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Recovery Rebate Tax Credit

Should I claim myself independent so I can receive the rebate for the stimulus checks?


I am a college student who pays for 80% of my stuff. I am on a full ride scholarship. 


How would claiming independent affect Fafsa for my brother who is a college student who has to pay for college. 

2 Replies
Expert Alumni

Recovery Rebate Tax Credit

Check with your parents. If they're claiming you, you won't be able to claim yourself. The IRS states you have to provide over 50% of your own care, in addition to other requirements.

  • If you still live at home (living at school counts as living at home).
  • Regarding your own expenses, that includes rent or mortgage, health insurance, homeowners or rental insurance, food, clothing, transportation (auto and auto insurance), etc.


Regarding FAFSA: that's not a tax question and we only answer tax questions. Ask your schools financial aid counselor how it affects FAFSA.

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Level 15

Recovery Rebate Tax Credit

It is not optional. If you qualify as your parent's dependent, you are not allowed to claim yourself and the Rebate Tax Credit, whether they actually claim you or not.


You state "I am a college student who pays for 80% of my stuff. I am on a full ride scholarship".  You do not count scholarships as self support, for the dependent support test.



There are two types of dependents, "Qualifying Children"(QC) and standard ("Qualifying Relative" in IRS parlance even though they don't have to actually be related). There is no income limit for a QC but there is an age limit, student status, a relationship test and residence test. Only a QC qualifies a taxpayer for the Earned Income Credit. They are interrelated but the rules are different for each.

The support test is different for each type. The support test, for a QC, is only that the child didn't provide more than half his own support. The support test for a Qualifying Relative is that the taxpayer provided more than half the relative's support.


A child of a taxpayer can still be a “Qualifying Child” (QC) dependent, regardless of his/her income, if:

  1. He is under age 19, or under 24 if a full time student for at least 5 months of the year, or is totally & permanently disabled
  2. He did not provide more than 1/2 his own support. Scholarships are considered third party support and not as support provided by the student.
  3. He lived with the parent (including temporary absences such as away at school) for more than half the year


So, it doesn't matter how much he earned. What matters is how much he spent on support. Money he put into savings does not count as support he spent on him self.

The support value of the home, provided by the parent, is the fair market rental value of the home plus utilities & other expenses divided by the number of occupants.

The IRS has a worksheet that can be used to help with the support calculation. See:



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