Can You Claim a Parent as a Dependent?

For that time in a person’s life when he or she begins to take care of their parent, its important to know that the IRS allows those individuals to claim their parents as dependents on their tax return.

Multi Generation African American Family Relaxing In Park

As is the case with anything tax-related, you’ll have to meet the requirements; and once those requirements are satisfied, you’ll be able to receive an additional tax break for your efforts that was designed to help offset the costs associated with caring for a parent.

Support Means Support

To meet the support requirements necessary to claim your parent as a dependent on your tax return, you must cover more than half of your parent’s support costs – meaning 51% or more of their support costs must be covered by you.

These costs include food, housing or lodging expenses, clothing, and medical services and/or equipment costs.

If support for your parent was given by a group of individuals or family members, you may want to sign a Multiple Support Declaration form which would allow a single person in the group to claim your parent as a dependent, thus giving the tax break to a single person.

Residency and Relationship

The technical term that the IRS uses to meet the relationship requirement for these tax and life situations is “Qualifying Relative”. This means that the person you’re caring for can be your parent, an in-law, or even a grandparent.

However, they must be related to you biologically, by adoption, or through marriage (which would technically be a biological relationship through your spouse).

And guess what?  The IRS has residency requirements as well. To meet the resident requirement, the person you are caring for must meet one of the following:

  • Be a legal US Citizen
  • Be a US National
  • Be a US Resident Alien
  • Be a Resident of Canada or Mexico

For foreign, non-US-citizen parents to achieve official US resident status, they must be a recipient of a Green Card issued by the US government or have lived in the US for 183 days during the past tax year.

Social Security and Gross Income

The parent you want to claim as a dependent on your tax return must have a social security number (SSN) or an individua tax identification number (ITIN). Either of these numbers will satisfy the identification requirement for the IRS.

To be allowed to claim your parent as a dependent, your parent’s earned income cannot be more than$3,900 for the 2013 tax year. This means that if your parent earns more than $3,900, you aren’t eligible to claim them as a dependent. Non-taxable income, such as Social Security, does not count toward this amount.

Also, the parent you’re claiming as a dependent cannot file a joint tax return.

More Perks and Requirements

One of the last requirements that needs to be stated is that, if you want to claim your parent as a dependent on your tax return, you yourself cannot be eligible as a dependent on someone else’s tax return. Again, you cannot be claimed as a dependent or eligible as a dependent (even without being claimed) if you plan to claim your parent as a dependent.

Once all of the requirements are met, you’ll be happy to receive an additional $3,800 tax exemption on your return.

You are also allowed to include your parent’s medical expenses when calculating your medical deductions, and you may also be able to claim the Dependent Care Credit if your parent needs assistance while you’re at work or away.

When you answer a few simple questions, TurboTax will figure out whether you are eligible to claim a relative as a dependent.  If you still have questions, you can talk to a TurboTax tax expert while you prepare your tax return.

Comments (132) Leave your comment

  1. I claim my parents as dependents on my joint return with my wife. They are US residents for 9 years now, ages 82 and 76. They have no income. They do not qualify for medicare or medicaid and don’t have health insurance. I cannot possibly afford to insure them. Will I have to pay a penalty for them or can I gat an exemption.

  2. Hi TurboTaxLisa!

    Someone touched on the joint account issue, but I didn’t see a reply. What cap, if any, is there on what assets the dependent parent is holding? What if it’s a joint savings account with me? The worksheet asks for a beginning of the year and end of the year total for the dependents holdings. Do we list one-half of the savings since it’s half mine?
    Thanks!

  3. My daughter’s grandmother lives with me, with her daughter (my girlfriend), and her granddaughter. I pay for all my girlfriend’s mothers’ support costs, and she is a U.S. citizen who is in this country 10 months per year, making way under $3,900 per year.Can I claim her as a deduction? Meaning, is my daughter’s biological link to her sufficient to fulfill the biological criterion, even though her daughter and I are not married?

