Who Qualifies as a Dependent on Your Tax Return?

Got family? Then you might have tax deductions as well. Most of us know you can claim a personal exemption for your children on your tax returns, but many people forget that they might be able to claim exemptions for elderly parents or other relatives that qualify as dependents as well.

Is it really worth it? For each dependent you can deduct $3,900 from your federal taxable income, which is likely to reduce your taxes. And if the dependent is your child, you may be able to claim the child tax credit of $1,000 as well.

Children you support

In IRS-Speak, a child you support is a “qualifying child.”

To be qualifying, the child doesn’t have to be your biological child, but must be related to you, such as a stepchild, adopted child, brother, sister, niece, nephew – you get the idea.

The child has to be under age 19 unless permanently and totally disabled. An exception to this rule lets you claim an exemption if the child has been a full-time student for at least five months of the year and is under the age of 24.

The child must be dependent and not-self supporting, must live with you unless living with the other parent in the case of divorce or separation or temporarily absent, such as being away at school.

The child must be a US citizen, US national or a resident of the United States, Canada or Mexico during the year.

And finally, you have to list the child’s social security number on your tax return.

Relatives you support

If you support your parents or your great-uncle Harry, you might be able to claim a dependency exemption for them, if they pass three tests.

1. The person must either be a relative or a member of your household. The category of relatives is broad, and includes:

  • your child, adopted child, step child, foster child, or their descendents, such as your grandchild descendant of any of them (for example, your grandchild) if they are not considered your “qualifying child”
  • your brother, sister, half brother, half sister, stepbrother, or stepsister, or their descendents
  • your father, mother, stepfather, stepmother, grandparent, or other ancestor
  • a brother or sister of your father or mother, or
  • your son-in-law, daughter-in-law, father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, or sister-in-law, but only while the marriage exists, not after it ends in death or divorce.

2. The person’s taxable income must be less than $3,900 (this goes up every year).

3. You must pay for more than half the person’s support during the year, unless the person is supported by several people who all agree in a multiple support agreement that you can claim the exemption.

You don’t need to worry about figuring this all out. TurboTax makes it easy. After asking you a few simple questions about your family, TurboTax will determine for you who qualifies as a dependent on your tax return. That way, you’ll get the biggest tax refund possible with the least amount of hassle.

Comments (618) Leave your comment

  1. I am a U.S. Citizen and my husband has an ITIN, but no income. We file married jointly and have 2 children. Can I still get the EITC for our children? I know I can’t for him since he has no SSN. But does him being on my tax returns with an ITIN disqualify me from getting the EITC for our children? They both have SSN’s.

  2. Hi, I have left the workforce to be a stay-at-home mom 4 years ago. Am I qualified to be a dependent under my husband? I currently file as ‘married filing jointly’. Would it be more beneficial to be filed as a dependent?

  3. My brother helps me raising my kids both physically and financially. I receive cash benefit for my oldest daughter, my 6 year old is maximum family grant rule amd therefore doesn’t qualify. I receive cal fresh benefits for both children and they receive no child support and haven’t for many years. I let him claim them for taxes since we live together and they do receive more than half their support from him. He pays for clothes, school supplies, sports and sporting supplies and takes them t do activities that I can’t afford. He recently received a letter from the IRS saying he would be audited. He wasn’t worried until someone told him that if I receive food stamps (cal fresh benefits) for any of my kids that they dont qualify as a dependant. I am not sure if it’s true or not. When my kids were babies and we lived with myparents my situation was basically the same. My parents helped me out a lot, I lived there and same financial situation. My parents claimed them and never had problems and they claimed them until I moved out. Do you know if its legal to claim a dependant child even if the parent is receiving cal fresh benefits for the state of CA? Thank you for your help.

  4. My nephew is 31 years old, graduated from college, no disability, no medical condition, but he doesn’t work. Never has. He lives with his parents. Can he qualify as a dependent of theirs? My brother says he does. I say he does not. Who is interpreting the law correctly?

    • Hi Lyricanne,
      Your brother is correct as long as:
      – your nephew does not make more than $3,900 for tax year 2013, $3,950 for tax year 2014
      – your brother provides over half of his support
      – your nephew meets citizenship requirements
      Your nephew would qualify under the “qualifying relative” rule if all these tests were met since he doesn’t meet the age requirement to be considered a “qualifying child”.
      I hope this helps you!
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  5. I’m a US citizen and in military currently in Japan by that time i got married and my wife has two children under the age of 16. We got married on January 2012. My wife and stepchildren has ITIN that time. Since we are here in US now and has a green card ans SSn. Can i amend my wife and stepchildren for my refund last 2012? For tax credit and so…

  6. Can i amend my stepchildren for my tax refund last 2012. They are not in the US yet that time but they have ITIN and we are living in Japan as my part of military deployment now that we are in the US and they have ssn and resident alreafy. Should i fileame d for 2012

  7. Hi. My boyfriend and his ex girlfriend had a child together and shortly after, they broke up. She along with the child moved in with her parents and she doesn’t work and never has. My boyfriend has paid Child support every month for 8 yrs (since the child was born) and every year, the grandparents claim the child as a dependent. The mother must be claiming her as a dependent somehow because she gets state assistance (food stamps, medicaid and TANF). Is this legal?

  8. I just recently moved in with my father in December but I start school in a couple weeks but my mother has claimed me as a dependent and by her doing that I can’t get FASFA but I was going to be going to school under my step father, my question is can my mother un claim me as a dependent so my step father can? Please reply back ASAP!

  9. I had mad to much money for my mom to claim me on her tax return so I had to file my own. will I qualify for Pell grant using my own tax return because I’m 22, single, no children, and I only made 17,000 dollars last year?

  10. I am the grandparent and my 9 year old grandson lives with me since 2012. I filed a New York state tax return and now i am being audited. that’s fine, however, i must prove that he lives with me. I did not change his school so there is no record of my address on file. the doctor that he goes to does not have my address on file either. In order for me to claim him the NY taxation dept. said that I need to prove his residency with me. what other documentation can I provide them?

  11. According to turbo tax my 26 yr.old son can be claimed on our ’13 taxes. He was in an auto accident that cost over 15,000.00 for a 3 hr. ER visit. Would we the parents be responsible for that medical bill if we do claim him?

  12. I’m a HB1 visa holder and I have a 10 years old dependent. We live in US since August 2013, can I claim child credit tax return? Thank you.

  13. My 22 year old daughter became unemployed in January 2014. Since then, my wife and I have provided for all her expenses to include medical and dental. She lives in our home and shares our meals. She may be unemployed for much of 2014 given the state of our local economy. Will I be able to claim her on my 2014 tax return?

  14. Hello,

    I have a 35 year old son who is disabled on Medicaid. He lives with my Husband and I, and I’m wondering if he can be claimed as a dependent?

  15. Hi,

    My husband paid $12,000 in child support to my step sons mother this year. This does not include expenses on clothing and travel when his son was staying with us. Can my husband claim these expenses on his tax return?
    His ex-wife claimed his son as a dependent because he lives with her 80% of the year.

  16. If my spouse has passed a way after being in anursing home and hosp for 5 yrs left me with kinds under 16 can I keep all the income tax money or share with the state?

  17. My 28 yr old daughter and granddaughter live with us. My daughter supports my granddaughter in everyway except daycare/preschool. Can I claim any of the childcare/preschool on my taxes as I pay for it every week. It comes to apprx. $7,000 a year.

    • Hi Cathy,
      In order to claim any of those expenses you would have to claim your granddaughter as a dependent and it sounds like your daughter is doing that since she provides more of your granddaughters support.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

    • Hi BB,
      A spouse cannot claim another spouse as a dependent, but he can claim an exemption for you, which is $3,900 for 2013.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  18. I claimed my nephew (14 y/o) on my taxes this year because i help support his living expenses, the place where i filed told me i wouldn’t receive a state return because it’s not my child. Is there any truth in this because i never heard of such.. Please reply & thank you

    • Hi Deidre,
      I have heard of local laws not allowing the dependent exemption if the relationship violates local laws like in the case of a boyfriend living with a girlfriend and the boyfriend is not divorced, however I have not heard of it in the case of a relative like a nephew. What state is it?
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  19. My father(who does not support me what so ever) has claimed me as a dependent. I mad too much money in 2013 for him to be able to do this, and now I can’t file my taxes as an independent because he claimed me. what do I need to do?

  20. My step-daughter moved in with my husband and I in October of 2013. She is 24, autistic and on social security disability. Can we claim her as a dependent in 2013?

  21. Hello, my step daughter lives with her mom now, but in the fall she will start attending college and living on campus. We will be paying some college bills for her. Is there a tax credit for what we spend on her education?

  22. Hi, my daughter turned 19 in october 2013 and she graduated from high school in may 9th of the same year. She did not enroll in college after and she has an income of $8000. Does she qualify as a dependent?

  23. My son is 19, he’s a full time student and works a full time job where he makes over 18,000 a year. HE pays for his school himself and provides himself with food, clothing, etc. and pays hously bills on occasion. Would he file independent and non claimable or independent and can be claimed?

  24. Good evening. My sister who has not lived with my parents, but lives close by, has claimed head of household on her tax return and claimed my parents as dependents for the last 3 years. She has not paid for more than half their income. This last year, my mom and dad were in the hospital more than they were at home. Is this fraud? I believe it is.

  25. My son is claiming me on his tax return. I only receive social security. He lives in my home & he provides over half of my support. My question is can he claim the real estate taxes & mortgage interest on my home even tho they’re not in his name but he pays for them.

    • Hi Susan,
      Yes, if he is paying them, he would indicate in TurboTax that someone else received the 1098 for mortgage interest on the “Tell us more about your loan”
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  26. Hi,

    My son is 22. He received a 1099 misc. of $4300payment from his wrestling club. He is a full time athlete for the club. He is not a student. He does have some expense for being a full time athlete. We provided most of support for him. Can we still claim him?

    • Hi Susan,
      Unfortunately, since he is 22 and not a full time student he can not be considered your “qualifying child”, he could only be considered a “qualifying relative”, however a “qualifying relative” cannot earn more than $3,900.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  27. My daughter, born 1990, was a full time student during 2013 and lived with us in California for 7 months of 2013 and in a dorm room out of state for the rest of the year. She did have an income exceeding $3900, but we provided more than half of her support, and to the best of my understanding this allows me to claim her as a dependent on my federal tax return for the following reasons (confirmed by an independent tool):

    – She is my biological daughter.
    – She lived with me for more than six months.
    – She was under the age of 24 on 12/31/2013 and a full time student.
    – She provided less than 50% of her own support during the year.
    – I am not a dependent of anyone else.
    – She did not file a joint return.
    – She is a US permanent resident.

    My daughter e-filed her own federal tax return as a single, but unfortunately declared herself as an independent. Her federal tax return was accepted and some time later my e-filing was rejected due to something related to her independent status.

    A couple of questions related to this:

    1. Is it likely that my return was rejected because of the discrepancy between the status she filed (independent) and the
    status I filed her as, or could my definition of her as a dependent be questioned?
    2. Should she amend her return right away to resolve the discrepancy?
    3. She declared that she had lived with us for 212 days in 2013. Is that considered enough time to meet the “lived with pa
    rents limit”?
    4. My income exceeds the breakpoint for deductions for student related expenses. If she changes her filing status to dependent, can she deduct the student loan interest (she is listed on the loan)?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    • Hi Mike,
      Yes, your tax return was rejected because she claimed an exemption for herself. She would have to say that someone else claimed her on her tax return in order for you to claim her. if you want to claim her she would have to amend her tax return once it was accepted by the IRS and indicate that someone else can claim her. If you make too much to claim her education expenses you can let her deduct them, but she would have to claim herself.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  28. My son turned 24 late December 2013. He was a full-time student in 2013. His income was about $12,000 with a Co-Op Job. Can I claim him as a dependent?

    • Hi,
      Unfortunately you could not. If your son was not under 24 at the end of the year, he is not considered a “qualifying child”, he would be considered a “qualifying relative”, however he could not make over $3,900.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  29. My 22 yr old son lives with me & attends college part time. before starting school last year he filed as independent. Does he file independent again since he’s not a full time student, and how do I file since I pay his tuition.

  30. Hello,
    I try to efile my tax return yesterday, but the Federal rejected my federal tax. Becasue my daughter had already filed her taxes, she worked for a couple of month in NC and ear $ 5.500. She lived at our home for 7 month last year. Why have the Federal declined us , when we filed her as a depended? She is 23 year old.
    The was no problem with our son , who also worked and earned $ 4.400 last year?
    He went true , without any problem?
    What do we need to do?

    • Hi Kerstin,
      There are several reasons here, if your daughter is not a full-time student in order to be a qualifying child she would have to be under the age of 19. If she is not a full-time student she could be considered your “qualifying relative” if you provided over half of her support,
      however she could not make over $3,900. It also looks like your daughter claimed herself. If that’s the case, you could not claim her. Only one of you can claim her.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  31. I have a daughter (23) who is in college full time, lives with us (parents) who has a daughter (3) who also lives with us that she is sending to pre-school (she pays for that). She received some money from the dad when he was in the Marines but nothing since (Sept 2013). My daughter has 2 jobs also and definitely has to file.
    1. She can’t file head of household because she lives with us. Can she still claim herself and her child? Not real sure since she lives in our house). Which extra’s can she claim, Child Tax Credit? Earned Income tax Credit? Have gone through many of the tax help questionnaires but still not sure which way we can do this or which way we should do this.

    • Hi Wendell,
      Yes, she can claim herself and her daughter. She will be able to claim the Child Tax Credit and may be able to claim others. TurboTax will give you all of the tax deductions and credits you’re eligible for based on answers to simple questions.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  32. Hello! I have a problem with the exemption status on my return. I was divorced in 2007 and at that time had joint custody of my children. Our decree gave my ex the option of claiming our children every other year if he was current on child support. Soon after the divorce, I was given full custody and then my ex moved out of state. He sees the children rarely throughout the year. I have tried to change my decree to reflect his move and therefore remove his right to have them as an exemption but he refuses to cooperate. He is current on child support and now demanding that I sign the form 8332 giving up my right to claim them even though they live with me all year. So, since our decree is no longer reflective of our custody and I have tried to change it, does he still have the right to claim them? I have tried to read up on this and it’s very confusing with the “Post 1984 and Pre 2009″ rule. The decree agreement is contingent on child support being current which doesn’t appear to be legal anymore? Please advise as now he is threatening legal action and I’m really confused on what rules to follow. IRS or inaccurate divorce decree? Thanks so much!

    • Hi,
      Under the post 1984 and pre 2009 rules which you would fall under, he could request that you sign form 8332 with the following stipulations:

      Post-1984 and pre-2009 divorce decree or separation agreement. If the divorce decree or separation agreement went into effect after 1984 and before 2009, the noncustodial parent may be able to attach certain pages from the decree or agreement instead of Form 8332. The decree or agreement must state all three of the following.

      The noncustodial parent can claim the child as a dependent without regard to any condition, such as payment of support.

      The custodial parent will not claim the child as a dependent for the year.

      The years for which the noncustodial parent, rather than the custodial parent, can claim the child as a dependent.

      The noncustodial parent must attach all of the following pages of the decree or agreement to his or her tax return.

      The cover page (write the other parent’s social security number on this page).

      The pages that include all of the information identified in items (1) through (3) above.

      The signature page with the other parent’s signature and the date of the agreement.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

      • Thank you lisa. I have read this before and am still a bit confused. Our divorce agreement WAS contingent on child support so does that therefore cancel out the legality of it? Above it says that for the decree to be used as proof it cannot be conditional on child support. If I do not want to willingly give up my deduction, am I legally obligated to fill out the form 8332?

  33. I am a 20 year old student. I was submitting tax returns in previous years. This year I do not have any income. Do I have to still submit my returns showing zero income.

    • Hi Jo,
      If you have no income this year, you would not file a tax return. If your previous year’s tax returns have income then you would submit those.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  34. My 18 year old son moved back with me year ago and I was subsequently able to have the child support terminated but when I went to file taxes, found that his mother had claimed him. There was no new custody agreement because he is 18 and I didn’t take her to child support but don’t I have the right to claim him as he has lived with me for over a year? I do have notarized statement from my son indicating when he moved in with me. I am assuming she is going by the old custody agreement which is no longer valid as he is now 19.

    • Hi Rick,
      Ultimately who gets to claim him is based on the divorce decree. If the divorce decree does not state who gets to claim him then there are other test that the IRS will check for. They will go by who you son lives with the most. If the child stays with each of you 50/50, then the IRS will give the dependency exemption to the person who has the greater AGI.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

      • We were never married but had custody agreement in place but after he turned 18 he moved back in with me, since custody ends at 18 there was no new custody trial or agreement needed. Only child support had to be terminated since support ends in NY at 21 the child support was terminated because the courts recognized the fact that he moved back home with me.

  35. My Father lives in a mother-in-law house on our property. We help him with food gas and medical expenses. He pays no rent but he does pay his utilities. His only income is Social Security. Can we claim him on our taxes?

    • Hi,
      If you provide over half of his support, he meets the citizenship test, and does not earn over $3,900 in taxable income you can claim him. TurboTax will give you this exemption if you are eligible based on answers to simple questions.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  36. I have foster children and have had them since June 28, 2013. How many months would I claim for them? Would it be six or seven?

