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Coronavirus

Coronavirus USA: If I owe child support, can I receive a stimulus check?

There is another reason why many Americans may not be entitled to receive a stimulus check and it is not because they earn too much money.

Estados UnidosUpdate:
Coronavirus USA: If I owe child support, can I receive a stimulus check?
ANATOLY MALTSEVEFE

The coronavirus pandemic forced many non-essential businesses to close and subsequently drove millions of Americans into unemployment. In order to help those who have lost their job, lawmakers provided relief to those struggling by implementing the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES).

With CARES, millions of Americans received a $1,200 stimulus payment starting in mid-April and it is estimated that 88 million people have received their money already. If you're not one of them, it could be that your money is still on the way. Or, it could be that you're not eligible for a stimulus payment.

If your annual earnings exceed $99,000 as a single tax payer without dependents, you won't receive stimulus cash at all. The same applies if you're a married couple filing jointly with an income of $198,000 or more. But another reason why you may not have received a stimulus check yet, and may not be entitled to one is because you are behind on child support.

Normally, when you have fallen behind on certain debts or obligations, like back taxes or federal student loan payments, you risk having your tax refund blocked or have what you owe deducted. Under the CARES Act, you won't lose your stimulus payment for those same reasons, but overdue child support is the one exception. If you're behind on child support, your relief check could be partially or completely deducted, depending on the amount you owe.

So If you file a joint tax return with your spouse, and your spouse is behind on child support, your entire stimulus payment could be subject to deduction, even if your spouse is the only one responsible for paying child support.

Some people withhold child support out of spite or laziness, but right now, a lot of people are struggling financially, and some may be behind on child support because they simply don't have the money. If that's the situation you're in, it could pay to talk to an attorney and see what options you have, since it's not just your stimulus payment that could be subjected to a deduction in this situation.

Remember, if you're due a tax refund, you'll risk having that money garnished as well if you're behind on child support. And if you are still working, you'll risk having your regular wages docked as well, which is the last thing you need at a time like this.

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