  4. I am purchasing a second home in my name for my parents. They are not contributing anything financially for the home. I will also need to make some modifications such as wider doors for wheelchair access and ramp outside to accommodate their needs. Is it better to allow them to live rent free (as planned) or charge them a nominal fee? Plus, am I able to claim my step-father as a dependent (never adopted me) if I cover 51% of his living expenses?
    Thanks!

  5. my friends mom said that social security is taking 110 dollars a month out of here check indefinatly because he claimed her on his taxes as a dependant…. can that be possible ? doesnt make any sence to me i ve been claiming my dad for 12 years never any thing like this

  6. My mom is on SSI *$724.00/month+she gets $85.00 in food stamps. I provide a lot of financial support for her. Since she is on SSI can I claim her as dependent? What are the qualifications for that?

    • Hi Irina,
      As long as she is a US citizen or national, you provided over half of her support, and she did not make over $3,900 taxable income in 2013, $3,950 in 2014, you should be able to claim her. If she has no other income that would be combined with the social security income increasing the total combined income to $25,000, her social security income should not be taxable.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

      • Hi Lisa,
        I’ve been supporting my parents 100% since October or November 2013. They will be getting their social security numbers and green cards August of this year (2014). Can I claim them for 2014?
        Thanks in advance.

  7. Hello, If someone could help me with figuring something out for future reference, it would be greatly appreciated. My father SSI, and lives on a fixed income, however, they do not take taxes out of his SS income. But he cares for two of his young grand children in his retirement. So, my question is, that since his income isn’t at the limit in which he has to file taxes, and doesn’t have taxes taken from his monthly payments, can he still file, and get the exemptions for caring for his two grandchildren for 100% of their needs? I’m unsure about it, because they do not take taxes from his monthly SS payments, but he still has dependents supported by that income. Any help in figuring this out would be appreciated. Thanks in advance! :)

  8. I care for my parents in India and provide them support for living expenses. Also, we take care of their medical expenses. Can I claim their expenses under mine? They are non-us-citizens and stayed here for 3 months last year. They visit for 6 months every year.

  9. In 2007 I had to move my mom and her mobile home on my property because she has vascular dementia and I needed to watch over her. Now she is in her latter stages and we have a full time caregiver living with her. She pays for her caregiver, utilities, food, clothes and medical expenses out of her SSI. I pay for the increase in my land taxes per year, her rent, I take her shopping, to doctors, etc. at my expense and I take care of all her business like paying her bills with her money. I also will take care of her for free from time to time to give the caregiver a break. Besides SSI she receives a small interest income on her checking account. Can I claim her as a dependent on mine and my husband’s income tax return?

  10. I care for and live with both my parents, however one of my siblings may already be claiming them as dependents. How can I confirm this without asking them directly?

    • Hi cczoe, if a parent has gross income less than $3,900 (don’t count their social security- unless they filed their own tax return and a portion of the social security was taxable then only count the part not taxed) and you provided more than half of their support (lodging, food, transportation, medical etc.) you can claim them as a dependent on your tax return.

      If you file your return electronically and the parent’s social security number is on a return already filed, your return will be rejected from electronic filing. Then you know if someone has taken them on their return.

      Note: If no one has provided more than 50% of a parent’s total support but two or more persons collectively did, then any contributor who provided more than 10% of support, can claim the parent (gross income rule still applies) – those sharing support must agree which of them will claim the exemption and Form 2120 must be signed by all contributors.

      Hope this answers your question.
      Lee

      Lee

      Note:

  11. I cared for my Mother the past 5 years. The last 2 years she received a benefit from VA for her care which is non-taxable. (aid and attendance). She paid me out of her SSI for taking care of her (she could not get VA if she did not pay a caregiver) and she could not care for herself. I was also her guardian. It is all documented. My question is that since she paid me out of her SSI and I paid over half of what I was paid out to the house bills and insurance, am I able to claim her as a dependent? She did not have any earned income.