    • Hi Rhonda,
      There is not a certain amount of months you can claim them for. If they lived with you over half the year you would be able to claim them as dependents and may be eligible for other deductions and credits related to them. TurboTax will ask you simple questions and give you the deductions you’re eligible for.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  37. My 21Y old son is a student at the military academy. With his income he have to pay all expenses I.e. Uniforms, Computer, books, lodging, food and laundry. He got a paycheck after this of $100 and we as parents have to support him. He filed his own tax return and received $259. When I filed him as a dependent student he get rejected. I don’t understand.

    • Hi Elke,
      Your tax return is getting rejected, because only one of you can claim him. Your son cannot claim himself if you are going to claim him. Only one of you can claim his exemption. If you decided you are the one that gets the deduction for his education then you would only have to claim him and he would have to indicate on his tax return that someone else is claiming him. If his tax return was already accepted then he would have to amend his tax return and indicate that someone else is claiming him.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  38. My 20 year old disabled son passed away in May 2013. He lived at home and could not earn income so he qualified as a dependent. I efiled my tax return but it was rejected due to Business Rule IND-931-01. How do I fix my return so it is accepted?

  39. My wife and I got married on October 4, 2013. She was a full-time graduate at the time and her father was paying for her tuition. Is it possible for him to claim her as a dependent until October? I updated my W-9 the following week.

    Can we file jointly?

  40. I did not receive any earned income in 2013. I only received State Disability and child support. However, I did provide more than half support to two of my children. One turned 18 in December of 2013 and is a high school student. She worked a part time job and although her income is below the limit for filing a return, it would be to her advantage to file to receive money for taxes she paid. Would it be better to put her on my return, if I need to file at all? The second question is that I paid college tuition and expenses for my other daughter who is 23 and attended college for part of the school year. Would I be entitled to any credit from that? I have tried researching these answers but cannot find a comfortable or what feels like a legal solution. Please advise me. Thank you so much.

  41. I have a question I’m 16 going on 17 I worked 8 months getting paid 7.80 a hr. Well I thought I could trust my y brother in law and we did out taxes together. Well anyways were I’m trying get at is that we did them and now he’s saying I don’t really get nothing out of the check and I worked more then him. And. I think its. Wrong so he’s saying he get 5,960

    • Hi Tino,
      Without seeing the rest of your deductions it’s hard to say, but you can put your information in TurboTax to see how it comes out. It’s easy and you don’t have to pay anything until you’re ready to file.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  42. My parents have their 13 year old son in boarding school. When listing him as a dependent they ask if he lives with them throughout the year…. Do they put yes or no? He comes home on vacation and for their birthdays and other special days.

    • Hi Eri, Your parents should say yes to “did he lived with them throughout the year?” Attending school is considered “temporary absence” from his home. His real home is with your parents.

      Hope this answers your question.
      Lee

      • Thank you very much Lee! Does the same apply to an 18 yr old student away at a university?

  43. I have 3 kids, on odd years I can claim the two older children. I pay child support for all three. My oldest did turn 19 this past year and did not live with me , instead decided to live with her mom, but I paid support until she turned 19 in 2013 . I went to EFile and it was rejected because my ex claimed her as a dependent when in fact the divorce decree states I can claim her this year. Is the divorce decree the overall determining factor for claiming a dependent? Thanks for any answers you can give me.

    • Hi Tevan,
      Yes, if the divorce decree states that you can claim her that would be the determining factor. If it did not state who could claim her then there would be other tests. The other tests would be related to who the child lives with the most. If the child spends the same amount of time with you and your ex-wife then the IRS will allow the person with the higher AGI to claim them.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  44. We claimed our son as a dependent. He is currently enrolled in college. He worked last summer and at school and received two W2’s. We filed his Fed income tax return using 1040EZ. But when we called the NJ tax line, we were told that we cannot claim him in our NJ return when he files his own NJ itr. Is this correct?

  45. I pay college tuition for my son. How do I report this on our taxes and get some type of credit. I do not qualify for any EIC.

  46. My child graduated from college in June and found a job in July. She was my full time dependent until July. She now supports herself. Can I claim her as a dependent and she file taxes too? How does this work?

  47. My daughter is 24, a grad student and living at home. I pay for her college and expenses. I make over $180k so I can’t claim her college expenses. She made $3500 last year. Should she file separately and get the $240 that was withheld and claim no exemptions?
    Thanks

    • Hi Billy,
      Yes, she should file her tax return to get back what was withheld. If you have not already claimed her she should probably claim herself so she can deduct her college expenses as well.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  48. I am helping a friend with his taxes on TurboTax.
    His situation is: His ex-wife claims their child as a dependent but he pays for the childs health insurance. Can he get a credit / deduction for the health ins without claiming the child as a dependent? How?

    • Hi Thomas,
      Unfortunately in order to claim medical expenses for your child they must be a dependent at the time medical expenses were paid.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  49. I am married outside united state, I am in the process of bring him to US. should I claim him as depended? if I do he doesn’t have social s number and I won’t be able to submit my tax return.
    what should I do please help?

  50. Hi. My mom had to foreclose on her house last year. She had a reverse mortgage. She was not able to keep up with monthly bills since she was on a fixed income. (Social security only). She ended up moving in with us. Can I claim her as a dependent without the bank freezing our tax refund since she has a foreclosed property? Your advice would be greatly appreciated. Tx you for your time.

    • Hi Kristine,
      Your Mother’s foreclosure does not impact your tax refund. As long as you provided over half of her support, she didn’t earn $3,900 in earned income, and she meets the citizenship tests you can claim her.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  51. My fiancé’s parents want to claim him instead of him claiming himself. He is 23 and a full time student. We rent a house together and he lives with me half of the time. His name is on out rent and cable bill. They do not supplement more than half of his income. Can they still claim him?

    • Hi Kristen,
      If your fiance is 23 and a full time student he could be considered your fiance’s parents “qualifying child”, but they would not be able to deduct him unless he did not supply over half of his own support.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  52. my son turned 24 this April..zero income last year, no school..some personal problems prevented him from both, Am I able to claim him.// I pay everything for him and i am a single mom. So he was 23 last year..

    • Hi Mary,
      If he was a 23 year old non-student, you can claim him as a “qualifying relative” and not a “qualifying child”, so you would have to provide over half of his support, he could not earn over $3,900, and he would have to meet citizenship test.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  53. My son received a rejected return with the code F1040A-510. I claimed him as a dependent because he lives with us and he checked that he was being claimed as a dependent on his return. I let him take the education credit since he will be paying back his loan. What do I need to do to resolve this?

    • Hi Vic,
      You cannot claim him if you are allowing him to take the education credit. He will have to claim himself. He can paper file his tax return claiming himself and the education credit. You will have to amend your tax return not claiming him if it was already accepted.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  54. My daughter earned $1000 last year and has unearned income of less than $600. Can I claim my daughter as a dependent, and still have her file her own return?

    • Hi Ken,
      Yes, you can if you provided over half of her support. Also, when she files her taxes she cannot claim an exemption for herself. She will have to indicate on her taxes that someone else claimed her.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  55. Hello. I was wondering if I can claim the money I send back home on a monthly basis to help support my parents??? Please help thanks a lot.

    • Hi Taxesq,
      You could only claim them as a dependent and get $3,900 per parent, if you provided over half of their support, they did not make over $3,900 income, did not claim themselves, and met the citizenship test.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  56. Do you think it would be advisable not to claim her on ours since we cant claim her school tuition anyway? And do you think our $ owed will increase significantly? and if our daughter claim her tuition on her returns, would that increase her refund?

  57. Thank you. What would be the expected result if we do not claim us on ours? Do you think the $ we owe would increase significantly? And if she claim her school expense, that should increase her refund? right?

  58. If we claim our daughter on our tax return but unable to use her school tuition due to our total income, can our daughter use her tuition on her tax return? What is the plus and minus for claiming her on ours? And the benefit on her end if we don’t list her as dependent on ours? thank you

    • Hi! If you claim your daughter as a dependent on your tax return, you will get an exemption amount of up to $3,900 for her. It’s a deduction and reduces your taxable income. Then when she files her return, she won’t get that exemption/deduction.

      If you don’t claim her, when she files her return, she’ll get the exemption and also can claim any education credit/deduction that she qualifies for based on her tuition and books. Also if her earned income is low (less than $14,340), she may receive an earned income credit.

      Hope this answers your question.
      Lee

  59. If my daughter is listed as dependent in our return but can’t use her tuition on our taxes due to total income, can she claim her school tuition on her tax return? thank you

    • Hi! Your daughter can only show her tuition for education credits/deductions on her tax return if you are not claiming her on your tax return as a dependent.

      If you remove her as a dependent on your return, she is eligible for those education credit/deductions based on her education expenses.

      Hope this answers your question.
      Lee

  60. My daughter, 3, is with me about 10 days month. I dont have a custody agreement with her mother, and this year her mother told me she didn’t care if I claimed our daughter. Can I claim her even though she didn’t technically stay with me 6 months??

    • Hi Brett, Since your daughter resides with her mother for the greater number of nights during the year, the IRS considers her mother is considered the custodial parent.

      If the custodial parent isn’t going to claim the daughter, she can give you a signed Form 8332 to release the child to you to take as a dependent on your tax return. Here’s the link to the form at the IRS site: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8332.pdf. You will need to mail the return with your tax return. Don’t forget she needs to sign it.

      Hope this answers your question.

      Lee

  61. my daughter turned 18 in july of last year.. she did have a job but I supported her.. can I claim her as a dependent as well as her filing her own taxes?

    • Hi chalice, If your daughter was under the age of 19, lived with your for more than half the year, and she didn’t provide more than half of her own support (lodging, food, clothes, transportation, recreation), then you can claim her on your tax return and get the exemption amount of $3,900 for her as a dependent.

      When she files her tax return, she will let the software know that she is claimed on another’s tax return and won’t get the exemption amount on her tax return.

      Hope this answers your question.

      Lee

  62. Can I still claim my son as a dependent with the following conditions:

    1) 23 yrs old college student
    2) Lives at home
    3) Had $16,000 in earned income
    4) I provided more than half of his expenses

    • Hi Marco, Good question. As long as your son is: under 24 at the end of 2013, a full-time student during for any 5 months in 2013, he lived with you for more than half the year and he didn’t supply more than half of his own support (food, lodging, transportation, medical etc.), you can claim him as a dependent on your tax return. Your son will still need to file his own return- reporting his own income. He won’t have an exemption for himself on his tax return.

      Hope this answers your question.

  63. So I just had a baby and I haven’t lived my bf for a full year I’m confused do I file with him or not his mom says yes and some say no please help

    • Hi Joce,
      If you are not married you would not be able to file together. If you mean can he claim you as a dependent, he would be able to if you lived with him an entire year, he provided over half of your support, and you didn’t make over $3,900 for the entire year. Since you didn’t live with him the entire year you would file your own taxes and claim your baby if you had any income and were required to file.
      I hope this clears things up. If you use TurboTax it will ask simple questions about you and give you the deductions and credits you’re eligible for.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  64. I have 3 kids 10, 4 & 2 yrs old. they all are US citizens and live outside the country while I’m not a US citizen or a resident living and working in Dubai. Do I have to file/formalize anything with the IRS for these children ?

    • Hi I have a question? If my boyfriend is not legal here in California once he get married with me. Can he claim niece and mother in Mexico? And can he also claim his family here too? If the answer is yes. What the consequence that he have to paid in the future if he got for example disable want to apply for SSI? Thank u so much for your help and kind

  65. Any thoughts on my question you guys? Grad student, new baby, lived off my student loan refunds and $1900 in unemployment. Does this mean I don’t qualify for the $3900?

  66. My mother, who lived with me & had no income, has been my dependent. She died in March 2013. Can I claim her as my dependent again in 2013?

    • Hi Cleo,
      Sorry about your loss. Yes, you can still claim her as a dependent. TurboTax will ask you questions about your dependent and give you the deductions you’re eligible for.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  67. I have been in graduate school this past year and had a baby in December. I only earned $1900 in unemployment and we lived off my student loan refunds (about 4k per semester) plus help from my father. Can I still get the $3900 exemption for my baby even though my income was so low?

    • Hi Kate,
      Yes you can claim your baby,even though you have low income. Make sure you have the the correct social security number for your baby when you file your taxes.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  68. in north Dakota my Daughter had twins and lives with the father and she doesnt work or have any income he supports her and the twins. She has fed student loans that have been in default. can he claim my daughter on his return as a dependent with the twins without having to pay for any of her loans. She is 27 years old. or what are the options

  69. My daughter, who turned 19 in 2013 and was my dependent, filed her own 2013 tax return and took her personal exemption. Can we still claim her as a dependent? Maybe if she files a correction?

  70. My daughter worked part time during the summer and xamas months of 2013, she also has student loans in her name. I finaced her school year in 2013 thru parrent plus loan. Can i still carry her as a dependent on my taxes?

  71. In order to claim a grandchild who lived with me and for whom I provided more than half of his support my daughter, who also lives with me but has too much income to claim, must waive her claim to the dependant exemption. Do I use Form 8332 even though that Form seems to be intended to release the claim to the non-custoidial parent?

  72. Hello.

    I have a 3 year old daughter who is (and always has been) living at my house full time. Her biological father has only met her four times..back when she was 1 and a half years old. Him and I divorced while I was 6 months pregnant with her. Like I said, he’s only met her 4 times (each time for 30 mins) and has no interest in seeing her again. They have no contact with eachother..no phone calls, letters, etc. We haven’t spoken with him since his last visit a year and a half a go. My daughter doesn’t even know he exists…she calls my current husband “dad.”

    Anyway, this year my ex husband decided to claim my daughter on his taxes. I found out from my accountant. When I went to submit my taxes through, a red flag came up saying that her social security number was already used and that she had already been claimed as a dependent.

    Does he have a right to do this? He has no involvement in her life..by choice. He has a court order to pay a mere $50 a month in child support…which he is usually good with paying. Some months he doesn’t send it, but he does usually end up paying it back a month or two later. That being said, a child costs a hell of a lot more than $50 to support. I spend more than that in diapers for a month. Between food, mortgage fee’s, clothing, diapers, wipes and propane.. I end up spending a little under $2,000 a month. That isn’t even including the fun stuff like ballet lessons or toys and presents.

    Can he get away with this? What can I do? I have tried contacting him but he isn’t getting back to me. If I do end up reaching him, can he retract his initial claim of her as his dependent? Can I take him to court for this? Is this legal? We have no legal agreement stating who is allowed to claim her. But I have sole custody and he is completely absent from her life..with the exception of the $50 that he sends each month. Please help me with this, I am so upset. My family really can’t lose any extra money.. Thank you.

    PS: Just to reiterate, my daughter has lived with me 24/7 since birth. There has never been a court date that determined me the parent with sole custody. This is because my daughter biological father never attempted to get visitation or joint custody. So, I do have sole custody..but it was never ordered in a court. I’m not sure if this is relevant, but I wanted to give as much detail as possible. The only thing ordered in court was his $50/month child support. Thanks again

  73. Hi… my 20-yr old son, his 20-yr old wife, and their 7 month old baby (born August 2013) all live in my home. My son works full time (but for low income, they can’t afford to be on their own yet, but it is more than the $3900 limit), his wife does not work. He filed married filing jointly claiming himself, wife, and baby. I do not charge any rent or utilities, and provide food. I would say I definitely provide over half support for all three of them. I know that I cannot claim them as dependents because of their filing status. However, is there any type of credit or deduction I can claim for the support that I give??
    Thanks!

  74. IMy husband and I are retired with no taxable income for the past 6 yrs we have supported my daughter,her spouse and 3 childen. iii there any way I can ger financial help. We have used all savings and lost most of what we had. I ran us credit cards to keep them up help us now my credit is shot we can’t rent a house help!!

  75. I live with my mother and seventeen year old brother in my mother’s owned home, my mother has been unemployed for over a year and will not be filing taxes this year. I have been providing food and clothing for my brother, as well as small other expenses. We have received help from a family member at times for higher bills and my mom does receive a small amount of monthly food stamps. Would I be able to claim my brother?

    Thank you.

  76. I have a question about my adult daughter. She is now 31 years old and had a stem cell transplant about 3 and a half years ago. She is currently on oral chemo at present and will be on it for another 2 and a half years. She lives with me full time. I am a divorced parent maintaining a home by myself. She received disability checks the entire year of 2013 but also had part-time work as she was able. Must we count the disability check in the $3900 yearly limit? Am I able to claim her as an adult dependent if I provided for more than half of her needed financial support. I am confused on this as she receives disability yet makes money as well. Could you help me?

    • Hi! If you provide over half of your daughter’s support (food, lodging, clothing, transportations, recreation, etc.) and her income is under $3,900, you can claim her as a dependent. The $3,900 does not include income that is not taxable. If the disability income is taxed on her tax return, then it’s included in the $3,900 limit. If it’s not taxed, it’s not included in the limit.

      If you can take her as a dependent and you paid for more than half the cost of maintaining your home, and your daughter lived with you for more than half of 2013, you can file your return as head of household instead of single.

      Hope this answers your questions.
      Lee

      Hope this answers your questions.

  77. I am 26 still living at home, I am a self employed house cleaner. My dad claims me on his taxes because I still live at home, am I responsible to file my own taxes even though my dad does?

    • Hi! You’re asking a good tax question. Even though your father claimed you on his tax return, you still have to file your own tax return reporting your self-employed income and any other taxable income you might have. If you are using TurboTax to do your tax return, it will ask if someone is claiming you on their tax return. Be sure to answer yes.

