takes to get you depends on a lot of factors (the money has to process through the state, which will then issue it to you)…Read more>>

Source:-cnet

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