  12. My parents live in another country with my brother. I sent some money (51% or more of their support costs) during 2013 and their income is less than $3700. They have been in US just for 25 days during last 4 years. Can I claim them as dependents?

    • No. They did not meet the residency requirement to qualify as dependents. In addition, your parents should be US citizen or green card holder living in the US.

    • You can claim a dependent who is a resident of Mexico or Canada. They would then meet the citizenship test for dependency.

      And then you could apply for an ITIN for your dependents. You wouldn’t qualify for the head of household status, but you can claim the exemption. Then they have to live in the U.S. for more than 6 months in order to claim them for head of household as long as you can provide proof that you support them.

      You cannot claim as a dependent a child
      who lives in a foreign country other than Can­
      ada or Mexico, unless the child is a U.S. citizen, U.S. resident alien, or U.S. national.

  13. I live withmy son who provides over 51% of my support. I am a widow and my only income is SS which was $21.310.80 after medicare and prescription insurance, for 2013. Can he claim me as a dependent? Thank you

  14. I moved my parents into my home 1 1/2 years ago due to their frailty. However, my parents own a home which they have been unable to sell or rent. Can I claim them as dependents if I provide more than 50% of their support in my home but do not pay the taxes or maintenance on their other home?

  15. My mother is 87 years old and had her right leg amputated in may of last year. She has also had a stroke. I have had to move her in with me since she can no longer live a lone. She draws a small social security check and a ssi check. Both of them together on make a little over 750 dollars a month. What I need to know is if I claim my mother on my taxes will if affect her medicade. There is no way that I could possible pay for the amount of medication that she has to take.

    • Hi Martha,
      You claiming your mother as a dependent shouldn’t affect her eligibility for Medicaid. If you claim her you just have to make sure that you provide over half of her support.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

      • I knew that the medicaid has the family household income limit. If I claim my parent as dependent, will it make her ineligible for medicaid under Obamacare Act as our combined income will surpass the income limit?

  16. I have searched this forum and cannot seem to find an answer to my question. Both I and my husband are disabled and collect disability checks. We also support my daughter and grandson. They live with us. My daughter is 19 yrs old, so her survivor benefits stopped when she stopped going to school. We pay all living expenses including food and baby food for everyone from our SSDI checks alone. My question is can we file IRS taxes, claiming them both, but not taking the earned income credit. Would we be able to get a refund for my daughter and grandson since they live off our disability.

  17. I claim my dad but he is not in the country will that be a problem with the IRS? I am being threated by a family member that they will call the IRS for fraud any suggestions?

  18. I already claim my grandson who lives with us. He is 8, disabled, on Medicaid and receives regular SSI. His father, not married to mother, my daughter, lives with us, too. He has no income, I collect no rent or food money from him. He pays his cellphone bill. He lived here the entire year. Can I claim him and not affect my grandson’s money? His money is straight SSI, not disability. I want to claim the father as he pays no bills, rent or groceries, etc. Thanks.

  19. Both I and my husband are disabled and collect disability checks. We also support my daughter and grandson. My daughter is 19 yrs old, so her survivor benefits stopped when she stopped going to school. We pay all living expenses including food and baby food for everyone from our SSDI checks alone. My question is can we file IRS taxes, claiming them both, but not taking the earned income credit. Would we be able to get a refund for my daughter and grandson off our 1099-SS forms?

    • Both I and my husband are disabled and collect disability checks. We also support my daughter and grandson. My daughter is 19 yrs old, so her survivor benefits stopped when she stopped going to school. We pay all living expenses including food and baby food for everyone from our SSDI checks alone. My question is can we file IRS taxes, claiming them both, but not taking the earned income credit. Would we be able to get a refund for my daughter and grandson off our 1099-SS forms?

  20. Can a parent be claimed if they live in their own home but do not file income tax return and the support is provided by the child? And does it matter if they receive a tax rebate on their own each year?