      Hope this answers your question.
      Lee

  78. Hi, My daughter is 19 years old and a fullt ime student. However she still,lives with me and also works part time. When a file my taxes and claim her as my dpenedant, do I ahve to report her income and how do I do that on the turbo tax filing tool?
    Thank you in advance for you help!

    • Hi Luis, Even though you are reporting your daughter on your tax return, you don’t report her income on your return. She needs to file her own income tax return showing her part-time earnings and any other taxable income she might have… interest income?

      If you are using the Online TurboTax product, you will need to start a separate return for her. If you are using the download/CD TurboTax, you can prepare up to 5 separate returns.

      Hope this answers your question.

      Lee

  79. We are doing our taxes (for the first time in years) onTurbo Tax and have a daughter living at home, full time student with no job. We play all of her bills but cannot figure out how to do the expemtion on Turbo Tax. I looked at the IRS website and we should be able to claim her. Please help!

    • Hi Marisa, Yes, since she’s under 19 (regardless if she’s in school), lives with you more than half the year, she did not pay for more than half of her own living expenses (note: often parents answer this question incorrectly- it’s not you supporting her- it’s your daughter supporting herself), and she’s not a qualifying child of another taxpayers, you will get her as an exemption. When you preview your tax return, look for her name on the front page of 1040, line 6c Dependents.

      If you haven’t entered her information yet in TurboTax, go to the Person Info tab and scroll down and hit the edit button under Dependents. If you’ve already answered the questions, go back through and double check the answers on your daughter. Be sure to re-read the question “Did she pay for more than half of her living expenses?” The answer in your situation should be no. Also at the end of each dependent’s interview, TurboTax will tell you is the child qualified and if not, why.

      Hope this answer helps.
      Lee

  80. Hi,
    I stayed in US only for 4 months with my wife and son (3 years) in 2013 and returned to my country. I was in the US during the entire 2012 and part of 2011 with my family.

    Can my child be claimed as a dependent for 2013 return since my complete stay in 2013 was < 6 months ?

    Thanks
    -Raja

  81. Hi, I have a 22 year old daughter who works part time she made 3770 for the tax year 2013, she lives at home and is not a student, can my husband and I claim her on our taxes, we made 105,000 and file jointly or should she file and claim herself?

    • Hi Nancy, If you and your husband provided more than half of your daughter’s support (food, lodging, transportation, clothing, medical, etc.) and her gross income is less than $3,900 (sounds like it is), you can claim her on your tax return for the $3,900 exemption.

      If she only has $3,770 of income, she would owe no tax and would only file to get back any federal or state withholding. If you didn’t claim her and she filed, she might also get back an earned income credit for about $300. If you claim her, she will only get back her withholding.

      Hope this answers your questions.
      Lee

  82. My wife and I provided foster care for three children for 5 months in 2013. They lived with us for 5 months, and at two other houses (grandparents) for a few months at a time, so no one house for more than 5 months. None of the other relatives are going to file a tax return. I believe we can claim them as our dependents (qualifying relative, right?). But can we also claim the child tax credit for them?

  83. We have a 29 year old who did not work all year. We laid for inpatient drug and alcohol rehab. Can we deduct any of those expenses?

  84. Hi – my mother (a US permanent resident but not a yet citizen) lives with me for more than 6 months in the year. She does not have any income and I pay all her expenses (including purchasing private healthcare coverage). I have claimed her as a dependent in past tax years. With the new ObamaCare, will I be able to claim the subsidy since she has no income even though she is not a citizen? If she is eligible for the subsidy, do I need to have her file a separate return or can she claim the subsidy even though she is a dependent on my return? Thanks.

  85. Hi – my daughter is 18 years old, away at college, I pay all her college tuition and boarding expenses, she has a small index fund investment which generated less than $100 in dividend income in 2013. Do I claim her as a dependent and include her income under dividend income? Thanks.

  86. Good Morning,
    I filed tax return 2013 as a Single and put my two children as my dependent with ITIN number. I became a US citizen last year and my children and wife are going to immigrate to the USA next month as a US citizen and my wife as a permanet resident, they are under 16 yrs old and they are gonna have a SSN. I got some tax return but I am wondering if I can get more tax return if I update it as a married filing jointly and use a social security number for my wife and children. I didn’t put my wife on my tax return for 2013.
    Thank you much.

  87. My son is 22 and was a part time student in 2013. He started to work in October of 2013, he made 1,500.00. I paid his tuition and totally supported him. He filed income taxes for himself and when I tried to claim him mine got rejected. They certainly don’t think he could provide for himself a whole year with 1,500.00. If I just mail in my taxes will they let me claim him? Thanks for any help you can provide me with on this matter.

  88. Can my 2 adult married children help me with $250 each a month and claim it on their taxes I am 77 year old mother who lives alone

  89. My daughter is 30 years old and is a full time college student, her and my grandson live with me full time. She has grants and loans to pay for her tuition, but being as she has not worked this year, she cannot file taxes. Can I claim her and my grandson on mine and my husbands taxes? If so how do I go about this, her only funds are her child support and what extra she gets from her financial aide through the college. We pay for all of her car insurance, phone etc.

    • Hi Darla, Good questions. If you provided for 2013 more than half of the total support for your daughter (food, lodging, transportation, medical, etc.) and her income for 2013 that is taxable is less than $3,900 (this does not include her child support and nontaxable scholarships), then you can claim her as a “qualifying relative” dependent.

      Since your grandson is under the age of 19 and if he lived with you for more than half the year, he didn’t provide more than half his own support , and no one else is claiming him as a dependent on their return, you can claim him as a “qualifying child” dependent.

      If so, depending on your income, you may be eligible on your tax return for the child tax credit. If you pay for child care expenses, you could get the child care credit.

      Answer all the questions in TurboTax about your daughter and your grandson and TurboTax will determine for sure who you can claim and what deductions and credits you will get when claiming them.

      Hope this information was helpful.

      Lee

  90. The deadline is coming up , I still do not gave my daughters social , how can I file taxes without it ? Or can it be obtained from a tax representative ?

    • Hi Dionna,
      Sorry a tax representative cannot give you your daughter’s social security number. You will have to obtain it from the Social Security Administration and you will need her social security number in order to claim her and related tax deductions and credits. Hopefully you’ll receive it soon. You can e-file with TurboTax up until 11:59 on April 15th. You can start your return now and then when you receive your daughter’s social security number you can go back in your return and put it in.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  91. We have a son who is not our biological child and we did not legally adopt him. He came to live with us full time when he was orphaned at 17. My husband was his legal guardian, appointed by the court as our son’s request. He is now 22, a full time college student, but for most of 2013 he lived with us full time (while attending junior college) and we covered his room, board, utilities, auto insurance and registration, etc. In other words we without question provided more than 1/2 of his support. He had a part time job in 2013 and made about $5,000. I can’t find any IRS publication that deals with this. Since guardianships of competent minors typically dissolve when they turn 18, are we still his parents? I know we are in spirit – the question is whether or not the IRS would see it that way?

    • Hi! I don’t think your son is considered by the IRS as a family member since he was not adopted. When a non-relative lives with you all year, you provide more than half of their total support (food, lodging, etc.) and their gross income is less than $3,900, you can claim them as a dependent. Since your son’s income was more than $3,900, you can’t. Sorry.

      I hope this answers your question.

      Lee

      • What is the process to claim a minor who is a non-relative but was provided financial support for the entire year?

      • Hi! Good question. There are two types of dependents on a tax return: qualifying child and qualifying relative.

        You can only take a child who is related to you as a “qualifying child” on your tax return.

        To take a child as a “qualifying relative” dependent on your tax return, the child must have lived with you all year (since not a relative) , you provided over 50% of the child’s support (food, lodging, clothes, etc.), the child’s gross income is less than $3,900 AND the child is not a “qualifying child of any other taxpayer.”

        A child is not considered to be the qualifying child of another taxpayer if that other taxpayer is not required to file a return and doesn’t file a return.

        Hope this answers your question.
        Lee

      • TurboTax Lee: You are evidently incorrect. I posed the same question providing the same information to the IRS on their e-mail Tax Help system and they provided the opposite answer. “The child is considered a qualifying child because if he was placed with your husband by an authorized placement agency or by judgement, decree or other order of any court of competent jurisdiction. Then he would be considered a foster child to you husband.” Further, “Age, the child must be (a) under age 19 at the end of the year and younger than you (or your spouse, if filing jointly) (b) under age 24 at the end of the year, a full time student and younger than you (or your spouse if filing jointly), or (c) any age if permanently and totally disabled.” This child is under 24 and a full time student. The Turbo Tax program is incorrectly considering foster children who are over 18 as no longer a qualifying child. This appears to be at variance with the IRS rules.

  92. I have already filed through turbo tax and received my refund but the problem is my son, who turned 25 in Dec. lived with me all of 2013 and I claimed him as dependent on my taxes, although they X’d him out and I was only able to claim my 16 yo daughter. He now wants me to ammend my taxes and make sure he is not on mine so he can do his taxes and I wouldn’t have added him but it asked who lived in my home and who I supported; Turbotax did the rest. My question is, will this hurt my taxes? Will I owe anything? I’m confused…

  93. Hi,

    I was just wondering how my husband can get the child tax benefit for our two sons. I am from the states and am not elegible since I don’t currently have status or a SIN. How can we get the money through his SIN? He is a Canadian citizen by birth as are our two sons age 17 months and 2 months.

    Thanks!
    Katie

  94. I have an 18 yr old, high school student. She lives with with both parents( who are filing jointly). She does have a parent time job, but does not claim herself. We support her in every sense of the word. We have listed her as a dependent in turbo tax but it says she does not qualify for the child tax credit. Why are we not able to get the $1000 child tax?

  95. Hello,
    I’m a 20 year old full time student and I’m being filed as a dependent. I don’t pay for insurance, tuition, housing, food, etc. I did work throughout the year and have a gross income of about $16,000. Is it still “safe” for my parents to file me as a dependent, or should I file as an independent. This is also the first time I am filing tax returns, so is it possible they would be much more eager to check my papers?

  96. Hi, I have a question..it’s a bit of an tricky one.. I filed for my tax return and received a big check.. I am single and I stay at my workplace because it’s a hotel. but my parents are living with my uncle and aunt but paying some money to them as rent out of books. my father is unemployed and my mother is getting a very low salary. I had “somehow” i don’t know how this happened but filed my parents as dependents and I received alot of money from the IRS.

    the question is… i technically live with my uncle and aunt along with my parents even though i work at a hotel and lodge there as well. how was I able to claim for tax return for my parents without even owning an household to support them?

  97. I am emailing u to find out about filing my taxes free I am on public asst n can’t afford to file taxes this year do u have any ans where I can go or get them done cheap

  98. I want to know if I need to file taxes this year I haven’t worked only received child support. I was pregnant most of the year. I lost my baby in August. I was 8 months along. What do I need to do????

    • Amy, first my condolences on your loss. Losing a baby is a very hard thing to go through :(. As for filing your taxes, if you did not have any taxable income (child support is not taxable) then you are not required to file. Any other questions, let me know. I’ve been through this :(

  99. I have my daughter living in a 3 bedroom brick home that is payed for now all she pays is electric bill I dont charge her any rent I pay insurance upkeep and property tax she has 3 kids and gets child support she is going to college to better herself we also pay a lot of other things for I gave her a automobile last year and so on can I clams them on income tax we are all american born

  100. Hi, I work full time but my husband gets Social Security Disability. My question is, will I need to show the disability money as income on my taxes because the turbo tax program suggests I file jointly.
    Also, I’m a truck driver and my company pays a percentage of my income as Per Diem which is non taxable. Will I need to show the Per Diem on my tax form?

  101. This is crap!! I haven’t been able to claim my daughter via TURBO TAX!! Since she turned 16! She didn’t have income and I always put her DOB and SSN on my return! And it always came back as a red flag that only my son could be claimed! I’m a little bit pissed right about now!

  102. Hello,
    I had a few questions…
    I am 21 and a single mom I was a full time student up until May 2013…I still live with my mom rent free but I pay for food, clothing, my own bills (phone, car etc.) and everything for my daughter. I took a fulltime position in September and now have my own medical insurance and i made over $10,000 this year. I am now back in school and I am taking out my own loans can my mom still claim me?

  103. I am a US citizen who is married to a Mexican citizen who has two kids from a previous relationship. I live with my Mexican wife and kids in Mexico and I work in the US. I provide over 50 percent of their income. My wife and kids do not have social security numbers as they are not US citizens. Can I claim them as dependants?

  104. My father is a green card holder and his wife and his children live aboard. Can he claim his wife and his children? Like I said they live outside of the US and don’t have SS# or anything.

  105. My brother-in-law and 2 of his kids (ages 5 and 9) have been living with my husband and I this past year. The ex-girlfriend has already claimed them on her taxes (even though she does not support them and barely sees them). Can we still claim them on our taxes since we provide housing and food, etc.?
    My brother-in-law worked only 3 months this past year and probably made around $5000. If we can’t claim the kids, can he still claim them, since he’s been the parent that’s been in their lives this past year. Also, another one of their sons (age 13) lives with another family member, who provides 100% for him. But once again the ex-girlfriend already claimed him. Is there anything that can be done to benefit the people who actually take care of the kids? It just doesn’t seem right that the ‘parents’ get to claim the kids even though they aren’t supporting them or are barely interested in them.

    Thank you for you help!

    • FILE ON PAPER! SHE SHOULD NOT HAVE CLAIMED THE KIDS. YOUR BROTHER IN LAW SHOULD CLAIM HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD AND CLAIM THE 2 KIDS AND GET THE EITC. PLUS THE CHILD TAX CREDITS

    • If someone has already claimed the children as dependents, if anyone else claims them, that tax return will be rejected by the IRS unless it is mailed, accompanied by a letter explaining why the second claim is valid. The IRS will then investigate. Make sure the second claim is valid, that is, that the children lived with the person claiming them the amount of time necessary and are relatives or dependents as defined by the IRS. The “ex-girlfriend” (presumably the biological mother) who does not support her children or live with the children or have a divorce degree assigning their dependency to her is unlikely to be judged by the IRS to have a valid claim that they are her dependents. Your choices are: rat her out to the IRS on their tip line, and/or claim the kids as dependents or have the BIL do so and include a letter saying why (IF they qualify). The BIL made too much last year to be anyone’s dependent, but as the custodial parent probably has the right to claim them, but you might, too. IRS.gov has plenty of info about who is a dependent and under what conditions. Consult that info directly instead of getting your answers here secondhand.

  106. Hi. I have a 1 year old and am a single mom now, my tax person is asking me to get the ss# of the father, but i file single, because i am not married, so what would be the reason that he would want the father’s SS#?? Is it because I am claiming my son??

    • If you were never married to the father, you don’t need his SS#. If you get child support, you still don’t need his SS# because child support is not a taxable event. If you used to be married to him and are getting alimony, then he gets to deduct it and you have to report it as income and the IRS does need his name and SS#. If you used to be married to him at any time in the 2013 tax year, the IRS needs to know when the marriage ended to determine your Head of Household status. Also needs info from your divorce decree regarding who gets to claim the child as a dependent.

  107. My 22 year old son lived at school (college) and was a full time student from 1/1/2013 – 5/31/13. He made less than $1500 working, so he was more or less fully supported by my wife and me. He graduated, got a job, and supported himself from 6/1/2013 – 12/31/2013. Can I still claim him as a dependent?

    • You each get the same standard deduction and personal exemption if you file separately, which is what you would have to do if both of you earned over $3,900 in 2013. Only if one of you earned less than $3,900 and the other provided more than half of the support could one of you claim to be the Head of Household and claim the other as a dependent.

  108. I have a son 21 who was injured. I am his caregiver and he lives with me. What procedure or tax form do I file. Do I even have to report this

    • Hi Faye,
      If your son is permanently disabled and you provided over half of his support you can claim him as your dependent child on your tax return. If he is not considered permanently disabled, he still may be claimed as a qualifying relative on your taxes. I am not sure all of your other tax deductions, like medical bills related to taking care of your son, but if you use TurboTax it will take your answers to simple questions and put them on the appropriate tax forms for you so your taxes are done right. You don’t need to know which forms to put your information on.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  109. I have already filed my return thru Turbo. I use my car for work but have never figured out to get credit for that. Also, have an adult daughter that does not live with me but l have been financially helping out for a while, she does not live with me but l have been making rent, car, insurance & utilities payments on her behalf due to illness. Not sure what she made last year but more than $3900.00. Are there any tax credits I could take?

  110. My daughter went back to get her Masters and has been under my support for the last few years. I had always taken her as a dependent because I provide more than 50% of her support even though I do not pay her tuition for which she is taking out loans. This year she got a part-time job and earned approximately $10,000. She filed taxes and got a return. I am still providing more than 50% of her support while she is a full time grad student. She gives me nothing financially. Can I claim her as a dependent?

  111. Can I claim my 23 year old “half-time”grad school student as a dependent. She will file a separate form but not claim exemption.

  112. can i claim two of my us citizen grandchildren and theyre mom, which is my brothers daughter, who has been living with me since july 2 2013, and came from another country, but the other kid got here later last year, by the last week of september 2013 ? she just got employed this year. she didnt get a job last year, and her kids are minors.

