John Manuel


WHERE’S MY $307?

If you received a card from the government recently about a $307 credit in 2019, you might wonder whether you did receive it or if you did, why it was not $307. Whatever credit you did receive will be on line 449 on the last page of your 2018 return, or near the bottom of your one-page summary.


Well … as so often is the case, the devil is in the details; in this case, the fine print.


The fine print on the card shows that the $307 is the amount for a family of four, based on two adults and two children, which may or may not exactly be your case.


The basic credit is $154 for one person, whether married or not. For the second adult in a family, or the first child for a single parent, you receive $77. For each child you claim as a dependent (other than the first one for a single parent), you receive $38. So, a family of four receives $154 + $77 + 38 + 38 = $307. The same would apply for a single parent with three children, since the first child would produce the $77.


If you are not a married person claiming two children, you will receive more or less than $307, so check your return and do the math. If it was prepared by computer, you should automatically receive the proper amount.


Either parent may claim the credit, and there is no reduction for being over any particular amount of income.


So there … another government mystery solved.