  21. Can my fiance claim his mother if she lives in her own home that she owns free and clear? He does support her but she does get a property rebate from the state every year.

  22. I understand the conditions for claiming my 81 year old mother as a dependent, and would qualify to do so. However, I am concerned about unintended consequences. Specifically, if I claim my 81 year old mother as a dependent for tax purposes in 2013, do I obligate my family to take on any other financial responsibility for my mother going forward – e.g., long-term care expenses if such care becomes necessary?

  23. My mother in law worked for the first 3 months on 2013, earning roughly $10,000. We’ve been her sole means of support since April 2013. Can we claim her?

  24. Hi..My mother in law live with me and just got her ssn this year2014..,..I provide everything she need..She doesn’t have any income..Can I claim her as my dependant..Thanks

  25. My mom’s Green card application is under review. She lived with me about 10 months in 2013 and I supported her full. She was able to receive her Work authorizationa and Social sercuity number in reference to her Green card application. Can I claim her as my dependent, even though she is not a Green card holder although she stayed for about 10 months in 2013? Appreciate your quick feedback and clarification.

    • yes you can you just have had to pay for support and also make sure your mom does not have other sources of income if she does then their are income restrictions but straight ssi you can claim her.

  26. My 38 year old daughter lives in Germany (she is a U.S. citizen residing there.) I support her almost totally. She will not file taxes this year as she has nothing to file. Can I claim her as a dependent?

  27. My son claimed me as a dependent on his taxes. Can I still file? Will he get as much as I would have if I filed? All criteria is met for him to claim me.

  28. My husband and I have my grandmother living with us and we meet all the requirement to claim her. Were using turbotax. When I enter her information it decreases our tax refund by 1000.00. Why would this happen? I’ve reworked the figures multiple times just to make sure I’m not missing anything and it comes out the same every time.

  29. My 89 year old mom lives with me. I know you don’t count her Social Security towards the $3900 per year….but she gets around $500 a month from my dad’s retirement (he’s dead) and some savings accounts and investments she has. These count as income, right?

  30. what do we need to do to claim my mother as my dependent, she does not have a social security number and she only have ssi. I heard of itin#,, but not sure if we need to get one for her, and able to claim her as our dependent in my tax return. thanks

    • You can apply for ITIN by filling out W-7 form. You need to attach to your income tax return. On your income tax return you would put her name under dependent list but leave the social security part empty and write PARENT under relationship and you figure all of your tax calculation including her. It would be easier if you go and see professional person.

  31. Can I claim both my parents as dependents if they live with me. My mother only receives social security and my dad receives social security and pension from the Texas Retirement System. He is 80 years old and received a 1099R every year since he retired but he has no taxes taken out and has not filed since he retired? I pay all bills and food expenses.

  32. My dad earned almost 17k for 2013, i earned 25k, my mom is not working. Can i claim my mom as a dependent. i support them by paying their house rent

  33. Can i claim my US citizen parents, if they are not residing in US, and i am supporting them in a different country ( not mexico, canada). They have no income and i usually wire them money for rent and other amenities.

  34. I’ve been supporting my in-laws for the past 5 years. They are in their mid to late 60′s, have no social security or savings. Unfortunately, they live overseas. I think it’s so unfair that I cannot claim them as dependents or at least receive some sort of tax deduction for supporting them, especially when it effects my financial situation extremely. I was thinking of creating a petition on Change.org about this situation of having it be required to have your dependents living in the U.S., Canada or Mexico. It doesn’t make sense. Support is SUPPORT. Could you possibly tell me who I can send this petition too?

  35. Is income that my mother receives from disability considered taxable income. I am trying to determine if I can file for my mother as a dependent if she receives dissability in addition to the finacial support that I provide for here living expenses while she is living with me.

  36. Can I claim my mother if she owns her home. No mortgage. I pay for all of utilities, food, medication, taxes. She recieves a death benefit of $13,500 yrly from my fathers death (Social Security). Thats about $1,300 mo.

