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Division of Finance and Administration

Coronavirus Tax Relief

Economic Impact Payments (“Stimulus”): What you need to know

Updated: As of 4/14/2020

As the situation remains very fluid, please check back here regularly for updates.

The U.S. Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that distribution of Economic Impact Payments (“stimulus payments”) will begin this week and will be distributed automatically, with no action required for most people. More information on these payments, as well as other relief pertaining to COVID-19, will be posted to the IRS Coronavirus Tax Relief and Economic Impact Payments website as it becomes available. In the interim, we would like to provide the UC Merced community some additional clarification on some frequently asked questions.


Internal Revenue Service

UC Merced

Frequently Asked Questions

UC Merced Students and Parents

Who qualifies as a dependent?

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Publication 501 defines a dependent for tax purposes as a qualifying child or qualifying relative.

High school seniors, college students, and adult children living at home who do not provide more than half of their own support (parents or others pay expenses, including medical costs), are a dependent for tax purposes so long as the other criteria above apply as noted in IRS Publication 501.

Under current Federal tax laws, a child under the age of 19 at the end of the year, who lives with their parent(s) for more than half of the year and has not provided more than half of his or her own support for the year, qualifies as your dependent, so long as he or she doesn’t file a joint return for the year.

For example, a full-time student under the age of 24 at the end of the year is also a dependent for tax purposes to a parent or another person, even if they live mostly at college—if they provide more than half of the full-time student’s support and the student is not married and filing a joint return.

If you’ve been claimed as a dependent on someone else’s 2019 tax return, you are not eligible to receive the stimulus payment.

I am a parent of a UC Merced student. Is there an age limit on claiming my child as a dependent or qualifying child on my tax returns?

As noted on the IRS’s FAQ website, to claim your child as your dependent, your child must meet either the qualifying child test or the qualifying relative test and additional tests:

To meet the qualifying child test, your child must be younger than you and either younger than 19 years old or be a "student" younger than 24 years old as of the end of the calendar year.

There's no age limit if your child is "permanently and totally disabled" or meets the qualifying relative test.