  113. Hi,

    My husband stays in another country. he visited me for a month only.He didn’t have SSN. So can i claim exemption for him as he was fully dependent on me for that 1 month. And he didn’t have ant earning in US .
    Please help

  114. Hi, I live on my own and make on average 14,400 a year, also I am a full time studendt. The only thing my father provides me with is health insurance.

  115. i am 22 years old and on ssi. i take care of myself. i recieve 721.00 per month on ssi. can my step father claim me legally on his taxes? I pay my own rent and the rest opf my bills and food and live in my own apartment.

  116. Hi.. I was wondering if I can claim my us permanent resident parents living abroad as dependents? They are temporary living abroad but I do send money which accounts for more than 50% of their living expenses?

  117. Can my adopted brother claim my child since he helps me to support her and she’s disabled but we don’t live together I live in my home with my disabled daughter he lives and his girlfriends house but he helps me to provide for her and he helps me to pay bills so does he qualified to claim my daughter or me cuz I’m disable to, please get back to me this is my only question

  118. Hi can i claim my wifes expenses such as plane ticket,meals,passport fee, visa fee, medical,filing fees,etc.. my wife moved here in the U.S from the Philippines. Does this consider as moving expense? thanks

  119. My ex and I divorced about 3 years ago. My daughters live in Atlanta, and I’m in Florida. I lost my job at the end of January, and am required by the divorce decree to cover their health insurance. When I file for it through the marketplace, it says they would be eligible for a tax credit if their mother filed, but not if I file. Can I get a credit for the out of pocket insurance expenses for their coverage?

  120. my boyfriend has been living with me for the past year or so n ive been supporting him basically all year will i be able to file him as a dependent on my taxes he is 21 if that matters

  121. I’m engaged to a man who is not the father of my child. We live together, he buys everything for her, and he pays taxes on her. Can he claim her on his taxes?

  122. My husband and I separated March 2013, however we have not filed for divorce. We have a daughter,11, and I have a 19 yr old from a previous marriage, going to school full time. She received a federal as well as a state grant so we didn’t pay any out of pocket education expenses. She did some odd jobs, however only earned about $1500 last year. If I choose to prepare my taxes myself is there anything out of the ordinary I need to claim given those circumstances? also is it better to file separately from my husband? If so, do I claim head of household?

  123. hi i moved from phils to usa aug 4 ,2013 i got work in seattle in dec 3,2013 can i file itr and my wife is my dependent can she received anyting from the goverment

  124. Hi, can we claim our 25 year old full-time student/son as a dependent on our tax filing? He doesn’t work and receive little interest in bank. Can we claim him as ‘dependent’ every year until he has a job? Thank you!

  125. My son lives with his mother. She receives SS disability benefits for herself and also benefits for him.
    A) Does she need to file a return?
    B) If she does not, being that he receives benefits as part of her disability, does this prohibit me from claiming him as my dependent? I pay her child support that is not structured or court ordered.

  126. My parents just recently got Medicaid (They have no income aside from my father’s SS). Can I still claim both as dependents as I provide more than 1/2 of their support? I had heard that once on Medicaid I could no longer claim them as dependents…

    • I have been claiming my brother in law, father in law, and my husband’s uncle as dependents for the past 7 years and all three are on NJ medicaid. Other than their medical support not provided by me, I support their housing, food, clothing, transportation etc. The father & uncle have either SS or SSI which is considered unearned or non taxable income. They also must have resided with you or 6 or more months out o the previous year.

  127. My mom receives SS and some government assistance for my adopted little brother and nephew who she has custody of. They all live with me and help pay for food, clothing, housing, etc. I do not pay their medical insurance but will I be able to claim them for 2014 with the new Obamacare Act?

    • check to see if they qualify as a dependent first. If you do claim them, do they have medical insurance of their own? If not, you may be responsible for the penalty. However this is not clear because they may qualify for exceptions from insurance, but it is my understanding that if you claim them, you may need to provide insurance.

  128. We have been supporting our son who lives in another state. He is a single 45 yr. old graphic designer and out of work for four years. He has severe back and leg pain from an accident. It is difficult for him to get in and out of a car. He could work from home but those graphic jobs have dried up. No insurance and no medical attention. He gets no state or federal assistance. Can we get any break on our taxes? We are 75 and it is getting difficult.

    • Unfortunately no, medical expenses would have to have been incurred by either the wife/spouse (if filing jointly). Had he resided in your home for 6 or more months out of the tax year and earned less than the cap on earned income you would be able to claim him as an adult dependent only.

  129. I only made like 1111 dollars last year
    I could not work longer cause my
    Pregnancy was very severe. I had my daughter in Sept of 2013
    Will they give me tax return eve thought i made little??? I had a child during that year

  130. Pingback: Can I Claim My Parent/Parents as Dependents? | Tax Break: The TurboTax Blog

  131. My mom got my sister back from her adopted parents when she was 15 with their permission. She has gone to school and had a child at 16 and my mom had paid for everything for the both of them including school for my sister. She claimed my sister in her tax return last year and got the money now the IRS sent a letter asking my mom to repay because my sisters adopted parents had claimed her. Is my mom in the wrong when she was the one who has been taking care of my sister or does her adopted parents have that right to claim her? She hasn’t even seen her adoptive parents ever since they gave her back to my mom. What to do?

    • Your mom has the right to claim her as long as she can prove that they lived with her for the 12 months of the year and she fully supported them.

    • She would have had to be living with your mother for 6 or more months out of that tax year. Another legal sticky issue that can arise if proof be asked to be produced to the IRS is that the adoptive parents are by law considered the parents (not guardians). When legally adopted your mom gave up all parental rights. When your mom got ‘permission’ to have your sister back, that permission should NEVER be done via verbal, it should have been done legally seeing she was still 15 and not 16 (wherein some state law consider this age to be as an adult).

  132. I BEEN TAKING CARE OF MY NEPHEW WHO LIVES WITH ME FOR THE LAST 5YRS.WELL LAST YEAR HE DECIDED TO ATTEND AN ADULT EDUCATION SCHOOL AND GET HIS GED.WELL IVE BEEN CARRING HIM ON MY TAXES AS WELL. ITS BEEN 21DAYS TODAY SINCE I FILED MY TAXES IS THAT AFFECTING MY REFUND?

    • No if done by mail it can take 4-6 weeks, unless your nephew has worked and earned more than allowed it shouldn’t be an issue

  133. Hi. I was wondering if I can claim my parents as dependents but they live in the philippines? I send them about $300.00 or more a month. I appreciate anyone who answers. Thankyou

    • No. You cannot claim you husband as a dependent. You already get a deduction for him as married filing jointly.

  134. My father in law used my daughter in his tax return without my permission and without even telling me ,and I don’t live with him, I live with my mom and so does she what can I do?

    • Report him to the IRS NOW   Carol Jernigan

       

        Laugh when you can, apologize when you should, and let go of what you can’t change.  Kiss slowly, forgive quickly, play hard, take chances, give everything, and have  no regrets.  Life is too short to be anything but happy.         

    • My brother claimed my mom as dependent without telling me, I filed my taxes claiming my also as my dependent. What will happen?

  135. My brother in law worked this year and his wife did not, can he claim her as a dependant on line 5 on the 1040ez?

    • No. Spouses are not claim as dependent. File married filing jointly and get the $12,400 ($6,200 x 2) standard deduction instead of $3,950 exemption.

  136. My Fiance has a child he is considered the NCP. The CP does not have any taxable income, however, this is the second year she has allowed another of her children to claim his child on their taxes. She says this is because the child did not live with him for half of the year and his child support does not cover half of his expenses. The child does not live WITH the brother ALL of the children live together with the CP. Last year, we filed by mail and they are still processing to audit but just trying to get an idea if anyone has any information on this.

    Thanks.

    • my dgter is still a full time student in college and was for the year 2013. Is the goverment still allowing you to take this as a deduction when I file for 2014?
      Thank you for your help

      • YES.

         

          Laugh when you can, apologize when you should, and let go of what you can’t change.  Kiss slowly, forgive quickly, play hard, take chances, give everything, and have  no regrets.  Life is too short to be anything but happy.       

  137. I have 2 grandkids that I support. My daughter doesn’t work, lives in goverment housing and receives foodstamps.
    I feel that even though they do not live with me, I should be allowed to claim these kids as my dependants since I supply their needs.
    What are my options here? Besides move them in with me.

    • My 22 yr old son was a part-time student and had a part-time job he earned $4100 and still lives at home. I paid his tuition can I claim him as dependent

  138. My son is 19, and my return states he is not a qualifying child, and no deduction was given for him. He filed his taxes and checked the box, that no one can claim him The IRS rejected his return, because someone claimed him? If I am not getting a deduction, due to his age, why is this an error?

    • He is your qualifying child but not for the earn income credit as he is over 18 years. Seeing he filed his return and checked the box that no one can claim him, you should not put him on your return until you get the issues of him filing for himself and someone already claimed him resolve.

  139. I was divorced in 2006 and my divorce decree states that I may claim my child until she turns 18 or graduates from high school. I payed child support until june first of that year. Am I eligble to claim her for the whole year?

  140. My girlfriend has lived with me for two years. She worked in January 2013 and had our baby on 28Jan2013, so she only worked 28 days of all last year. She went on maternity leave for 3 months and never returned to work. She was a full time student all of last year but never had a job except for those 28 days. I support her completely and pay every bill. She does have student loans pay for school, but i pay those. i am claiming our now one year old son, but if she makes less than 3,900 can i claim her too? I have read multiple places yes but on IRS.gov i cannot find anywhere that says i can claim her.

    • she is your qualifying relative you will get her exemption 3900. you will have to file as a head of household because you are supporting your baby. You will get child tax credit and earned income credit too.

  141. My wife and I have a 21 year old daughter who was a full time student in the beginning of 2013. She had a baby in Nov and was not enrolled in the fall. She worked part time thru out the year and earned around $5000.(We have always claimed her as a dependent) She and the baby live with us and she is now back at school part time. Can I claim the baby (My grand daughter) as a dependent ?

  142. Hi my boyfriends mother kick out both of her sons in i let them stay at my house ,my boyfriend is over age so he help me out while i let his brother stay here his brother was 17 at the time and moved in around the end of may and stayed till the end of dec .November he turned 18 so he got a job in found his own place by the end of dec.we
    bought him clothes feed him and treated him as our own son .his adopt mother wanted nothing todo with him and
    want us to pit him in the system .because we took care of him most of last year my boyfriend calm him on his taxes ,we told his adopt mother and she went ahead in calmed him to after us ,she left him like a dog and now she want to claim him ,so she wrote a letter to the irs saying my boyfriend made the mistake .when really he didnt we took carr of him so its our right what should we do?

  143. My daughter turned 19 in july 2013..she lived with me and didnt work.. Can i claim her on the child credit..thank you

  144. How do I claim my son who is 17, a student, and lives with us, and is only in high school and has no job. Turbo Tax is automatically not letting me claim him. How do you go around this. He is still a child and not an adult. Thank you!

  145. Ok so maybe someone can help me… me and my girlfriend have a 6 month old daughter and we are living together. We are not married, so i know we cant file jointly. But my question is this, without a paternity test can i leagaly claim my daughter on my taxes? I have been reading into it and nothing i have read disputes my claim. This article i found on this same site supports it from what i am understanding. Its called “The Dirty Dozen: 12 Tricky Tax Dependent Dilemmas” .
    Unmarried Parents

    Q. My boyfriend and I live together with our 3-year-old son. Since we’re not married, we can’t file a joint return. Which one of us gets to claim our son as a dependent

    A. It’s up to you. Since he qualifies as a qualifying child for each of you, either parent may claim the child as a dependent. If you can’t decide, the exemption goes to whichever of you reports the higher Adjusted Gross Income on your separate taxreturn.

  146. Hi I want to file my taxes , but I am claiming my sister as a dependent , but she is a Resident of Mexico and currently lives there, I am paying for her school and her expenses, what documents do I need to succesfully claim her ????? And what are the steps??

  147. Hi, I’m 24, I have a one year old. I would be married, filing separately. I was made to believe if I’m on TANF, I should not bother filing?

  148. My 19 year old son and his 18 year old girl friend live with me and have no income. They have a 10 month old baby I have supported since birth, can I claim their child on my taxes??

    • Hi Rhonda,
      If you provided over half of their support, they don’t make over $3,900, and they are not filing their taxes and claiming the baby then you can claim their child on your taxes.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

      • Hi Lisa, what if i had a son who was enrolled as a three quarter student (only needed 9 hours to graduate this spring)….., does this mean he is not a qualified dependent for me? All other criteria was met

    • I believe you can claim your son and girlfriend too as a qualifying relative which means you will get an exemption of 3900 for each one which can help you to reduce your tax liability

  149. Can education expenses such as tuition and supplies that was paid for thru a student loan
    and paid directly to the school be considered a deduction that I can use? What is publication 970? Thanks!!

  150. I am going to claim the 30 million on Welfare and govt. assistance, since I am paying for them to sit on their fat axxes.

  151. Here’s my situation: All of my 3 grown children and a granddaughter, plus daughter’s b/f, live with us. One son receives SSDI; other son, daughter and b/f all work. They live with us because they cannot afford to live on their own; we do not 100% support them, it’s more like half or 3/4. My daughter, her b/f and one son all file their taxes on their own. Is there any deduction my husband and I can take?

    • Let’s see. The b/f is out because he is not related to you. Unless your son and daughter who work earn less than $3,900 each, you cannot claim them as dependents. That leaves the son who receives SSDI which I’m assuming is Soc Sec Disability Insurance. If you are providing more than 1/2 his support for the year, then I would say he is your dependent. I’m assuming that your daughter is carrying her daughter on her taxes; but she should see which of you would receive the biggest benefit if you carried her. Check with your tax professional.

  152. 23 year old non-student son is supported by me. If he earned $ 3900 during 2013, my understanding is that I cannot take the exemption, correct?

    Can he file without taking an exemption so that I can do so to get his WH back?

    I also support (son court ordered to pay child support & health ins) his daughter who lives with her mother (not working & lives with her mom). Can I take an exemption for my granddaughter as well ?

  153. Hi , My mom is a US immigrant – a green card holder, she arrived here last 5-July 2013 . She is not working here & she is my dependent – can I claim her on my tax retrun this year?

  154. My ex-wife still lives with me and she earned $0 last year. We were divorced 4 years ago.Can I claim her as a dependent? She was an alcoholic but is now sober but cant find work. I pay for everything

      • Hi Donna, I have a question..it’s a bit of an tricky one.. I filed for my tax return and received a big check.. I am single and I stay at my workplace because it’s a hotel. but my parents are living with my uncle and aunt but paying some money to them as rent out of books. my father is unemployed and my mother is getting a very low salary. I had “somehow” i don’t know how this happened but filed my parents as dependents and I received alot of money from the IRS.

        the question is… i technically live with my uncle and aunt along with my parents even though i work at a hotel and lodge there as well. how was I able to claim for tax return for my parents without even owning an household to support them?

  155. Hi Ellen,

    My parents live in India and they visit me once in two years and stay with me for 6 months. Can I claim them as dependents for the year they are with me ?

    Also, my both nephews who are citizens of India came to US to do their masters. Currently I am supporting them for their living exepenses, do you think I can claim them as my dependents ?

    Thank you for help!!

    • Hi Ellen,
      The first requirement is that your parents would need to be US citizen, U.S. resident alien, U.S. national, or a resident of Canada or Mexico. If they don’t meet these requirements as well as the other tests, you cannot claim them.
      Regarding your nephews, you can not claim them because your nephews would have to live with yo under a written agreement between you and a qualified organi­zation (defined later) as part of a program of the organization to provide educational opportunities for the student,and they cannot be your relative.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

      • “The first requirement is that your parents would need to be US citizen, U.S. resident alien, U.S. national, or a resident of Canada or Mexico. “, how to define ‘U.S. resident alien’ here? Is it same thing as http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc851.html, as long as they meet “substantial presence test.”, they’re U.S. resident alien? Thanks.

  156. My daughter turned 24 in 2013, decided to go to college and received a pell grant. Is it OK to claim her as a dependent relative (she lives at home and we pay all her expenses)? I don’t want to mess up her pell grant, but would like to claim her if legal. Thanks

  157. My son is 28 lives at home and was recently diagnosed with a debilitating illness. He has not worked in years. He is supposed to receive disability sometime (?) He attends college. I pay for everything. May I claim him?

    Thank you
    lyn

    • YES YOU CAN AND YOU MAY QUALIFY FOR AN EARNED INCOME CREDIT AS HE WAS A MEMBER OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD AND DISABLED.

  158. My son was 23 in 2013, he works part time, lives at home, and goes to school part time. He made $10,500 in 2013. I pay his car, tuition, books, old student loans, car insurance, medical insurance, more than half his expenses. Can I claim him on my taxes? Can I claim his tuition? I am single and he lives with me. Just Two in our household. Help!
    Thank you!