    • Hi Yvonne,
      If you provide over half of your mother’s support and she does not earn taxable income over $3,900, which her death benefit should not be if she doesn’t have any other income, then you can claim her. TurboTax will ask you simple questions and help you get the deduction for your mother if you’re eligible.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

      • I feel something needs to be cleared up. I send my diasabled, U.S. citizen, mother $200/month. She collects about $1600/month in SS. No one else sends her money. I provide 100% of her support but only if support does not count SS benefits… Can I get the deduction?

  37. I’m 75, retired. worked in US for 11 yrs, received SS $613/mo ($405 for myself and $208 for my wife). my wife is 76, did not work here in US,live in OR state, she’s disabled due to stroke. we both live with our daughter and son-in-law for 11 yrs. can they or our daughter and soninlaw claim us as they’re dependents?

  38. How come only Canadian & Mexican parents only? Doesn’t this discriminate against other US citizens who are not from Canada or Mexico?

  39. My mother lives with me. She receives a pension in which medical is taken out. Would I have to use the total gross amount or can I use the net amount after medical is taken out.

  40. Both my parents began living with me and my wife in mid-2013. My fathers retirement is in excess of the $3800 and is in his name only. They have previously filed joint tax returns. Can I file a tax return for him as married filing separately and then claim my mother as a dependent on our tax return? We provide over 50% of their support. Would not do this if it were to cause him to pay more tax. They have not had a tax liability for several years. They are both 85+ years old.

  41. Hi, my mom is on disability, I am her trusty listed at ss disability. I live in Texas and she lives in Georgia. I receive her disability on a card they sent me, wick is$1400.0 per month. I pay all of her other expense from a business account my brother and I own in Georgia. My mom owned the business before she got sick. My brother and I kept it going. Can I claim her on my taxes as a dependant even if she doesn’t live with me or him. We pay her sister to check on her during the year.

  42. My mom lives with us and has social security benefits around $11,000 and about a $1000 a year retirement benefit – This is less than the $3900 – I pay the mortgage and utilities so I should be able to claim her. My question is if the irs doesn’t count the social security then it looks like I would only have to provide $1001 support on her to be more than 1/2 of her support for the year. Is this correct?

    • No, it does not work like that – She has a total annual revenue of $11,000 + $1,000 so $12,000 – It depends on where this $12,000 goes, regardless of source. If $6,000 goes towards the support categories above (Food, housing or lodging expenses, clothing, and medical services and/or equipment costs) then you would have to provide $6,001 or more. If only $1,000 is spent by her towards those categories, then you would have to provide $1,001 or more. Seeing as you pay the mortgage and utilities, you should be set anyway.

  43. Hi, I am about to finalized my 2013 tax filing. But I want some clarification.
    My Mom is living with me, no income so I am claiming her as my dependent on my 2013 tax return. She is married to my Dad but they are not living together because my Dad lives outside the country. What should I put when TurboTax ask me if she’s married or single?
    Thanks!

  44. Will claiming a parent as a dependent, who receives SSI benefits reduce the amount they receive monthly?

  45. Hi,
    My father lives with me and made about $3800 in 2013. He started receiving ss about $211 dollars since August 2013. He lives with me I pay all the bills except for his medication. I would like to know if I can claim him as my dependent. He is afraid that if I claim him as my dependent he will loose his retirement. He already filed his income tax for 2013.

  46. My Grandmother lived with my parents for the year 2013. They provided housing, food, care and transportation for her. She receives SS and she has a Railroad Pension-she is a widow. Her pension has two tiers that add up to about $14,000 I believe. When we went to see if he was eligible to add her as a dependent it said that her income could not be more than $3900 a year-do you use a formula to figure out taxable income to determine if she made more that $3900 or do you use the amount from the pension form she received in the mail?

