who can i claim as a dependent

Who Can I Claim As a Dependent?

Tax season is here and everyone wants to make sure they receive as much back on their return as possible. And as most are aware, claiming a dependent is a great way to lower your over all tax bill. However this leaves many of us wondering – who can I claim as a dependent?

A dependent is any child or relative that you support for at least half of the year. In this case support means providing food, shelter, clothing and other necessities. However there are additional requirements that a child or relative must meet in order to qualify as a dependent.

All dependents must…
  • Be a U.S. citizen, a U.S. national, a U.S. resident, or a resident of Canada or Mexico.
  • Have a taxpayer identification number. This is typically a Social Security Number (SSN). However in some cases an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) or an Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number (ATIN) are a acceptable in place of the SSN.
  • Not file a joint return. Although dependents can file their own return to receive a refund they do not qualify as a dependent if they filed a joint return.
To qualify as a dependent children must…
  • Be related to you. This means a son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, brother, sister, half brother/sister, step brother/sister, adopted child or any of their children.
  • Live with you. Your child must live in your residence for at least half of the year. There are exclusions to this rule in certain cases.
  • Receive financial support from you. This doesn’t mean that they cannot work. It only means that they receive more than half of their support from you.
  • Only be claimed by you. This requirement is usually an applies for divorced parents. Only one parent is can claim a child as a dependent.
  • Be under the age 19 (or 24). Dependents must be under the age of 19 unless in school full time. In this case you are can  claim a child as a dependent until they are 24.
To qualify as a dependent relatives must…
  • Not have a yearly gross income over $4,050. Your relative cannot have grossed more than $4,050 for the current tax year to qualify as a dependent.
  • Receive financial support from you. A relative must receive more than half of their financial support from you.
  • Live with you all year. Unlike a child dependent, that only has live with you half of the time, a relative must live with you all of the time to be considered a dependent.

If you’re still wondering – who can I claim as a dependent, or have any other tax question, contact one of our qualified tax professionals today for assistance.

leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *