With payment of the expanded and advance Child Tax Credit (CTC) underway, many parents and guardians with dependents over 18 are feeling like they are missing out on the government largesse going to children. But there is some relief for this group, beyond what was provided in the last round of dependent stimulus checks.
Without getting into the politics of it, the logic for limiting the CTC is that families with young kids have a harder time finding and going to work (e.g. due to childcare) so need the government money more. Those with older dependents have more flexibility and adult dependents can work if they need more money! Unfortunately disabled adult dependents get left out.
But the good news is that there is an additional $500 payment available for other or adult dependents. To get the $500 payment, claimed via your tax return, your dependent needs to meet the following criteria per the IRS:
- Dependent is 17 or older as of the start of the tax year and not claiming the child tax credit or additional child tax credit.
- While some dependents may qualify for the expanded CTC and this extra payment (e.g 17 yr old’s in 2021), most dependents who the $500 other dependent credit won’t get the regular CTC.
- Dependent has a tax filing number (e.g. a SSN) and is a U.S. citizen, national or resident alien.
- The qualifying dependent could be the tax payer’s parent or qualifying relatives AND is supported by the taxpayer. This means no age limit on qualifying for this payment.
- Covers dependents living with the taxpayer who aren’t related to the taxpayer.
- The claiming taxpayer’s income is below $200,000 (single) or $400,000 (married). The taxpayer gets the dependent credit, not the dependent themselves, so it’s their income (AGI) that is used for qualification.
The IRS has provided a useful tool to help taxpayers determine if they qualify for this credit, in addition to others like the EITC, which I would recommend reviewing if you are unsure around qualification ahead of filing your tax return.
Note that unlike the advance CTC which is being paid monthly in 2021, the $500 adult dependent credit can only be claimed when filing your next tax return.