  47. Can I claim my mother on my tax return if she has 3000 in income and 695 in disability on her form 1099.

  48. Goodmorning, I haven’t worked in seven years and I live with my daughter she pays all my bills buy my medicine, and personal things Ian 43 years old, can she claim me on her taxes this year

    • Hi Angela,
      If your daughter provided over half of your support, you did not earn more than $3,900, and you meet the citizen requirements, then yes she can claim you. TurboTax will ask her simple questions and give her the tax deductions she’s eligible for.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  49. I can claim my mother as a dependent for 2013, she did not make over $3,900, not married, lives with me in Nevada, I supply more than 51% of living expenses, etc. Now my question is if I do claim her as a dependent, will I be responsible for her health care/insurance that she must get by March 2014? Currently, she has no health care/insurance.

    • Hi,
      If you provided over the half the support for both of your parents and they did not earn over $3,900 each then you may claim them as long as they were US citizens, US Nationals, US resident aliens, or residents of Canada or Mexico.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  50. My mother has not made more than the allowable income for me to claim her as a dependent. However, she sold her house and made a profit from the sell. Would that be considered taxable income? Will I still be able to claim her as a dependent?

    • Hi Mickey,
      If you sell your personal residence you can sell your home with a gain of $250,000 if your single and $500,000 for married filing jointly without paying taxes on it. Most taxpayers don’t have gains this large so she probably won’t have taxable income. If you provided over half of her support and she meets the other test then you should be able to claim her.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

      • My father was a us resident alien and he retired in MX. He is 76. he gets his SS check down there, but it is not enough for living. I send him money from USA. Can I claim him as my dependent??

  51. Good afternoon, my mom lives in Mexico and I send her $400 dlls every month for food and bill expenses. Can I claim her as dependant? She is 64 years old. Thanks :)

    • You can only claim her as an exemption. In order to qualify for head of household she must live in the U.S.

  52. my mom was in a auto accident in april of 2012 and has not been able to work since. I have been her main support. but in 2012 she made more then 11k in the first 4 months of the year but has made nothing since. can I claim her as a dependent

    • Hi Steven,
      If you provided over half of her support in 2013 and she didn’t make over $3,900 you can claim her on your 2013 taxes.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

    • Steven, there also is a worksheet for determining dependency support which can be downloaded from the IRS.GOV website. Fill it out accordingly and if you qualify great, but if not, then I would not even try to claim her as a dependent.

      • Hi Lydia and Steven,
        TurboTax will as you simple questions about you and your dependents and give you all of the credits and deductions you’re eligible for no worksheets necessary.
        Thank you,
        Lisa Greene-Lewis

  53. My father passed away in Feb. 2013. He was my dependent and I had previously claimed him in my past tax returns. Can I still claim him on my taxes for 2013?

  54. My mother has lived with me rent free since April 2013. I have already determined that she is under the income limit so that I can claim her. Even though she didn’t move in at the beginning of 2013 and didn’t technically live with me for the entire year will I still be able to claim her?

    • Yes you can claim her. A parent is the only individual that doesn’t have to live with you to claim them. But you must provide more than half their support.

  55. my daughter and I live together and share all expenses including rent half and half, canshe claim me as a dependent, I receive social security.

  56. If my father owes IRS for 2011 but has a hold on it because he is not receiving any income and I have supported him in 2013 if I claim him will I have to pay the IRS what he owes,

    Thanks

    • It will be taken out of your refund and if he is in social security they can even deduct the back child support from his social security check

    • My mother received in 2013 $ 4, 616 from SSI on a monthly basis. I cover for utilities can give her money for other expenses. Can I claim her as Dependent?

  57. My mom lives with me — her ONLY source of income in her SOCIAL SECURITY which is less than $7,500 per year — she is 68 years old and I am her primary source of income as I pay for everything — including any out of pocket costs for medicine, mortgage, etc.,
    Am I able to claim her as a dependent?
    In addition we do have a join mutual fund — but I would assume that this is not considered income.
    I will be attempting to do my taxes myself this year via turbo tax and I want to make sure I have all the necessary info — as you can see by my questions — I am not a genius when it comes to this stuff — HELP!!!!

