Stimulus checks and unemployment benefits are just some of the financial relief options in the latest stimulus package. Last March 11, President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Act of 2021, which amounted to $1.9 trillion.
If you’re a college student, you’re probably wondering if you’re qualified to get the third stimulus check. Read this article to find out!
What are the Third Stimulus Checks?
A stimulus check is a check provided by the U.S. government to its taxpayers. These are distributed to stimulate the economy by providing citizens money.
Generally, the government provides the money to boost consumer use. It’s also used as a way to provide revenue to producers, including retailers and manufacturers.
Typically, stimulus checks are part of government-provided stimulus packages that aim to support the economy. You can see this in the CARES Act signed in 2020 and the American Rescue Plan of 2021.
Additionally, stimulus checks are mailed out to taxpayers on different occasions, varying amounts, and depending on the filing status. Generally, people who filed for a joint tax-paying system receive twice as much as those filed as single taxpayers.
In some cases, some who have unpaid back taxes get their stimulus checks through their outstanding balance.
Can College Students Get Stimulus Checks?
Now, if you’re a college student, you might be wondering if you’re eligible for a stimulus check. The simple answer is yes, but it depends.
Most college students didn’t qualify for either the first or second stimulus check, if you didn’t know. This is because dependents who are 17 years old and above don’t qualify for one.
On the other hand, a college student can be a stimulus check recipient for the third stimulus check. However, there are qualifications that you have to meet to be eligible.
If you’re in college, there are two ways to qualify for the third stimulus check.
1. If you’re a dependent
Being a dependent college student means someone claims you on their tax return. If you are one, the person who claims you can receive a $1,4000 stimulus check.
Also, you have to be at least 17 to be eligible for a stimulus check.
Keep in mind that this check is a one-time check. However, Congress members have proposed monthly stimulus checks amounting to $2,000 until the pandemic is over.
2. If you’re independent
Being an independent college student means you’re financially independent. This implies that you provide at least half of your own financial needs.
If you do, you’re eligible to receive the third stimulus check. However, remember that there are income thresholds that you need to meet to be eligible, and these apply to college students, too.
Below are the income thresholds that you have to be in to qualify for the third stimulus check if you’re an independent college student:
- For individuals: $75,000 or less
- For heads of the household: $112,500 or less
- For married people or joint filers: $150,000 or less
Remember that the person who claims you have to earn less than what’s stated above for your qualification to the third stimulus check. If you’re a dependent and the person claiming you makes more than that, you’ll be marked ineligible, regardless of how much you make independently.
How College Students Can Get a Stimulus Check?
Now that you know all these about stimulus checks, it’s time to determine how you can get the stimulus check.
Like we’ve mentioned, stimulus checks are mailed to taxpayers in varying amounts.
The Internal Revenue Service determines how much a taxpayer receives through their tax returns on file. If a taxpayer has already filed their 2020 tax returns, the stimulus check amount will depend on their 2020 income.
On the other hand, if they haven’t filed yet, their stimulus check will most likely depend on their 2019 income.
If you’re a dependent, ensure that the person who claims you have already filed their 2020 tax returns. This is crucial because you might not receive the aid you need if the check’s based on 2019 income.
If you’re an independent college student, you’ll receive your stimulus check based on your most recently filed tax returns.
Who Can’t Get a Stimulus Check
In the next few weeks, you might already receive your stimulus check.
However, you might get nothing from your bank account or mailbox. The thing is, it might be because you’re not qualified for the third stimulus check.
Some people might’ve thought that everyone’s entitled to receive this check, but it’s not the case.
Here are some of the possible reasons why you aren’t qualified for the third stimulus check.
1. You’re a high earner
As we’ve said, there’s an income threshold that you have to meet to qualify or a stimulus check.
While third stimulus checks start at $1,4000 ($2,800 for married people or joint taxpayers), you might not receive one if you don’t meet the income qualifications.
This is because third stimulus checks are phased out for high-income earners. If you have a high enough income, your check will be phased out, and you won’t receive anything.
Refer to the income thresholds that we provided above to determine whether you’re qualified or not. Remember that you have to earn below the threshold to be eligible for the third stimulus check.
2. You’re a nonresident
If you’re a nonresident alien, you’re not qualified to receive the third stimulus check. Generally, “nonresident aliens” are people who are not U.S. citizens and don’t have green cards.
The term also includes people who are not physically present in the country for the required time minimum.
If you want more information about taxes for nonresident aliens, you may check IRS Publication 519.
3. You don’t have a social security number
Generally, you’re required to have a Social Security number to get a stimulus check. For the extra $1,400 for a dependent, the dependent should also have a Social Security number.
Without it, you or your dependent wouldn’t get the additional amount.
However, there are exceptions that you have to know. These include:
- Adopted children can use an adoption taxpayer identification number instead of a Social Security one.
- People married to U.S. armed forces can use only one (their spouse’s) Social Security number.
- If your partner doesn’t have a Social Security number, you can use your Social Security number to receive a stimulus check.
4. You’re not recognized by the IRS
People who filed their 2019 or 2020 federal income tax return will automatically receive their third stimulus check from the IRS. Other groups of people receive payment automatically, including those who receive Social Security, Supplemental Security, and veteran benefits.
However, if you don’t have tax records in the IRS, you won’t receive a check.
What College Students Need to Know About Stimulus Checks
If you’re qualified for a stimulus check, then you just have to wait for it to arrive in the mail. However, there are other things you might want to know, especially if you’re a college student.
Below are some of the things you have to keep in mind if you need to make wise spending decisions or extra financial aid.
What to Use a Stimulus Check For
Another thing you have to know is how you can use a stimulus check.
What’s good about these checks is that there’s no limit on how you can use one. You can spend it, use it as savings, or even use it to make investments for the future.
However, you can also use it for the following purposes:
- Planning for your retirement
- Paying monthly bills
- Boosting savings
You can also use the money to pay off your existing student loans. Also, keep in mind that your situation might be different from others. Just remember to spend the money wisely.
Recovery Rebate Credit
In the previous stimulus check payments, dependents who are above 17 years old were excluded. However, you may be able to redeem them.
Generally, some college students can claim up to $1,800 from the two previous stimulus check programs. You can get $1,200 from the first check and $600 from the second check through this rebate.
To be qualified for the rebate, you must be out of the adult-dependent category or undertake a life event, including entering the workforce. In these cases, you may be able to file for a recovery rebate credit once you submit your 2020 tax return.
Tracking Your Stimulus Payment
While you automatically receive the check if you’re qualified, several factors can cause it to be delayed.
To go around this and see if your payment is on its way, you can use the “Get My Payment” tracker from the IRS. Through this tracker, you’ll be able to check your stimulus payments and also determine how they’re distributed.
Keep in mind that they can be distributed through direct deposit or via mail.
Stimulus checks are not only helpful to taxpayers but the government as well. It’s a beneficial way to boost the country’s economy while providing financial aid to the citizens.
If you’re qualified to receive a stimulus check, don’t forget to spend the money wisely and use it for your needs.
Find this article helpful? Make sure to check these articles out for more valuable content:
- What You Need to Know About Qualified Retirement Plans in 2021
- How To Pay Mortgage With A Credit Card
- Socialized Medicine: What Is It And How It Works
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