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If you received an Economic Impact Payment that wasn’t what you anticipated, Optima Tax Relief reviews the reasons why you might have gotten a different amount than you expected.

Approximately 130 million Economic Impact Payments have been issued since the original COVID-19 relief package was passed. However, some payment amounts weren’t what the recipients expected, which were determined based upon income, family size, and filing status. If you received an Economic Impact Payment that was different from what you anticipated, here are a few reasons why:

You either have not filed a 2019 tax return, or the IRS has not yet processed your 2019 tax return.

If you filed a 2018 tax return, your Economic Impact Payment was generated automatically based upon the information you provided at the time. If your income or circumstances changed significantly during the 2019 tax year, those changes will not have been factored into your payment if you either did not file a 2019 tax return or filed your return after the Economic Impact Payment amounts were calculated.

You were claimed as a dependent on a parent or guardian’s tax return.

Dependents do not qualify for the $1,200 Economic Impact Payment.

The dependents you claimed were ineligible for the additional $500.

Eligible children for the $500 Child Tax Credit are children that live with you more than half of the tax year, receive at least half of their support from you, are under the age of 17, have a valid Social Security Number or Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number, and are not claimed as dependents by anyone else. Unless you file a joint return with the child’s other parent, two people cannot claim the same dependent child on their tax returns.

The dependent child you claimed is a college student.

College students are ineligible for 2019 tax year Economic Impact Payments, and their parents cannot claim them for the $500 additional payment.

You have past-due child support.

If you have a child support payment that is past-due, your Economic Impact Payment will have been offset by that child support. If this was the case, you will have received a notice from the Bureau of the Fiscal Service.

If your Economic Impact Payment was less than you expected due to error, you may be eligible to receive additional funds in 2021 when you file your 2020 tax return. For more information about Economic Impact Payments, visit the EIP FAQ page.

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