Stimulus Check for Parents Who Split Custody – IRS Guidelines and FAQs
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about numerous financial challenges for families across the United States. To alleviate some of the economic burden, the government introduced stimulus checks to provide financial assistance to individuals and families. However, for parents who share custody of their children, there can be confusion regarding eligibility and distribution of these stimulus payments. In this article, we will explore the guidelines provided by the IRS and answer some frequently asked questions to help parents navigate this process.
Guidelines for Parents with Split Custody:
1. Eligibility: Both parents are eligible to receive the stimulus payment, regardless of their custodial arrangement or whether they are the custodial parent claimed on previous tax returns.
2. Income Requirements: The stimulus check is based on adjusted gross income (AGI). If either parent’s AGI exceeds the threshold outlined by the IRS, they may not be eligible for the payment. It is important to consult the IRS guidelines to determine eligibility based on income.
3. Dependent Status: The parent who claimed the child as a dependent on their most recent tax return will receive the additional $500 payment for each eligible child.
4. Non-Filers: If you are a non-filer, you can still receive the stimulus payment. Use the IRS Non-Filers tool to provide the necessary information.
5. Direct Deposit or Mailing Address: The stimulus payment will be sent to the bank account or mailing address listed on the most recent tax return. Ensure that the information is accurate and up to date.
6. Communication and Cooperation: Parents should communicate and cooperate to ensure both parties receive their fair share of the stimulus payment. It is advisable to discuss and reach an agreement on how to distribute the funds.
7. Modification of Custody Agreement: Stimulus payments should not affect or modify existing child support agreements or custody arrangements. Consult a legal professional if modifications are necessary.
8. Tax Implications: The stimulus payment is not taxable income, and it will not affect any tax credits or deductions you may be eligible for.
1. Q: Can both parents receive a stimulus check for the same child?
A: No, only one parent can claim the additional $500 payment for each eligible child.
2. Q: What if the non-custodial parent receives the stimulus payment for the child they do not claim as a dependent?
A: The IRS encourages parents to cooperate and resolve any discrepancies regarding the distribution of the stimulus payment.
3. Q: Can the custodial parent claim the additional $500 payment if the non-custodial parent has not filed taxes?
A: Yes, as long as the custodial parent claimed the child as a dependent on their most recent tax return.
4. Q: What if the custodial parent has not filed taxes?
A: The custodial parent can use the IRS Non-Filers tool to provide the necessary information to receive the stimulus payment.
5. Q: Can the stimulus payment be garnished for child support arrears?
A: No, the stimulus payment is protected from garnishment for debts, including child support arrears.
6. Q: Will the stimulus payment affect the child support amount?
A: No, the stimulus payment is not considered income and should not impact the child support amount.
7. Q: Can the stimulus payment be split evenly between both parents?
A: The distribution of the stimulus payment is not determined by the IRS. Parents should discuss and reach an agreement on how to distribute the funds.
8. Q: Can parents receive the stimulus payment if they are not US citizens?
A: Eligibility for the stimulus payment is not based on citizenship status. Resident aliens with a valid Social Security Number are eligible.
Navigating the stimulus payment process can be complex, especially for parents with split custody. It is essential to stay informed about the IRS guidelines and communicate with the other parent to ensure fair distribution of the funds. For personalized advice, consult a tax professional or legal expert familiar with your specific circumstances.