    • Dear EvelynR
      If I weren’t so technologically challenged I would have thought of doing this when I first started to answer a few days ago. Below is IRS chart–which I will apply to your facts (after the chart) I tried to copy and paste. It did not come out perfectly –but the essential items are here. After some preliminary comments about the chart (by the IRS)–you first encounter tests to be a qualifying child.// If you don’t meet those tests you test for qualifying relative. Footnotes to the chart are below the 2 tests.(IRS footnotes)

      Table 3-1. Overview of the Rules for Claiming an Exemption for a Dependent

      Caution. This table is only an overview of the rules. For details, see the rest of this chapter.
      You cannot claim any dependents if you (or your spouse, if filing jointly) could be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer.
      You cannot claim a married person who files a joint return as a dependent unless that joint return is filed only to claim a refund of withheld income tax or estimated tax paid.
      You cannot claim a person as a dependent unless that person is a U.S. citizen, U.S. resident alien, U.S. national, or a resident of Canada or Mexico.1
      You cannot claim a person as a dependent unless that person is your qualifying child or qualifying relative.
      ————————————————
      TESTS TO BE A QUALIFYING CHILD

      1. The child must be your son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, brother, sister, half brother, half sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or a descendant of any of them.
      2. The child must be (a) under age 19 at the end of the year and younger than you (or your spouse, if filing jointly), (b) under age 24 at the end of the year, a student, and younger than you (or your spouse, if filing jointly), or (c) any age if permanently and totally disabled.
      3. The child must have lived with you for more than half of the year.
      4. The child must not have provided more than half of his or her own support for the year.
      5. The child is not filing a joint return for the year (unless that return is filed only to get a refund of income tax withheld or estimated tax paid).
      If the child meets the rules to be a qualifying child of more than one person, only one person can actually treat the child as a qualifying child. See the Special Rule for Qualifying Child of More Than One Person to find out which person is the person entitled to claim the child as a qualifying child.

      TESTS TO BEING A QUALIFYING RELATIVE
      1. The person cannot be your qualifying child or the qualifying child of any other taxpayer.
      2. The person either (a) must be related to you in one of the ways listed under Relatives who do not have to live with you, or (b) must live with you all year as a member of your household2 (and your relationship must not violate local law).
      3. The person’s gross income for the year must be less than $3,900.
      4. You must provide more than half of the person’s total support for the year.

      FOOTNOTES TO BOTH TESTS
      
      1There is an exception for certain adopted children.
      2There are exceptions for temporary absences, children who were born or died during the year, children of divorced or separated parents (or
      parents who live apart), and kidnapped children.
      3There is an exception if the person is disabled and has income from a sheltered workshop.
      4There are exceptions for multiple support agreements, children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart), and kidnapped
      children.

      Applying your facts. Look at Tests to be a qualifying child–test #2. Since your son was not under 19 by the end of the year you would have to fit under the alternatives. If he were a student –this has been ruled to mean FULL TIME student, You say he was a part-time student.. If your son was not permanently and totally disabled –this test #2 would not be passed and you have to see if he would qualify under tests to be a qualifying relative.

      Under qualifying relative–test #3 is ” The person’s gross income for the year must be less than $3,900.

      From the facts you presented it does not appear you can take an exemption for your son.

      The chart for head of household does not lend itself to copying here. I assume your son is single. If so–what you show as the facts , leads to the conclusion even though you cannot claim an exemption for him you can file as head of household. The chart: go to IRS.gov select pub17 to download and go to page 24 of pub 17.

      Medical expenses: Pub17–page 144 and 145. You can deduct the amounts paid for your son’s medical even if you can’t take an exemption for him—if the only reason you couldn’t take a deduction for him is that his gross income is $3,00 or more. Go back to the qualifying RELATIVE tests. From what you say that appears to be the case.

      As to tuition: It is my understanding that if you cannot take an exemption for the student –only the student can claim an education credit no matter who paid the expense. Additional research is needed on the “education aspect”

      Do not blindly rely on my opinion. I gave you most of the citations. Please double check me and if you see otherwise let me know.

      MattyP

      MattyP

  159. My 21 y.o. son and his girlfriend had a daughter in Feb. ’13. They are a couple, however, unemployed g/f and baby live with g/f mom and son loves with me. My son spends his waking hours at work or at g/f house and only sleeps at my house. He pays support, health ins. and for everything to raise baby. G/f mom advised my son that she’s claiming granddaughter on her taxes stating that she’s the one who puts roof over baby’s head. Does this leave my son out in the cold as far as reaping any tax benefits for his daughter?

    • I’m Sorry but your son has the right to claim his baby not the other grandmother. if he is supporting her with court ordered child support, and Ins. he has every right to claim his child.

    • SON CLAIMS. HE IS THE FATHER AND AS LONG AS HE SUPPORTS THE CHILD OVER 50% THE EXEMPTION IS HIS. HE SHOULD DOCUMENT EVERYTHING HE BUYS, PAYS, ETC. RELATIVE TO THE CARE OF THE CHILD AND MOTHER.

  160. In 2013 my son was 23 years old, part time student, and income was $10,000. He lives with me (just the 2 of us in our household). Although he made $10,000 in 2013 I pay all his expenses; food, medical, car insurance, old student loans, including his present tuition. Can I claim him on my taxes? Can I claim the tuition I paid for his school?

    Thank you!

  161. My daughter was a full time student for exactly half of 2013. Now she worked for the other half of the year, and paid taxes, I assume. She wants to file her own return. So I guess I won’t be able to claim her as a dependent on mine, even though she was my dependent for the first half of the year? Can I still half claim her? Do I get anything back for her being my dependent for the first half of the year?

  162. since there are grandparents supporting grand-children, there should be a “grandchild” option in the dependent section . I already e-filed my taxes claiming my granddaughters as my daughters, since there was not a “grand child” option. Will this delay my return?

  163. I do my brother’s taxes, and 2013 is questionable as it relates to a “qualifying child.” He supported his daughter over half the year, and she moved the rest of the year. Am I responsible for informing the other people she lived with just to make certain all is correct?

    Also, her daughter was born in March and remained with my brother. as well until they both relocated with her boyfriend’s parents. Please confirm my perception on this.

    Thanks,
    Carol A. Jernigan

    • If your brother supported his daughter in 2013 even though his daughter moved to another state with her mom, as long as the mother will not not claim her in her income tax, your brother can still claim her as his dependent.

  164. I live in NY, support my girlfriend that lives with me and who was unemployed for 2013-can I claim her as a dependent?

    • Sorry you cannot claim her as your dependent. You need to be married in order to claim her as your dependent in 2013. Also if you are married, you can be the head of the houseold which is more deduction for personal exemption.
      Get married in 2014 and is she is still not working and supporting her in 2014, then you can use her as dependent when you file your 2014 income tax

      • Hi Gerni and James,
        You do not need to be married to claim someone like a girlfriend as a dependent. A non relative just has to live with the person claiming them all year and she would not be able to make over $3,900 for the year. Also, your spouse is never considered a dependent. Please see publication 501 regarding dependents and claiming non-relatives.
        http://www.irs.gov/publications/p501/ar02.html#en_US_2013_publink1000220954
        Member of Household or Relationship Test

        To meet this test, a person must either:

        Live with you all year as a member of your household, or

        Be related to you in one of the ways listed under Relatives who do not have to live with you . TurboTax is also up to date with IRS tax laws so you will get the tax deductions and credits you’re eligible for.
        Thank you,
        Lisa Greene-Lewis

      • I SAY SHE IS A HOUSEHOLD MEMBER AND YOU CAN CLAIM HER. THE REGS DEFINE HOUSEHOLD MEMBERS AS DEPENDENTS. I WOULD CLAIM HER.

  165. My boyfriend has lived with me in my home for 12 years now. I have no income for 2013, therefore, he has provided all support for me. Can he claim me as a dependent on his tax return?

      • Gerni, seems to post more incorrect answers than right- please do some research prior to replying as not to further confuse people who are seeking answers that will help them.

    • Yes he can!

      You do not need to be married to claim someone like a girlfriend as a dependent. A non relative just has to live with the person claiming them all year and would not be able to make over $3,900 for the year.
      Member of Household or Relationship Test
      To meet this test, a person must:
      Live with you all year as a member of your household.TurboTax is also up to date with IRS tax laws so you will get the tax deductions and credits you’re eligible for.

  166. My daughter is 21 and lives at home still. She is a full time student but does have a job in which she made $9500 this yr at. Do I get to claim her?

  167. My sister is a single mother back home in Pakistan and I support her kids and herself as they do not get any child support for we do not have any such laws in that part of the world. Can I claim her on my tax returns and get deductibles.

    Please let me know.

  168. My Father and Mother-in-law live in Panama. My Father-in-law gets 250.00 a month for his retirement income. We send 160.00 every month to them. Can I claim them as dependents? They have no SSN and are panama residents.

    • No you cannot claim your Father in law as our dependent. He lives outside the US and also claiming a person as your dependent needs a SSS number or at least you apply for SSS. In your case there is no way your father in law can apply for SSS since he reside in Panama. You can only claim a person as your dependent if they live in the US or US terrirory and also if this person has SSS. The tax refurn form will ask for SSS number (s) for your dependent9s)

  169. My 79 year old mother in law resides with me and my wife in NYC since June, 2013 due to an illness and we financially support her. She received $14,400 last year in social security, however out of this money she paid $8,000( rent and utilities for a mobile home in Florida) which is up for sale. She is unable to move back to Florida. Can I use her as an exemption for 2013? Thank You. Tom M.

  170. I had full custody of my granddaughter she lived with us for 5/1/2 months while graduating from high school in 2013. She nmarried in late June 2013 after graduating from hight school at age 18. Can I claim her for a portion of the year?

    • Unfortunately, you can’t! TheIRS will tell you if your child’s social security number has been used, but will not release the name of the person who used it.
      If they didn’t have the legal right to claim your child(ren) & you do, you do have options- & I would definitely report the illegal use of the SSNs!

    • The IRS will never tell you, once they determine who is the right taxpayer to claim the dependent/s they will give the refund accordingly. The wrong souls just will get a letter stating they have a bill to repay. Your correct refund should be enough. You will not have the satisfaction of knowing who the thief might be. The process of the paper filing and documentation is tedious. Good luck

  171. My son has 2 children that he gets to claim as dependents this year, neither one of the mothers work and don.t file income tax , can he also claim unearned income as well ,

  172. I am seperated and i Have a two sons tht are with me and my little girl is living with mom. We are going to file seperate. She is going to claim my daughter and I’m going to claim my two sons. One is 13 and the other 19. Is this ok

  173. My daughter is 20 a full time student she earned 5300 last summer working part time. Can she file? Even If I claim her as a dependent? she has never filed before. Please give some advice. Last year i paid 182.00 to H&R Block. i can’t afford to do that this year. Thanks

    • You may claim your daughter because she is a student and she can file simply to be refunded the federal income tax that she paid in. Go to the IRS website to free file and she can do her return at no cost.

  174. I am a great grand mother. My great grand son has live with me for a year. I provided all the support for him. Neither of his parents have provided any support for him. Can I claim him on my taxes?

  175. My disabled Daughter and her two children live with me. She is on SSDI and also receives 9,000 LTD from insurance. I pay all household expenses. Since she is perm disabled can I claim her and her children ?

  176. my mother in law is an immigrant. But she went home to Phils and lives there now.My husband support her financially. Can we claim her as dependent ? she has SSn

    • the law stated that to be considered “dependent” he or she must be residing in the US to claim this person in your income tax, but the form does not specify this, so legally you cannot.

  177. I have two developmentally disabled young men that live in my home. One (22) is my biological son and the other (19) I am the legal guardian of. Both receive SSI and pay a portion of that to me in room and board. They have no other income. Can they be claimed as dependents on my taxes?

  178. Married. I receive $12,875 SSDI. He makes $70,000 a year. We file married filing jointly. Is my SSDI considered taxable income. Evelyn

  179. My father in law lives with us. He collects SS and a small pension. We do everything for him. Meals, trips to the Doctor, etc. Can we claim him?

  180. We have a daughter who is 36 years old. She has been in various legal instances throughout her whole life and consequently has lived with us off and on. She has never worked on a steady basis most of her adult life, again for various reasons not the least of which involved drugs, rehab, incarceration, and a bad marriage. We gained custody of her two daughters years ago, and her two boys live with the father’s mother. Now, for this year. She lived with us from January through April of 2013, of which we were her sole support. She then was incarcerated from the end of April through the 1st of July at which time she returned to our home. While she was away, we also paid for all phone and commissary items which was not cheap. She lived with us again from 1st of July through October 2013. We were sole support. She was incarcerated again the end of October until the present, and is due to come home in a few weeks, hopefully with all charges being changed to misdemeanors. During this last incarceration, we have paid all phone, commissary items needed. We also provided a hot cart meal once a week. The question is, as you may have guessed, can we claim her as a dependent for 2013 when for part of the year she was incarcerated? Thank you for your time and advice. I would also like to add that her expenses included any health aides as she is and has bee on Medicaid all along which as you probably also know does not cover for everyday medicines such items as cold medicines. Again Thank you!

    • We have a daughter who is 36 years old. She has lived with us off and on for most of her life. She lived with us from January through April of 2013, of which we were her sole support. She then was incarcerated from the end of April through the 1st of July at which time she returned to our home. While she was incarcerated we paid for all phone and commissary items as needed She then lived with us again from 1st of July through October 2013 and again we were sole support. She was incarcerated again the end of October until the present. During this last incarceration, we paid all phone, commissary items, and foods as needed. Can we claim her as a dependent for 2013? Thank you for your time and advice.

      • We have a daughter who is 36 years old. She lived with us from January through April of 2013, of which we were her sole support. She then lived with us again from 1st of July through October 2013 and again we were sole support. Can we claim her as a dependent for 2013? Thank you for your time and advice.

  181. My three older children live with me (21, 21, 33) all unable to support themselves outside of the home. They contribute nothing in that support. We provide Insurance (Health & Car), pay thier bills so forth and so on. One had no job for 8 months, th eother did not make enpough to live on his own and the last could not afford school as he did not qualify this year for instate tuition. Can I claim any of these dependents?

  182. My daughter turned 21 last June. She graduated from college in June. She earned $8200.00 for last year, but we still support her (rent, gas, auto and medical). Can we claim her as a dependent on our tax return?

    • Yes, she is considered a student in school for at least 5 months during the year and is your child. This will be the last year you can claim her.

    • If you give more than half of her income in 2013, then you can claim her as your dependent, but she need to file her own income tax so she cannot claim or count herself as an exemption . If she check box 6a ( exemption ) then you cannot claim her as your dependent. If has to pay income tax, then do not claim her as your dependent.

  183. My granddaughter stayed with me last year on and off for over 5 months, not consecutive months. Her mom lost her job March 2013 and left her no income. Granddaughter is a resident of Texas and is getting $105 per month for govt assistance. Now she is with us again since October and pays for everything including babysitting and daycare.Can we claim her if her mom does not claim her bc of no income on her part?

  184. My 21 year old daughter is a full time college student and lives at home with me. She received student loans, and I provided more than half of her support. I believe she got the loans as a “dependent” student but I am not sure. I know they needed to see my tax returns when she did financial aid. Can I claim her as a dependent, and does she need to file a return since she got student loans?

  185. My son is a full time student. I pay approximately $12000 a year for his tuition and housing, insurance etc. His mother claims him on her taxes. Can I deduct the money I give him.

    • Hi Randy,
      You can only deduct expenses you pay for college students if you claim them as a dependent on your taxes so you would not be able to.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

    • in order to take the education credit, he has to be your dependent. Also the money has to be paid to the college, if you just give it to your son, it is a gift and not anything you can take as a deduction on your return. If he were my son, I would have him sign a note for the funds and expect to be repaid after he graduates.

    • Lisa and Erik as both correct. FYI: Tuition/ school supplies/ computer etc are the only one you can use for deduction ( housing, insurance not included).

  186. My daughter has been living with me now for a year. She moved back home unemployed and pregnant. She worked 6 months in the year 2013, I had to take care of her and the baby for 6 months. Can I file the baby on my taxes. I’m the grandmother.

    • depending on how much she earned during those 6 months, you may be able to claim them both on your taxes. but if she earned a substantial amount, she can claim her baby
      and she should definitely share her refund with you.

  187. I support nearly 47% of the American population with food stamps, free phones and other tax payer funded money. Can I claim this? Oh, and now I’m buying them insurance too.

  188. I have been the voluntary caregiver (CPS ordered) to my niece (2 yr old) and nephew (1 yr old) for the last 6 months of the year. Do i have a legal right to claim at least one of the children since I have had them atleast 1/2 of the year? The mother is not being cooperative and refuses to let me claim them, or even one of the kids. It just doesnt seem fair.

    • I am a foster parent in florida. In my state, YOU could claim both children. Mom shouldn’t be able to claim either child since they were NOT in her household. Parents of children that we have fostered have claimed their kids even though they would be told not to by case managers. However, when this happened, we would still be able to claim a child provided that we had the child more than 6 months of the year. We were provided proof by the dept that we had custody. Appeal to your case manager at CPS. They should be able to tell the mother about this. If she claims kids before you do, IRS will go after Mom for the money, but armed with proof from CPS you can and should claim these children that YOU and NOT Mom have made provision for. You are right, It wouldn’t be the least bit fair to be anything else. MOM should be given a reality check. If she doesn’t provide for the children, SHE doesn’t get to claim them! Call the case manager ASAP!

    • lol, As one of the overtaxed hardworking 53% I share your pain!
      Unfortunately, the answer is no, none are deductible.

  189. My daughter is 24 yrs old at the end of 2013, she did not attend school in 2013 but she did work starting May 2013 – I don’t know what she has made from May to Dec as of yet and she has 2 kids – all of them has lived with me during 2013 and i have provided all care – rent; bills; car insurance for her; paid for some day care for the kids, etc. Can I claim any of them? Could anyone answer this for me?

