Recent college grads may be able to claim $1,800 in stimulus payments by filing taxes

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — If you’re a 2020 college graduate who hasn’t received a stimulus payment yet, you still may be able to get one once you file your taxes.

“If no one claimed you last year or no one is claiming you this year… you definitely should be filing them to make sure that you get that stimulus for you,” said Tricia Hook, one of the owners of Family Tax Company. “Otherwise no one is going to get it, and it’s just going to sit out there.”

Within the last year, many Americans received two stimulus payments from the government. The first was worth $1,200 for each adult and $500 for each eligible dependent under age 17. The second payment was worth $600 for each adult and $600 for each dependent regardless of their age.

Many 2020 college graduates did not receive either of these stimulus payments and in some cases, their parents or guardians did not receive a payment for them either.

“They [the government] paid out the advanced credits based on how people filed their 2018 and 2019 tax returns,” said Hook. “So a lot of these kids that were claimed in 2019 are not going to be claimed this year when they file their taxes. So the parents may not have received that, and the student didn’t receive it, because no one’s claiming them as a dependent.”

According to Hook, this money would apply to both of the stimulus payments.

“Even though the second one wasn’t issued until 2021, it still was at this point I guess kind of a retroactive credit for 2020,” said Hook. “So, someone who was not claimed as a dependent this year that maybe was last year should see a refund of about $1,800. $1,200 for the first and $600 for the second.”

To file the taxes, Hook says the recent graduates need to get their W-2 form together if they worked a job while in school. If not, they should find a place that will file a tax return with no taxable income.

“That should be about it, as far as students would go. I would couldn’t see them having anything much more than a W-2, or possibly some investment income, which would be a 1099 form.”

If any graduates need help with their income information, Hook says they can go to a tax preparer or file online.

On the form, they would need to report that they didn’t receive a stimulus payment and that no one is claiming them as a dependent.

“And then they could flow through the tax return and it’ll show that they didn’t get anything and they should have gotten something,” said Hook.

Hook said that recent graduates who were still claimed as dependents in 2020 will not receive a payment.

“Unfortunately a lot of students who graduated in 2020 are going to be in that boat since it is the last time the parents can kind of get the last bit of credit from them and before they become adults, officially and have to go out into the world,” said Hook.

Her final piece of advice for anyone filing their taxes is to make sure they’re as careful as possible when doing so.

“Make sure you know who you’re going to and what you’re doing and if you have a question always ask, there’s never a dumb question in taxes.”

As of now, the deadline to file taxes is April 15.

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