Smith to introduce legislation raising age of dependents for COVID-19 relief

Under current law, no credit is allowed for dependents older than 16.

tina smith.jpg
Sen. Tina Smith. Submitted photo.

Sen. Tina Smith, D-Minn., announced Thursday, April 2, she plans to introduce a legislative fix that would make dependents 17 and older count toward what a family gets in direct payments from the bipartisan coronavirus relief package signed into law last week.

Smith’s bill already has 14 original cosponsors, including Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.

Under the CARES Act, an economic stimulus payment of $1,200 per adult and $500 per child will go to most taxpayers with incomes below $75,000 for single taxpayers and $150,000 for married taxpayers. The payment is structured as a tax refund and administered by the IRS.

Under current law, no credit is allowed for dependents older than 16. This means there is no credit allowed for 17- and 18-year-olds, college students and other dependent adults, such as a disabled parent cared for by the taxpayer — even though a taxpayer is providing the majority of the dependent’s financial support. Further, these dependents aren’t eligible to claim the credit for themselves on their own returns either.

According to a news release, this situation is unfair to adult dependents and their parents and caretakers.


The All Dependents Count Act is intended to expand eligibility for the $500 credit so that a taxpayer will receive a $500 credit for all dependents they care for — not just children age 16 and under.

What To Read Next
Get Local