  190. Hi,
    i just have a question reguarding my boyfriend he has not worked all year only worked a couple months but has been in school since and i have been saporting him all year and we do live together can i claim him as a dependent

  191. My daughter is 18/full time college student, my son is 21/full time college student. My son works and makes over $3900 and Daughter works however, I think she made under $3900 last year. They both live at home. How should they file and can I claim them both? I am also a full time student/single parent. Also, I did not claim my son(full time student 2012) last year, may I file an amended 2012 return if he made under $3900?

  192. I am disabled and live with my mother. I collect SSDI but am not required to pay taxes due to the amount. Further more, I own a home I cannot stay in but my income goes to the upkeep of that home. No one lives there at this time. It is not rental property. I am just unable to live there right now. My mother supports me. She provides the roof over my head, all of the utilities, puts gas in my car, pays for my prescriptions, and buys almost all of the groceries ( I do get $80.00 in SNAP benefits each month.). Can she claim me on her taxes?

  193. My daughter is 37 years old and permantly disabled. She has lived with us on and off and has never been able to support herself. She finally received SSI and Medicaid. She lived with us about 6 months in 2013. She had not had any income for years so we supported her or she lived with her aunt awhile. We finally found her a subsidized apartment. We still have to provide financial support because she cannot live on just SSI. Can we claim her for 2013? Can we claim her any further since she has moved out even though we still provide some support?

  194. last year, my son was 22, he just turned 23 january 9,2014. he lives with me full time and he did not go to college for the year of 2013. Can I still claim him as a dependent on my income tax.?

  195. We came in the US year 2008 with H1B Visa & H4 VISA but now expired. My husband worked full time last year & was issued W2 by his employer. Based on IRS, we are considered US resident for tax payment purposes only, based on substantial test presence. Can my husband claim me & my son as dependent? How? We do not have SSS number, can we get TIN number from IRS? Can he file child tax credit for our son?

    • Yes your husband can claim both of you as dependent. If son is born in US, he qualifies for SSN, if not, both of you qualify as his dependent and can obtain a TIN number after proving to IRS that your SSN has been denied. The prime condition is you and your son must be present physically in the USA for 181+ days, not necessarily continuously.

      • Thank you for the reply Ms. Vicky Chan. Can my husband claim tax credit even if our son is not born here & our son doesn’t have an SSN?

  196. Hi,
    My 23 year old son and his two children has been living with me since May, 2013. He and his wife broke up. I have been their sole provider of all their needs. Can I claim as dependents.
    Thank you for your help.
    David

    • If you are supporting you the two children and your son is not claiming the two children in his income tax return, then you can claim them as your dependent. If your son doesn;t work or you provide half of the support,then you can claim your son too as dependent,

  197. I have a family of 7, myself and husband, I have a 25 year old (part-time student), 25 year old daughter with a 2 year old child, 22 year old daughter, and a 19 year old son. All have full time jobs, can I claim all 5 on my taxes as they all live home and are part time students. My daughter with the child wants to claim her daughter but Im not sure the best route to take on this. Your help is really appreciated.

  198. My son just turned 18 this past December. His mother and I are divorced and she has claimed our son since the divorce. Now he is starting college and she is not planning on paying any of his tuition but I am. Am I allowed to claim my son as my dependent base on my financial support or since he’s 18 years of age is it his chose?

  199. I have two disabled young men living with me. One (my biological son) is 22 and has Autism. The other is 19 and developmentally disabled – I am his legal guardian. Both receive SSI and pay a portion of that to me as room and board. I am paid by the state to care for them. Can I claim them as dependents?

  200. Can I file my girlfriends son? We have 2 other children together. We have been together since 2009 and her son was 2 yrs. old. I provide all financial needs for everyone.

  201. Using Turbo Tax for 2013. My son is 24 and graduated from college in May 2013 qualifying for 5 months of college. He made over $3900.
    Based on this info, Turbo Tax says I can’t claim him as a dependent. However, if I input that he made under $3900, they I am allowed to claim him as a dependent. This does not make sense based on Turbo Tax’s own definition of dependent. According to definition, dependent has to be under 24. Why does Turbo Tax let me claim him if he is already 24 as long as he hasn’t made $3900. Sounds like the income is the determining factor. I need clarification. Thanks

    • Hi Darlene,
      Your son was a student not under 24; therefore, he cannot be considered a “qualifying child”, if you have a child that doesn’t meet the age test they can still be considered a “qualifying relative”, however a “qualifying relative” cannot make over $3,900 for 2013. This is not TurboTax definition. We follow IRS publication 501 http://www.irs.gov/publications/p501/ar02.html#en_US_2013_publink1000220886
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

      • I am also using Turbo Tax for 2013. My daughter is 22, graduated with a 4 year degree in May 2013, and is continuing college in grad school. She also made over $3900 in part time jobs. Turbo Tax also told us that we can’t claim her as a dependent due to the amount of her income.

  202. My son turned 19 in 13. He lived with me until August, when he left for basic training. Can I claim him as a dependent? What if he decides to file?

  203. I’ve been supporting someone for the passed 5 month (2013) they have no source of income and I have paid more then 50% of their expenses can I claim them on my taxes.

  204. i support my disable brother for so many years now but he lives in the Philippines can i claim him. i send theem $300.00 or more a month.

    • Sorry, your brother lives in the Philippines, not in the US. He doesn not have SSS too and these two are major requirements to claim your brother in the US as your dependent. Even though you supported him for so many years.

  205. My daughter left her abusive husband in Dec. of 2012. She worked a minimun wage job until Sept. of 2013 when she and our 7 year old granddaughter moved back with me and my husband who live in another state. I don’t know how much she made in the other state. She didn’t have a job here until the end of Oct. and I doubt that she has made $3,900 in those last three months. We have been their main support and even sent them money every month before they moved back. The husband, soon to be ex, gives no monetary support to them even though it was court ordered last year. Can we claim one or both of them?

  206. My 17 year old son is a full time high school student and lives with me. Working a part time job, he earned $8700 in 2013. Can he file a 1040ez and claim himself as a dependent and can I claim him as a dependent as well? The cost to support him, clothes, medical, housing, food, school supplies and fees, etc was still paid by me so I feel I should be able to claim him as well.

  207. My wife and I are married and filing jointly. My wife has a fulltime job but also a part-time watching over my father as a PCA through an agency. Can I stil claim my father as a dependant?

  208. My daughter is 22 and a full time student. She eloped Dec, 8, 2013. Can I still claim her as a dependant? What if her new husband wants to claim her for the year? Is he entitled even though I supported her?

    • Since she was married at the end of the year, he could claim her as his dependent. If they only file to receive a refund and they had no tax liability, you can claim her.

    • I believe the way it works is she would be considered your dependent and you would get to claim the 3900.00 for her being your dependent. When you list her as your dependent there is a box to check off for how many months she lived in your home. You would put 11 months . That said her new husband can file “Married filing jointly” and he will get a tax break for her as well but he wont be eligible for the extra 3900.00 as a dependent because you supported her. Hope this helps .

    • You can still claim her as your dependent for 2013 unless she is married the end of 2013 and the husbank supported her. It doesn’t matter if the husban supported your daughter a few days only during the entire 2013 and if the husband will claim her as dependedn in his 2013 income tax.

  209. My stepbrother has lived with me and I have provided half of his support through the year. He has a part time job and made right above 3900 for the year. He is a full time high school student and didn’t turn 18 until the end of August. Can/will I recieve any credits or deductions for claiming him?

    • as long as he is a full time student, you can claim him. He will have to file a return and not claim himself as a dependent.

    • Yes you will receive head of household, his exemption deduction and depending on your income , Earned income Credit.

    • you can still claim your stepbrother as dependent in your income tax return, if he is not claiming himself when he file is income tax since he has income in 2013. Also you cannot use credit for a child because he already turn 18 in 2013 ( aug). If you use him as your dependent, he cannot use or count himself as dependent.

    • This is addressing Casey of January 26. The reason I am saying this is because somehow my last response got tagged to a questioner other than whom I intended to answer.

      I am assuming you both are U.S. citizens,both have S.S. #’s , and both of you are unmarried.
      As to head of household status: as it might apply in your situation ——-(less taxes than if you file “single”
      That is appropriate if:
      You paid more than one half the cost of keeping up the home for the year.
      and a “qualifying person” lived with you in your home for more than 1/2 the year. (n.b. your stepbrother is a qualifying person)

      Whether you can claim an exemption for your stepbrother :

      ( Please note –you can claim head of Household –if you passed the above tests, of course—even if it turns out for some reason you can’t take him as an exemption)

      He might qualify as a “qualifying child”. Your stepbrother might be the qualifying child of more than one person and “tiebreaker rules might apply”. I will assume this is not the case. If he lives alone with you it’s unlikely this complication applies.
      To be your qualifying child he must not have provided more than half of his own support. for the year.
      And he must be younger than you.

      Since he is under 19 at the end of the year whether or not he is a full time student is of no consequence for the exemption.

      Now if he fails any of the above tests–the next thing to consider is if he qualifies as a “qualifying relative”. He must have earned less than $3900 for the year.

      As to child tax credit: He must have been under 17 at the end of the year.

      As to earned income credit–if he does qualify as your “qualifying child” –and is not the qualifying child of any other person he would qualify for EIC purposes .

      The authority for the above is pub 17. Should anyone want more specific references please inquire.

      I WOULD LOVE TO HAVE TURBO TAX LISA AND/OR MARY ELLEN COMMENT ON MY ANSWER(S) . IN MY OPINION THEY REALLY “KNOW THEIR STUFF”.

  210. My 21 yr old daughter has always lived at home. She worked on and off part-time in 2013 and also had a baby. What would result in the largest return: She files as single and claims the baby herself, OR we file and claim her and the baby as dependents? I want her to get as much as she is entitled to, but I also don’t want my husband and to NOT get credit for housing her and paying all her bills. TIA!

    • If she made more than $3900, you can’t claim her. If she had earned income, she would get child tax credit plus EIC for the child. If she made less and you paid all the bills, you claim her but you may not qualify for EIC.

  211. my son turned 18 in april, I support him completely, I pay his rent on a monthly basis. he does not live with me. does he qualify.

  212. My 23 yr old daughter has been diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome (a form of autism). She lives with me and has not worked. I paid for 100% of her expenses while trying to find her a job and I was unable to get her on disability. Can I claim her as a dependent? Does she quailfy as disabled for IRS purposes?

      • If you haven’t lived with your spouse in the last 6 months of the year then you may file head of household otherwise you must file married or married filing separate.

  213. I was wondering if i could claim my 4 small cousins, and my mother, my mother is there guardian, my mother does not work, and my small amount of income if the only income we have, we own the house we live in, thanks to my father whose not around anymore. its up to my small amount of income serving tables at a local restraunt that pays our bills, and puts clothing on the childrens backs, none the less, there toys and essential needs. me and my mother dont really buy clothes for ourselves and what not being the children comes first.. we do get Medicaid for the kids, and also snap (food stamps). the case is under my mothers name, which i am on.. anyway.. would it be possible for me to claim them all? 4 kids and my mother?

    • If they all live with you and mom doesn’t make over $3900, you can claim them and take the credits. e.g. child tax credit for children under 17 and earned income credit.

  214. my brother has lived with me and my son 2yrs. 2012 his unemployment ran out. he has not been able to find a job. (he worked in construction) union but can’t pay his dues since his unemp. ran out. he has made NO money this year 2013. he is also back on his child support (a years worth) if I claim him on my refund will they take out any back child support?? his daughter is 17 and has nothing to do with him…he has always been a good dad. always paid when he was working…can I claim him??? thank you for your time. Glea

    • You claim him. Since he had no income, he will not file a return. Your refund, if you get one, will not be taken for his back support.

    • Yes, as long as they are under age 24. They can file their return but don’t claim themselves as a dependent.

  215. My wife is a Canadian citizen. She is living with me but we haven’t saved enough to file all the paperwork necessary to get her residency, greencard, etc. so she has no social or ITIN. She does not work yet obviously and I support her 100%. I can’t seem to file with her jointly or otherwise. What do I do?

  216. I have guardianship of my father who is in a nursing home, medicare pays for his expenses, and I supplement all his OTHER NEEDS, such as shampoo, clothing, entertainment, and treats each month, I was told I could claim him by my attorney, but tax man said I couldn’t, Could you advise.

  217. Hi,

    My 25 year old daughter was a full time student from January 2013- September 2013, but then stopped school and started working full time after September. Can I still claim her? I was able to claim her years prior, but she was a full time student the entire year then.

  218. My daughter & I live with my parents (their house). My dad wants me to pay the real estate tax of $8400.00 a year. Is there a way I can use this as a deduction in my taxes? They are retired starting this year and will be collecting Social Security.

    • You have to be the name on the deed to claim real estate taxes. If you are not paying rent and room and board, it would be kind of you to take care of this for your parents.

  219. I have a 19 year old son who lives with me and is not employed , he was taking GED classes but stopped going can I still claim him on my taxes

  220. My daughter is 34 years old and cant find a job since she graduated from college in 2008. My husband passed away in 2012 and was left behind with a permanent disability. .My daughter decides to stay home to take care of me .Otherwise she’s my care giver..I give he full support pay for loan in school ,her insurance and so forth. Can I claim her as my dependent.

  221. I am 64, spouse is 67. Lived with our son for several years. I wonder if my son can amend his last years return to claim us as dependents. We only have social security as income and he covers all the housing expenses and drives us to and from stores and dr trips? And are we counted as 2 separate deductions or only one?

  222. Can you claim your nephew as a qualifiying person and still take go as single. Although he have been taking care of by you over 6 months.

      • If you qualify to file as head of household, it is to your benefit since you get a higher standard deduction. The qualifying relative has to live with you over half the year and supply over half their support.

    • In order to claim him, he has to live with you for over 6 months and provide more than half of his support. he cannot earn over $3900.

  223. My son is 28 and lives with me. I provide for all of his living expenses. He is a college graduate and still looking for a permanent job. His 2013 income was around $23,500. Can I claim him as a dependent if he claims zero when he files his 1040X?

  224. my neighbors 87 year old mother passed a few days ago she told me hes been claiming heron his taxs for years even though they live in different staes is that ok to do i told her i dont think so also the brother said hes the only family member and took her ashes shouldntmy neighbor get a one time death paymeant from her moms ss

    • If he supplied more than half of his mother’s support, he can claim her. A parent does not have to live with you.

  225. ughter is 34 yrs. old can’t find a job since she graduated six years .ago .My husband passed away two years .ago leaving me on disability, so my daughter decided to stay and take care of me. Since she has no income., I paid everything ,all the expenses she incurred plus her student and insurances. Can I claim her as my dependent

    • It sounds like you would have no taxable income to even file a return. She can be your dependent as long as she doesn’t earn over $3900 per yr

  226. my brother passed away in August of 2013 and might have owed the IRS. Can i file his income tax. My daughter worked only six months last year and is 24 years. She is living her at home and we provided 100% of living expenses. Can i claim her as a dependent and she still file her income tax. thanking yoiu in advance

    • someone has to file the return for the deceased brother. If he owes to the IRS, his estate is liable, not anyone else.
      If your daughter made over $3900 last year, you can’t claim her.

  227. I am trying to find out if my daughter and her husband can claim me as a qualifying dependent. I am a disabled 63 year old and get $823.00 per month social security. I pay minimal rent, because I require special diet. They are my transportation to and from the doctors and they pay most of my food. I get $130.00 per month for food costs, but because of my cholesterol and heart problems…..the food I require is not your everyday diet. They sometimes pay for my chiropractor and meds co-pay. My daughter has gone out and bought me clothes because when I moved in with them I had very few clothes to wear. She also pays for my haircuts and we have changed my entire diet which has improved my health very much.

    • You qualify as their dependent, even if you don’t live with them. They have to do the math and figure out if they provide more than 50% of your support.

    • No, but they can take you to their vet and have you put down. It is now a legal action that President Obama signed into law with the Affordable Care Act. They then can claim you as a deceased dependent.

  228. Me and my ex wife have 2 children who stay with me 365 days a year, they never stay with her and she has claimed them on her taxes and claimed them for earned income credit. Is this legal. I was told she got back $9,000 last year and is getting back about the same this year does this sound right or legal.

    • No, she cannot legally claim the children since they lived with you all year. A divorce degree could allow the non custodial parent to claim them as a dependent but not for the other credits e.g. EIC. Go to a tax prep and file an amended returns for the last 3 years. You may have to have proof that they lived with you. e.g. school records, etc.

      • would your answer be different if they were only separated, living apart for 6 mos or more and not legally divorced?

  229. I am disabled and my wife works part time. Our two adult children live with us full time ages 22 and 20. They are unable to find work but not for a lack of trying. Can we claim them as dependents?

  230. My daughter is 17, was married June of 2013, and completed high school course work at semester (Dec 2013). Can I claim her on my taxes or will her husband?

    • Not likely. She didn’t live with you for over half the year. They benefit by filing married filing jointly.

  231. I support my mother and brother who are overseas at this time. I can prove that with western union document. Can I file them?

    • They have to be US Citizens.
      They have to have income less than$3900
      Only a parent does not have to live with you
      you provide over half your parents support

      • Actually, they do not need to be US citizens. While married to a person from Mexico, were were able to claim his mother and father in mexico, as we supported them. You will need to get a TIN number.

