Economic Stimulus Act

<p>If I have understood the rules correctly, a college student who is still claimed as a dependent by his or her parents does not qualify for a payment from the government under the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008. Yet, parents can qualify for an additional $300 for each child qualifying for the child tax credit. Does anyone other than me think this is just a little unfair? </p>

<p>I have mentioned several times to my husband in the years since our youngest D turned 17 that I felt it was unfair that parents usually lost the child tax credit when their children were seniors in H.S. We lose the child tax credit just when the kids are doing college visits, audition trips (in our case), purchasing computers, x-long comforters and sheet sets, and lots of other accoutrements for college. Of course when they actually enroll in college, parents who still claim them as dependents can apply for the Hope Credit or the Lifetime learning credit and recoup some of the expense of rearing a college-age student, but many of us have a year when the kid is too old to qualify for the child tax credit but s/he still lives at home and requires a lot of the family monetary resources. </p>

<p>Now, the government is generously giving families with dependent children under the age of 17 a payment of $300 per child through the Economic Stimulus Act. Our dependent, college-age students will not receive any money, even though most of us are spending through the nose to keep them afloat. My D did work last summer. I haven't seen her W-2 yet this year, but she may have earned the $3000 that the government says one must earn to qualify for an Economic Stimulus check. However, since the money she earns doing summer stock is not enough for her to support herself, she is still a dependent and, therefore, cannot qualify for the tax rebate. I promise; my D would have no trouble finding a way to spend a $300 check to help stimulate the economy :)! Let’s see – it could go toward new dance shoes, a new audition outfit, air fare for the many audition trips she has to do as a graduating musical theatre student, money for hotels, etc. My husband does not seem to see why I think that the fact that dependent college students don’t qualify is not fair. Am I completely out in left field?</p>

<p>No, but the cutoff is just an arbitrary point that had to be made somewhere, and 17 (or 18) is probably the simplest solution. Making some 20-year-olds eligible but not others complicates a simple stimulus package, and could cause more to feel it is unfair. Many 17 and most 18 have graduated from high school, 18s are officially adults and many are in the work force. The package needed to be passed as quickly as possible to do any good, so simplicity likely reigned.</p>

<p>College age D received a notice about the ESA in the mail today. None of the others did. She is the only one who doesn't qualify. (From past experience, I'd say she'll be the one who actually gets to spend OUR check!)</p>

<p>Look at it another way: in essence, this package is just borrowed money from those under 17 -- they'll have to pay it all back over their working lifetimes, plus interest. :rolleyes:</p>

<p>I happen to agree with dancermom, but I guess this is supposed to be a stimulus package, rather than a reimburse the parent package. I do feel that it is strange that the kid who is costing us the most is not included for the $300. We do get to deduct tuition for him (4,000 deduction I believe), but that is a drop in the bucket! The kicker is that my son earned a hair under 3k, so he does not qualify for the stimulus check there either! He will only get a refund for taxes that he paid (basically a free loan to the government). At least that will be a head start for his spending money for the next school year!</p>

<p>Even if your son had earned more than $3000 he wouldn't have received the stimulus check because you claim him on your return.</p>

<p>Oh, that makes me feel better. Thanks 3bm103.</p>


<p>I'd prefer a little fancy governmental footwork to shore up the falling US dollar, as seen in world economic terms, the total of my assets has fallen more than that silly $300. Or am I reading something wrong here?</p>

<p>GLM, Those were my exact thoughts about the $300, and the $1200.</p>

<p>im so ****ed about that.</p>

<p>im 18, and i made $5700 last year, and had to pay taxes on it because i made above $5200 or whatever the limit is.</p>

<p>heard about the economic stimulus plan and got really excited because im trying to have money for college.</p>

<p>come to find out, i don't qualify for it because my mom claimed me as a dependent. and she doesn't get the $300 because i'm over 17. its crap.</p>