  58. Can I claim my older son as a dependent? He started receiving SSI last year for his disability. He can’t work and I am his part time caregiver. I have to work outside the home to support us. I do receive most of my deductions back due to a huge business loss my husband and I had. However I lost my husband in 2012 to illness and I am 58 and not old enough to get spousal support on my husbands social security.

  59. I claimed my mother as a dependent in my tax returns when she was a resident alien as her income was less than $200 per month. Now she is a US citizen and otherwise medically eligible for disability (SSI). Will my previous claim as my dependent make her ineligible for SSI at this time?

  60. Hi! My mother lived with me for 7 months. She has a green card and social security number. She went back to the Philippines for some treatments and will live with me again when she gets back in March. Can I claim her on my tax return? She didn’t work at all. And also, what proof of support do I have turn in? Thank you!

  61. My mother lives with me and my husband and our son, She dont work…she cant she is sick. She gets SS off my dad, I pay for every thing food and all. She just pays for her meds and her car note. So we want to no can we take her on our tax…She has been with us two years now.

  62. My mom is retired and collects Social Securtiy and lives in a house that I own, would i be able to use her on my taxes as a dependent?
    Since I cover her lodging.

  63. My mother lives with me, she receives SSI, am I able to claim her as a dependent? I am unclear with what is considered earned income. No taxes are taken out of the monthly SSI. Please advise?

    • As long as you can show u provide more than half her support and are single. And its considered income in determining the amount of support she provides for herself.

  64. my father in-law lost his job and me and my wife has been supporting them for a year now we pay for everything they and we need can we claim them as a dependent?

  65. Can I claim both of my parents this year 2013 ? But I did not change the w4 form for # of dependents on my 2013 form last year
    Wi I still be ok to claim my parents as my dependents? Thank u

    • The W-4 you fill out has nothing to do with how you file. It just determines the amount of federal taxes withheld.

  66. Can I file my mom on my taxes even though she receives Social Security and Disability Income but she lives with me and I provide over half of her support

  67. My mother had a massive stroke which left her partially paralyzed. I moved her in withy self and my husband. I quit my job to take care of her. The only income she has is ssi.
    When my husband does our taxes, will we be able to claim mother?
    Thanks for your help.

    • Hi Merlinda,
      You will be able to claim your mother as long as you provided over half of her support and she did not earn morw than $3,900 taxable income.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

    • Hi Lisa,
      You can only receive EITC for your qualifying dependent children and not your father. You can receive a dependency exemption for him if you provided over half of his support and he didn’t make over $3,900 taxable income, but not Earned Income Tax Credit.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

      • So I am getting this dependency exemption that amounts to nothing? My mother qualifies 66 and disabled lived with me all year and no she has no earned income…shoot I even put my 24 yr old daughter that is in school full time and STILL no change in refund from 0

      • Lisa,

        I have already filed yet want to be sure that I did nothing wrong with the IRS. I have claimed my mother as a dependent for the first time. She lives with me and I am head of household.
        She has not worked for quite some time and has no other form of income. She only gets her SS Check each month. Was there a form that I should have added proving she receives social security? Any info would be most appreciated.

  68. I received unemployment for the 2013 year which adds up to around 12K for the year. My son (who lives with me) helped me out with rent, food, bills etc… Can he claim ME on HIS taxes?

  69. My mother lived with me jan 2013-september 2013 I provided housing/food for her. She paid 465.00 a month but I believe we paid more than half her expenses. My question is can I claim her? Yes she is a US citizen…I want to know if I can claim her would I have to provide any proof that I paid her food/rent?? I would assume no because who keeps receipts for groceries? I have proof I paid rent and that she lived with me though.

  70. HI
    My mom live in turkey and she cant not work because she is sick she has a hard problem and she has a heard surgery i been paying her house close food medical everything she needs but she is not US citizen and live in Turkey, i send money every month, can i clam her as dependent?