    • do the math. You have to provide half of her support. her SS may be an issue. there is a worksheet that IRS has to determine eligibility.
      bottom line is that you have to include all income whether taxable or non taxable.

  232. Last tax season, Turbo Tax would not allow us to claim our 18 yr old daughter as a dependent and receive the tax refund for her. She is a high school student and still dependent on us. Since she is 18, can we no longer receive the tax refund for her? She does work part time, but depends completely on us. When she does her taxes, should she claim herself or do we still claim her. Shouldn’t we still receive the $1,000.000 refund for her?

    • Hi Gayle,
      If she is 18 you should still be able to claim her. I would suggest reviewing your answers to some of the questions that determine if you can claim her. Regarding the $1,000 I think you are referring to the $1,000 Child Tax Credit. To qualify for the Child Tax Credit your child has to be under 17 at the end of the year so that may be why you didn’t get it. There are also specific income requirements. You still should receive the $3,900 (2013), $3,800 (2012), dependent exemption for her though. You may also qualify for Earned Income Tax Credit depending on your income. If she decides to claim herself you will not receive a dependent exemption for her. TurboTax will ask you simple questions related to you so you get the tax deductions and credits you’re eligible for.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

      • I respectfully request Lisa to revisit her response to Gayle. ( Specifically revisiting the statement: If she decides to claim herself you will not receive a dependent exemption for her).

        It is my understanding that the daughter cannot decide to take herself. Please refer to Pub 17 page 25.

        Your own Exemption:
        You can take one exemption for yourself unless you can be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer. If another taxpayer is entitled to claim you as a dependent you cannot take an exemption for yourself even if the other taxpayer does not actually claim you as a dependent.

        Thanks

    • If she was under 19 and a full time student, claim her. She files 1040EZ and doesn’t claim herself. She gets the refund from her return.

  233. I HAVE A 22 YEAR OLD SON, HE HAS HIS OWN APARTMENT, BUT WE PAY THE RENT. HE WAS A FULL TIME STUDENT THE WHOLE YEAR AND HAD A PART TIME JOB. dO WE CLAIM HIM OR SHOULD WE LET HIM CLAIM HIMSELF, OR BOTH?

    • You can claim him since he is a full time student. income limits don’t apply. Claim him and have him file single. You can work it out both ways to see who benefits the most.

    • WE HAVE A 21 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER,SHE HAS HER OWN APARTMENT WE HELP HER PAY HER RENT.SHE IS A FULL TIME STUDENT,SHE ALSO WORK.DO WE CLAIM HER OR SHOULD WE LET HER CLAIM HEADHOUSE,THAT WAY SHE WILL GET MORE FINANCIAL AID

  234. If a grown child, age 29, lives with you and is undergoing rehab, both in and outpatient and does not work and has no other means of support, can the parents claim her?

  235. My son is 33, and he has not been able to find a job since he lost his car three years ago. He lives with my husband and I, and we provide for everything. His unemployment benefits ran out two years ago, and he has worked for 1 week since then, in 2012. Can we claim him as a dependent?

  236. I live with my fiancé and have for three years. He has supported me and my daughter. Can he claim us as dependents?

    • As to your fiancé:
      He could not use either you or your daughter as a qualifying person to file as head of household. Please see IRS Pub. 17 page 24 (2013) If someone is a qualified relative only because he or she lived with you all year as a member of your household–those are not qualifying persons for purposes of claiming head of household..He must file as single status.

      I assume your fiancé is providing over half of you and your daughters support.

      As to getting an exemption for you as a dependent your gross income must be less than $3900. If that is the case he could deduct you. (table 3-1 Pub 17 page 26 )

      Now as to your daughter. This is tricky. You did not state her age. Let’s assume she is under 19 at the end of 2013. If that is the case there is a good chance she is your qualifying child. Now ,on its face your fiancé , cannot deduct your daughter because one of the tests is: The person cannot be your qualifying child or the qualifying child of any other taxpayer. However there is an exception –See pub 17 page 32: “A child is not the qualifying child of any other taxpayer and so may qualify as your qualifying relative if the child’s parent (or other person for whom the child is a qualifying relative is not required to file an income tax return and either _does not file or files only to get a refund of income tax withheld or estimated tax paid. So,say you are not required to file and don’t –your fiancee could take both of you .

      If on the other hand you made $3,000 for part time work and filed and took the Earned Income credit using your daughter as qualifying person for purposes of the EIC your fiancé could not deduct your daughter.

      Sorry it’s so complicated.

  237. Last year I claimed a man who came 2012 to stay with me as a house guest supposedly for a month or two until he got a job, but stayed all year, never worked, once in a while bought a few groceries. H & R Block said oh yes he was a dependent. He’s been here all of 2013 and I will claim him again.

  238. I claimed my nephew as a dependent in 2012. He was 31 years old, but had no work due to some issues. Sadly, he passed away in Sept 2013. Can I claim him on my taxes this year? Also, my boyfriend, (nephews father) and I live to gether, same home. We are a couple. He may receive a W-2 or 1099 depending on what the Ranch he worked for decides. Can we file together?
    Thank you!

    • There are a lot of “ifs” in your question. If your relative lived with you 6 months or more before he died, ok. Boyfriend, girlfriend brings up another issue. Depending on the state, the feds allow same sex partners to file jointly. I would say to file HofH or single. depending on the date of death.

      • Thanks for responding. Date of death 09/23/13.
        Boyfriend/Girlfriend = Couple for 3+ years.
        Thank you. I appreciate your time.

  239. I have a girl friend who is disabled who has lived at my house since she lost her job after going blind. She has had no income all 2013 and I provide a home, food , and all her expenses. We are not related in any way, can I claim her as a dependent

  240. I was audited and am still paying the IRS down because of claiming my family a few years back.. legally of course. I was paying over 50% of the household.

    • Provide the documentation showing you provided over half of their support. If IRS agrees, file an amended return; up to the last 3 years.

  241. My situation: my son, permanently disabled, I have been claiming, lives with me: he has girlfriend who also moves in with me, they get married, they live with me for 10 months. He collects SSDI. Can I claim her, as I provided over half of her support during the year?

  242. I support a special needs adopted son who is 23. He works at a stockyard 2 days a week but can not work a regular job. no insurance available. I pay all bills and help support his three children. lives on my property and I provide a mobile home next door to me for him. I pay utilities and his medicines. I provide and all essentials. Is there anything I can do? I have poa but I am not his guardian. I file his income tax separate from mine.

    • If you provide over half of their support, which seems that you do, you could claim the grandchildren but your son should file his own return and allow you to take the children.

  243. mother-in-law lives with us 9 months a year, is from the philippines, no ssn though, I support 100% of her needs. how can I claim her?

  244. I have twin daughters who both have an autism disorder. They turned 20 on January 10, 2014. They are full time students in high school and will graduate in May 2015, at age 21. They both get SSI checks but are fully dependant on us as they cannot live alone or be self-sufficient. They both had a job at a rehabilitation center and their pay is based on production. They make less that $20 a month. What paperwork do I need to have them considered dependants.

  245. Husband left home almost a year ago, he pays mortgage, I pay all the bills and upkeep of animals and home. Can he still claim me as a dependent?
    Thank you.

    • BTW., he doesn’t give support, (as yet to be determined) the money I pay the bills with is from my Canadian Pension…

      • If he pays more than half of your support, then he can claim you. If not, you can claim yourself.

  246. My mother lives with us and I think she gets about $400 a month social security and that’s all. We pay for everything.

      • Erik, for purposes of dependency test, gross income is defined as income that is not exempt from tax. If Eva’s mother only gets social security, that income would not be taxable based on the rules for “taxability of social security”. She does not have over $3900 of taxable income. She is supported by Eva. She may be claimed.

      • Social Security is not figured into the equation of whether you are required to file a return. Only other income. I couldn’t find in Pub 17, where it doesn’t count as income for being a dependent. Call H&R Block Premium office for a 2nd opinion.

  247. Confused here. It basically says that if the child is not biological, or a relative, you can’t claim them, however, it appears that is not always the case.

    • Whose child is he or she? Step-children qualify if you provide half their support and live with you more than half the year.

      • He is dating a girl with two prior children, and has had one child with her. I know the bio child can be claimed. The other two are not his bio children. Can he claim them if he has provided at least 51% of their support for the year?

      • Not enough information. Is he just dating or living with his girlfriend? it is doubtful if he can claim her if they don’t live together.,

      • He can only claim his child. Neither of the other two can be considered qualifying children or relative. If they were his foster children, he could. He would need to get court documents to become a foster parent. The girlfriend can claim them if she has income.

  248. I’m a little confused on the dependent issue. My son is over 24 but still in school. According to what I just read he is not a qualifying child. He does past all three test of a dependent relative so does that mean I can claim him as such?

      • I went to the IRS site and still couldn’t find the answer. Let me re-phrase. I was wrong about the school year. My son was not in school for the 2013 school year, is currently unemployed, lives with me and I am his sole support. Another person who wrote seems to have the similar situation and she was told yes. Was the school the problem?

  249. I support my dad who is retired, sick and live in a foreign country and is not a US citizen. His retirement benefit is less than $3000. Am I able to claim him and if so what documentations do I need to support my claims? Thank you.

  250. I have a brother-in-law that has lived with us for the majority of the year but previous years his mother has claimed him. He has disabilities but currently does not receive money for them. If she insists on claiming him and will not budge, am I at a loss? What options do I have?

  251. Hello,
    My wife and I legally separated on June 7th. I moved out do not live at the home but my ex (who works full time)and my 17 year old son (who is still in school) does live at the home. I still pay all the mortgage, utilities, health insurance etc.. and support for my son. She only contributes to food and nothing more but my son lives with her. Can I claim my son? My ex has said she is going to claim him on her taxes.
    Thank you for your time…

  252. I have a 21 year old daughter who is living in another state but she is there doing charitable work. I pay for all her expenses but she is not in school and earns no income. Can I still claim her as a dependent?

  253. Can I claim my grandnieces who I support but doesn’t live with me? Their single mom doesn’t make enough to fully support them.

  254. My brother moved in with us on June 2013 and he lost his job and been looking for one. He did collect unempolyment check but, they stop sending to him. Can we put him in our taxes? He is over 45 yrs old.

  255. my ex still owes court ordered back child support but in our papers it states he can claim her every other yr and this will be his yr . Can he still claim her my lawyer says no but I don’t want to piss off the IRS. what to do

  256. I am divorced and have 2 children whom both live with me. Their father claims one of them on his taxes and I claim the other. On my tax return it asks something to the effect of “is their anyone else living in your home that you support?” Obviously the answer is yes but how should I answer this as I know only one of us can claim him? I am also most certain if I answer “yes” that it would give me some sort of deduction/credit for my son who is already being claimed on his fathers taxes.

  257. I have a son who is 18 and not is school any longer and a 17 yesr old daughter who is in scholl still. They both work and make less then $800 a month. Can I claim them both still on my taxes. they both live with me and I pay 100% of everything.

      • Erik, I think Debbie said they both earn less than $800 a month, but as a qualifying child (not relative) the under age 19 son actually is not subject to the gross income test as he would be if he were 19 or older. Debbie can totally claim both of her children

    • I HAVE A DAUGHTER AT AGE 33 AND UNEMPLOYED ATTENDING ONLINE COLLEGE FOR THE MASTER DEGREE PROGRAM, I’VE PROVIDED FOR HER 100% OF THE 12 MONTHS OF 2013, can I claimed her as an Dependant on my TAX ? and should my Tax status be HEAD-OF-HOUSEHOLD.

      Also, whom gets a higher tax refund, the WIDOW or as a Single Person ?

    • Dear Debbie:
      I believe yours and most peoples’ questions in this area can be answered by one IRS chart. It is found on page 26 of IRS Publication 17. In my opinion IRS publications are EXTREMELY well written. One should read (really “study”) them with deliberation.
      I also suggest strongly that no one should blindly accept anyone’s opinion (even, maybe especially, my own) without going to a more primary authority–like Pub 17 for validation. (It has a good index also.)

      Let’s look at that chart for your situation. You will note that the upper part of the chart says that you cannot claim a person as a dependent unless that person is your qualifying child or qualifying relative. Hereinafter I will sometimes use QC and QR.

      Then the chart is broken down into 2 columns –one for QC and one for QR.

      One should first test for QC. If not all tests there are passed then move to QR.

      There are very significant differences between the tests for QC vs. QR. Some responders mix the columns up with their analyses. If you have the chart in front of you when you do an analysis you are much less likely to do that.

      You will note there are age requirements in the QC column–but not in the QR column.

      You will note there is a gross income limit in the QR column but not in the QC column. For example –if one doesn’t qualify for QC and moves on to QR they will be disqualified for QR right out of the box if the person gross income is $3,900 or more. The gross income of the QC is not relevant. But what is relevant in the QC column is “the child must not have provided more than half of his or her own support for the year”. OK Consider this: The QC is in a movie. He makes a million dollars. He banks it all and did not supply more than half of his own support. If all other tests are passed he could be claimed as a QC despite his earning $1,000,000!!! Not so in the QR column. Person in that column having gross income of $3,900 or more is out.!
      You will also note there is a different support test for QR. There “You must provide more than half of the person’s total support for the year.”

      Ok –For your facts let’s start the procedure. You first test for QC.
      Test 1) Your son and daughter—test passed

      Test 2) both are under 19 at end of year– test passed. We don’t even have to evaluate the other alternatives of “full time student”,”disability”

      Test 3) The child must have lived with you more than half the year –I believe you say they did–test passed

      Test4) child must not have provided more than half of his or her own support for the year–I believe you implied that–there are IRS worksheets to use if necessary .

      Test 5) (applies only if they were married.)

      If you passed all of these you don’t have to analyze the QR column. If you do not pass all the QC tests you do all the QR tests, one by one as you did the QC. If you do not pass all of those tests you can’t take one or both as dependents. I say one or both because you do each child’s analysis separately.

      I cannot think of a better initial approach to use than this. Yes–there are complications that may come into play. For instance –when you study the QC chart you can see that a child could be the QC of more than one person. For example Grandmother,daughter and daughters child live together. The child could be the QC of his mother and grandmother. There are additional rules and note this possibility is itself referred to on the chart!
      Hope this helps
      MattyP

  258. My husband was in jail for 9 months then went to prison in 2013. I supported him the entire time. Am I able to claim him as a dependent? Also; since we are married how should I file my taxes? Married, Married but at a higher single rate, Single etc, I claimed Married & 1 on my W4. Any help or advice is greatly appreciated.
    Thank you,
    Debra Brown

    • That’s an interesting question. My opinion is that you should married filing jointly. Is he able to sign the return? The only other choice is married filing separate. If you have dependent children you can take them either way.

      • you need to get him to give you Power of Attorney to handle his business , that way you can file married joint returns, and you can sign for him. married filing sp , normanlly will cost you more..

    • Dear Debra Brown:

      If you go to IRS Publication 17 page 25–you will see this: Your spouse is never considered your dependent.

      However, “a rose by any other name will smell as sweet”.

      What do I mean?. Well… your intention apparently is to get a $3,900 “exemption for yourself and also a $3,900 “exemption” for your husband..

      By whatever legal means you do so doesn’t really matter. You will not get that exemption for your husband by way of his being your dependent. (as explicitly stated by IRS statement above.)

      BUT: The terminology used for one’s own exemption and one’s spouse is called “personal exemptions” (as opposed to “dependency exemptions”) You may be able to get a personal exemption for your spouse merely because you are married.

      There are exceptions that I don’t think apply in your case.

      The exception would result if the answer to this question is yes. “Can anyone claim you or your spouse on their tax return??.

      Since you are married you must file as married filing jointly or married filing separately. There is an exception to this that could apply (Head of Household)–I don’t have all the facts–but that could only be if you had a child,stepchild or foster child. and some other facts–if so you’ll have to add a followup question.

      If you intend to file a joint return I see no problem to your taking–by way of “personal exemptions” 2 @ $3,900.(This assumes your husband’s consent to file a joint return)

      If you file separately look at pub 17 page 25.

      Quick summary: No kids, husband consents to file jointly, you’ll get 2 @ $3,900. No exceptions probably apply.

      MattyP

  259. are we still eligible to claim earned income if we are no longer working for disabled son living wih us.we are both on social security.

    • You have to have earned income, i.e. a job that pays and you receive a W-2 or have self employment income that you claim on schedule C. That’s the reason they call it “earned income”

    • If the daughter is the provider in the family, she provides 51% or more of your up keep, and you have income less that $3900 not counting social security, she can claim you. You don’t even have to live at the same address providing you don’t live with someone else the supports you.

      • Erik, I agree with you on this answer to Jackie, but it is opposite of the answer you gave Eva in the same scenario above when Eva’s mother had only ss income, you said she couldn’t be claimed because it was over $3900.

  260. My husband is a dialysis patient and I provide all of his care and take care of all business matters. We do not live together. Can’t I claim him as a dependent? He receives a check, but I still carry him on my auto insurance. We file jointly and if not as a dependent then what can I file him as? other than my spouse.

    • I am not exactly sure of the question but I believe this should “answer” it.
      A spouse is never considered the dependent of the other spouse. However,taxpayers may be able to take an exemption for their spouse simply because they are married. To claim a personal exemption for one’s spouse ,the taxpayer must meet these conditions. Married as of December 31 of the tax year, Spouse cannot be claimed as dependent on another person’s return and file a joint return , or file a separate return and the spouse had no income and is not filing a return.
      Pub 17 (for tax year 2013) page 25

  261. Hi, My son who is 23 year old, goes to medical school in China and I support him financially for his room, board, tuition, travel. He is US citizen. He has no income. Can i claim for him in 2013?

    Thanks in advance
    Riaz

  262. I have 2 kids in high school and they both work (under $3900/yr revenue). Can they file taxes in order to get a refund for themselves and I also claim them as a dependent? They were 100% supported by us for living expenses.

    • Yes, as long as they are students up to age 24, you can claim them as dependents with no limit on their income. They may or not owe taxes. Most get refunds. They have to file as single and not claim themselves as dependents. Usually file a 1040EZ

      • Yes, the income limits don’t apply as long as they are students up until age 24. They will file the 1040EZ form and not claim themselves.

  263. I still haven’t heard whether or not my daughter can claim me on their taxes. I really want to help them as they are helping me. Though I am receiving disability, and paying a minimal amount to help them with rent, is it legal and acceptable for them to claim me on their taxes. I do receive EBT benefits but that does not cover the food I eat, as I have to eat better foods due to my cholesterol and heart condition. Thank you for your help……

  264. How do you claim an 18 year old that graduated this year on taxes to get credit for them being inrolled in school

  265. A three year old foster boy was placed with us on 9/20/13. He is not related to us, nor is he adopted. Can anything be claimed on our taxes for him? Are there any deductions for foster parents?

    • I also have two foster children living with us for the last 5 months of the year. Am I able to cliam them

      • 2 issues here; you didn’t support them for half the year, so probably you can’t. You must have a court document stating that you are the foster parents in any year you claim foster children.

    • You have to have them for 6 months. When you do, be sure to keep documentation. Sometimes the biological parents claim them when they are not supposed to and you will need to keep proof for the IRS when they want to know why two people claimed the same dependent.

  266. My two grandchildren live with me. I pay 100% of their support. They are 16 & 17 and are high school students. Their mother does not live with me and does not provide any support for them. She insist on claiming them on her tax return because they are “her” children. I say that I should be able to claim them since they live with me and I pay all the support for them. Who is right? Please help! Thanks!

    • You can legally claim them. Be aware that if you both claim them the IRS will need proof that they are your dependents. Also there will be the requirement for the mother to pay back to the IRS any tax relief she obtained by claiming them, which might cause her to become angry with you.

    • Terry-
      Both children live with you and you provide 100% support for them. You claim them as your dependents, end of story. Your daughter is being very selfish and ungrateful. I’m sure your grandchild our very proud to be in your care. Bless your heart

      • First, you need to have their birth certificates. If you don’t have those, go to the nearest health department in your area and apply for them. When you receive them, go to the Social Security Administration and apply for their SS cards. You could contact their schools and ask for their numbers, especially since you are providing their immediate care. Which ever is easier for you.

    • If they live with you for over 1/2 of the year and you provide more than 50% of their support, you can claim them. If the mother claims them, file a paper, mail in return with documentation to support your claim. It may take longer to get a refund if the mother has already filed and took them as dependents.

    • Can I claim my mom on my taxes? We live together and she lives off of social security which isn’t much.I pay all the utilities and groceries for the house.there is no mortgage payment as house is paid.she doesn’t file

    • If they live with you and your daughter does not
      pay you for their support you can claim them.

      If your daughter also claims them the IRS will resolve the issue.

      The IRS has specific economic costs ( food, housing, medical care) that define support.

      look to the IRS site for definition and file accordingly.

      You do not need your daughters permission, but you should advisor her of your actions because if she also claims them she will owe taxes and possible penalities

    • We are foster parents. We have never taken a deduction/credit for a foster kid. The bio parents still have rights and can claim them as dependents. Don’t want to get in a situation where multiple people claim the same credit/deductions and get in trouble for it. Now if all parties agree o who will take credit/deductions then fine.

      • In order for you to take them as dependents, you have to have a court order naming you as the foster parents. If they live with you 12 months a year and provide 51% of their upkeep, you may be able to claim them. parents would have no standing to claim them.

    • Permit me to explain that your daughter cannot legally claim your grandchildren. In order to claim someone as a dependent the person would have to be a “qualifying child” or “qualified relative”. Your daughter would not have a qualifying child because one of the tests is “the child must have lived with you for more than half of the year.” And she could not claim they were qualifying relatives since one of the tests for that is “you must provide more than half of the person’s total support for the year”

      On the other hand –your grandchildren are your “qualifying child” and you qualify to claim them.

      I would note there are times children are the qualifying child of more than one taxpayer , and if that were the case the parent would have the right to claim the child. This is not one of the times–because, as stated above ,they are not her qualified children. (Fortunately the tax law makes sense in your situation)
      Reference: Pub 17 (for tax year 2013) page 26

    • Dear Terry
      Somehow my response to your question got attached to another questioner. This was prepared for your question:

      Permit me to explain that your daughter cannot legally claim your grandchildren. In order to claim someone as a dependent the person would have to be a “qualifying child” or “qualified relative”. Your daughter would not have a qualifying child because one of the tests is “the child must have lived with you for more than half of the year.” And she could not claim they were qualifying relatives since one of the tests for that is “you must provide more than half of the person’s total support for the year”
      On the other hand –your grandchildren are your “qualifying child” and you qualify to claim them.
      I would note there are times children are the qualifying child of more than one taxpayer , and if that were the case the parent would have the right to claim the child. This is not one of the times–because, as stated above ,they are not her qualified children. (Fortunately the tax law makes sense in your situation)
Reference: Pub 17 (for tax year 2013) page 26

  267. I live with my Boyfriend and I support us all year he made under $2000.00 last year. Can I claim him? he has no other form of wages.

  268. My 21 year old grandson and his wife , 23 years old, married in August 2013 both live with me. They have no income and I am their sole supporter. Can I claim both on my income ?

  269. I have a son which 25 has not work any in 2013 and had 0 income and stay with me can I clam him on ?

    • Your son does qualify as your dependent but
      why does he not work. Healthy children should only de dependent when they are young and in school. As a parent it is your responsibility to
      insist he become self-sufficient in adulthood.

    • Hi Donnie,
      He qualifies as your dependent as long as you provided over half of his support and he meets the citizenship requirements.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  270. My son will be 24 at the end of January 2014, he works part time, lives at home and goes to school part time. I pay his car, tuition, books, loans, car insurance, medical insurance, more than half his expenses. Can I claim him on my taxes? Can I claim his tuition? Or can he claim his own tution expenses? I am single.
    Help!
    Thank you!!

  271. My son will be 24 at the end of January 2014, he works part time, lives at home and goes to school part time. I pay his car, tuition, books, loans, car insurance, medical insurance, more than half his expenses. Can I claim him on my taxes? Can I claim his tuition? Or can he claim his own tution expenses? I am single. Help!
    Thank you!!

  272. my daughter fully supports her daughter and grandson, they live together, the grandaughter had a part time job and did not make much money–can daughter claim both? grandson is 1 yrs old

    • I CLAIM MY MOTHER LAST YEAR ON MY TAXES I MOVE OUT IN AUG LAST YR GOT MARRY IN NOV 2013 CAN I CLAIM HER AGAIN THIS YR?

      • A parent doesn’t have to live with you, but you must provide over half of her support.

  273. My son lives with us (his parents) and is 23 years old with Asperger’s and is not working and never has had a job and we provide total support for him can we claim as dependent?

    • Your son qualifies as your dependent because of his disability which is permanent. Be sure to
      tell your tax preparer so the preparer will mark the return showing your son as disabled.

      • Hi Southern Belle and Jon,
        You can also use TurboTax which will ask simple questions about you and will prepare your tax return for you and give you all the tax deductions and credits you’re entitled to for you dependent.
        Thank you,
        Lisa Greene-Lewis

    • Check with social security, he may be covered under SSI. May be elgible monthly benefits and medical coverage.

  274. My son works in a fast food business with less than 40 hours a week. He brings home around $300 every 2 weeks which is not enough to live on by himself. Can I claim him? He is 20 years old.

  275. Hello,

    My son attends college part time, works part time, lives at home, I pay for his school tuition and books, and more than half of his living expenses (food, car, insurance, old student loans, etc). He will be 24 in Jan 2014. Can I claim him as a dependent? Can I claim the tuition I have paid for his school? Or can he claim the tuition on his owns taxes? What can I do for a tax break? Thank you! Evelyn

  276. Can missionaries be claimed as dependants? They rely on parents for support and were full time students before they left on missions.

  277. Miriam,
    I have a son who left to the military in July. May I claim him for part of the year as a dependent.

    • It appears on the surface that you can, by providing more than 50 % of his support for the fiscal year. (housing,food..etc..)

      But if he earns more in the July – dec period and files indvivdually he gets the deduction.

      You both can not claim him in the same year

  278. my partner has been the major income winner in our home. i was injured on a job i had just started and been on WC since 2012. before that when we did taxes she was told she could not use me as a dependant and lost up to 3850.00 in deductions. i researced and for her 2011 return ahe was able to take me as a deductions. can we go back and add that to this years return?

  279. i was released from prison in march of this year and was unemployed till july of this year (2013) since employment I’ve made a little over 30K can my live in gf claim me for six months since she was supporting me ? i am thirty years old

    • Yes, you should be able to receive at least, some of that money. You need to get the amendment form for 2011. It will guide you the rest of the way. Good luck!

  280. Can I claim my sister and her two children if they did not live with me, but i still supported her? What kind of documentation would i need

    • What do you mean when you say, “you supported her”?? 100%, 60%, 40%????

      You can claim her as long as you provided over half of her support, she didn’t make over $3,900 taxable income for the year.

  281. My daughter and her 2 year old live in a condo that I pay for each month. She has no income.
    I also pay all utilities. She is 24 years old and does not work. Can I claim her?

    • Hi Stephen,
      You can claim her as long as you provided over half of her support, she didn’t make over $3,900 taxable income for the year, she meets citizenship requirements, and no one else can claim her.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

      • Stephen, you received bad advice from Turbo Tax Lisa. Your daughter and her child must live in your home for you to claim them as dependents. The only people who do NOT have to live with you are your parents, or a child of yours who is a dependent and attending college.

      • Hi Southern Belle,
        Stephen’s daughter does not fall under the rules as a “qualifying child”, which states the child does have to live with you. Since she is over 19 and not a student she would fall under the rules of a “qualifying relative”, qualifying relatives do not have to live with the parent in order to be claimed. Please see the IRS publication 501 “Relatives who don’t have to live with you” and the age requirements to be considered a “qualifying child”
        http://www.irs.gov/publications/p501/ar02.html#en_US_2013_publink1000220957 for clarification

        Relatives who do not have to live with you. A person related to you in any of the following ways does not have to live with you all year as a member of your household to meet this test.

        Your child, stepchild, foster child, or a descendant of any of them (for example, your grandchild). (A legally adopted child is considered your child.)

        Your brother, sister, half brother, half sister, stepbrother, or stepsister.

        Your father, mother, grandparent, or other direct ancestor, but not foster parent.

        Your stepfather or stepmother.

        A son or daughter of your brother or sister.

        A son or daughter of your half brother or half sister.

        A brother or sister of your father or mother.

        Your son-in-law, daughter-in-law, father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, or sister-in-law.

        Any of these relationships that were established by marriage are not ended by death or divorce.

        Stephen if you need any further clarifications on anything please let us know. Southern Belle please check IRS publication 501 per the above information.
        Thank you,
        Lisa Greene-Lewis

  282. Hi,
    I am 67,retired at 66,receiving Soc. Soc. monthly. I went back too work full time 12-2-13 as I have my wife, 3 granddaughters and their mother to support. What effect will going back to work have on my taxes and Soc. Sec.? Will I lose any SS ?
    Thank You ,
    Larry K.

  283. My son is 30, he has not had steady work for over 3 years due to a felony conviction (did his time, off parole etc, but in this job market, the employers pick and choose….) his unemployment ran out years ago. I have paid ALL his expenses for that time. I tried doing head of household, but it would not even accept that on either HR Block or TurboTax (I tried both!) Is there a recourse?

  284. Hi there,

    I have two adult children for whom I pay more than half for their support. One is 24, going to school full time and has a part-time job and earns more than 5k per year. The second is 22 has two part time jobs and earns more then 10k per year. I pay for their rent, food utilities, clothing, etc. They do their taxes but document that they are claimed on my return. Can I continue to claim them on my return?

  285. I own a home that my x boyfriend and I lived in until I moved out in December of 2012. the house went into foreclosure in 2013. He still lives there and he does not work he gets social security disability and he does not pay me rent. He lives there for free. So technically I am providing the roof over his head. Can I claim him on my taxes?

  286. Wife: Full time self employed, husband: full time student, not working, zero income. Who should claim who?
    Also, we’re not officially married.

  287. I have a 2 yr old but her father gets to claim her on taxes. Can I still claim head of household because she resides mainly with me and I pay most of her expenses?

  288. If one supports a non-relative, is there any claim to be made. I have helped with dentist, food, transportation and a place to stay most of the time. His address is at his grandmothers’ but is hardly there…mostly for a mailing address..

    • My mother who resided with us died January 20, 2013. Because she lived with us for only a part of the year, does she still qualify as a dependent. We provided over 50% of her support during this time.

  289. hi mary ellen
    my mother in-law lives with us she is 92,yrs. old and only has ssi for income. can we claim her as a dependent?
    thanks

  290. My Husband’s brother lived with us for 6 months, he is on Social security and disabled. Can we claim him on our tax return for the six months that we cared for him. Thank you

  291. can senior citizen claim head of household because of total $$ amount [including $1000 per mo & $1200 from working rest of year?

  292. My son turned 24 on Sept. 29, 2013. He is studying in the Philippines and I’m the one supporting him 100%. Can I claim him as dependent? Can I also get educational credit?

  293. My father in law lives with us. He is from Argentina and gets 3,816 from his retirement from Argentina. Can we claim him as a dependant?

  294. My son has lived with a woman that has two children. He is to sole support for the family. Can he claim her and her children as his dependants.

    • Hi Dalra,
      If they do not have income of $3,900 and they lived with him all year, and no one else can claim them as dependents (like the father), and they have Social Security Numbers or Personal Tax Identification Numbers, he should be able to claim them as dependents.
      The IRS provides a fairly simple widget for determining who is a dependent. You can find it at http://www.irs.gov/uac/Who-Can-I-Claim-as-a-Dependent%3F

      Mary Ellen

  295. my married sister and brother in law live with me. He is disabled from a motorcycle accident and she has health issues also. neither one works and I am the sole support. he gets $650/ month SSI. Can I claim them as dependents? Thank you.

    • Hi Brad,

      They may be considered Qualifying Relatives. As long as you provide more than half of their support, they should be your dependents. If their income exceeds $3,900 in 2013 ($4,000 in 2014) because one of them is able to get a job, you will no longer be able to claim them as a dependent. The SSI is not considered taxable income and should not be included when determining their income.

  296. My son graduated high school this year and is now attending college. He works part-time, but is a full time student and lives with me. I support him, but since he is working part-time, how do I do the taxes?? Does he file himself and declare his part time wages or can I still claim him since he lives with me and I support him?? Please help….I don’t know what to do!!!

    • He claims his wages but does not take himself as a dependent. He should claim zero on his W4. You claim him as you always have. Nothing changes there.

    • Hi Cindy,
      You can continue to claim your son as long as he is a full-time student under the age of 24. He will need to file a tax return to claim his part time income, but he must say that he is a dependent on another tax return, and he will not get a personal exemption. He won’t have to pay taxes unless his 2013 income exceeds $6,100.

      Mary Ellen

  297. I am receiving $823.00 per month and am living with my daughter and her family. I help pay minimal rent and get food stamps but the money does not cover everything that I need. Such as my meds, clothes and extras as well as the food stamps do not even come close to feeding me because I am on a special diet because of cholesterol and heart problems. Would I qualify as a dependent or not?

  298. Hi,
    I want if I can put my mom as my dependent, I fully support her she is a handicap senior but she is not a US citizen (I live with her in Tijuana, Mexico to take care of her) . I heard I can use form W-7, is that the way to go? and How does that works?
    Thank you!

    • Hi Ileana,

      If you provide more than half of your mother’s support, and she has a US Social Security Number or ITIN, you can claim her as a dependent on your tax return.
      Form W-7 is used to apply for the ITIN if she does not qualify for a Social Security Number.

      Mary Ellen

  299. Hi,

    My fiance and her son live with me, she doesnt work but they both collect social security from her late husband, am i able to claim them on my tax return this year?

    • Hi Miguel,
      In order to claim a non-relative as a dependent they must have lived with you all year, they must have income not exempt from tax of less than $3,900 for the year, and you must provide more than half of their support. There is a worksheet in Publication 17, page 30 for determining support.
      If they are both receiving social security benefits of $6,000 per year, are you contributing more than $6,000 to their support in housing, food, medical expenses, travel, clothing and education? If so, you can claim them as qualifying relatives. If they moved in with you after Jan 1, 2013, you cannot claim them in 2013.
      Thank you,
      Mary Ellen

  300. I have a 26 and a 23 yr. Old daughter
    and they are getting a doctorate and a masters to better themselfs in life. They have loans from hell to payoff after they graduate. We paid for their bachelors degrees. Now we still have to help them get by, so we still send them money to help them get by. Can we claim anything on our part?

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