  71. My mom receives Social Security Disability every month ($800 USC). Social Security Disability is her only income, can I claim her in my taxes?

  72. I have a mother that lives with me and has not had any sort of income in the last year. Can I claim her as a dependent and if so what kind of estimate amount would I get back for her?

  73. I am a Tax Preparer and this area is always confusing to me in regards to gross income and the supporting the person for more than half of their support! I know a client who received $3,850 from his pension. Amazing huh, it is just $50 over! The son and spouse made over $100,000 so definitely pays for more than half of their Dad’s support. So, reading the info above, the Son cannot claim his Dad because of the $50 from the pension. However, the pension is NOT earned income! Please advise!

    • The limit was raised to $3,900 for 2013, so the son should be able to claim his Dad on his 2013 tax return.

      Note however that the phrase “earned income” in the article is misleading. All taxable income has to be counted, so if the Dad’s pension income in 2013 was $3,900 or more he would not qualify (unless the pension is for some reason tax exempt).

      Here’s the relevant section from IRS Publication 17, page 33:

      Gross Income Test
      To meet this test, a person’s gross income for the year must be less than $3,900.

      Gross income defined. Gross income is all income in the form of money, property, and services that is not exempt from tax.

      • Earned income defined. Earned income is salaries, wages, tips, professional fees, and other amounts received as pay for work you actually perform.
        Publication 501 (2013) IRS.Gov webpage

        Janet – you should probably do some research on the irs.gov page before making any big decisions or call the irs hotline. I am sure they will be more accurate in providing you with the information.

      • That is a correct definition of earned income. But the point is that it’s not just earned income that counts toward the $3,900 threshhold. The term the IRS uses for this test is the “gross income test”. Gross income includes all income that’s not specifically exempt from income tax. That includes income from pensions, annuities, interest, dividends, etc. It generally does not include social security benefits, unless those benefits are taxable.

        I agree that it’s always best to refer to IRS documents to confirm any tax-related information found on this (or any other) web site. As I mentioned previously, the gross income test is explained on page 33 of IRS Publication 17 (Tax Guide for Individuals). It can also be found on pages 19-20 of Publication 501 (Exemptions, Standard Deduction, & Filing Information).

  74. I have two questions: First, where can I find information on how to keep records when claiming a parent as a dependent? Second, being very elderly, she no longer has a copy of her birth certificate, but she has a certificate saying the courthouse where the original was kept cannot find it. Is her SSN enough identification?

  75. My mother in law receives alimony. Will this be considered earned income and if so does it have to be under the $3800 limit for us to be able to claim her as a dependent?

  76. In 2012 tax filing, I claimed my 75 year old mother as my dependent (she received her green card in June 2012). Then in January 2013, she went back to her home country and she will probably come back to US in 2014.

    My question is, can I still claim her as my dependent for this coming 2013 tax filing considering that she’s currently leaving abroad? I still continue to send her money for her food, housing, and medical expenses.

  77. I have a friend who has title to her house with no mortgage and she owns her deceased husbands 401k. She is 51 years old and her two adult children are providing the means for her support including the taxes and utilities on the home. Her husband died of cancer at a young age and she stayed at home and raised all three children on SS payments to the children. The last child has aged out and SS will stop. Both of the adult children live at the home and have professional careers. The teenager (who aged out) lives at the home as well. The 51 year old Mother is also taking care of her two elderly parents at the home. They need to get their Mother health insurance through their employers. Can she be declared a dependent by her adult children? Would the adult children be able to include her in their work health insurance plans? Thank you in advance for your consideration. Dan Z

  78. “Our daughter failed to provide her 2011 1098-T to be claim on our 2011 tax return. What procedure and forms are required for an amendment of our 2011 tax return?”

    • You would have to amend your return, file a 1040-X and just include the 1098-T, which will give you an education credit.

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