What is a Dependent? [Motion Graphic]


“What or Who is my Dependent?”, continues to be one of the most asked questions every tax season and with dependents helping you qualify for tax breaks we see why you’re asking.  You may be wondering, “can I claim my mother, brother, girlfriend, or cat?”  Here is our motion graphic to help you.

Still have questions?  TurboTax walks you through the appropriate questions to help you get the dependent tax deductions you are eligible for.

Comments (5) Leave your comment

  1. Dear TurboTax … It’s complicated … ;D

    I am employed with good healthcare.
    Adult friend lives with me 12months of the year … after year … after year.
    Has no income – so I share my food and home.
    He has no health care – other than when I take him to the dr and pay for it.

    I found from your site – that I could have claimed him as a dependent for these past few years … now that I know, I learn that in filing season for the’14 tax period, Obamacare will fine ME with a shared responsibility payment – since he has no insurance. If true … seems like I’m penalized for helping someone who can’t/won’t/doesn’t help themself. They have no income, so not required to file, lives with me 12 months out of the year, is an unrelated US citizen adult … seems to fit the bill as a dependent just fine. But – do I have that thought through properly? As a member of my ‘tax household’, the test for whether or not a shared responsibility payment is due .. is on gross total-household income, not his non-existent income. If that’s true – that’s pretty gross. And reading further into this … Even if I don’t claim him as a dependent to recoup 1200 of the cost to maintain his luxury vacation on the couch .. the IRS STILL considers him an uninsured dependent for the purpose of the ‘shared responsibility tax’ …

  2. My partner owns our home outright. I gift him for the travel we take together oversears, and locally when we travel. I do not pay rent, I am a member of his household for more than 3 yeras. Since I no longer have to file since my social security income is my only income & which is below the poverty line, What can he deduct for my upkeep as it were ?

    1. Hi! Good question!

      If you lived with your partner all year, your partner provides more than half of your total support for 2013 (food, lodging, transportation, medical, recreation, etc.), and your “gross income” for 2013 is less than $3,900 (this doesn’t include your nontaxable social security), then yes your partner can claim you as a dependent.

      The interview in TurboTax does a great job of asking the right questions about you to determine a dependency.

      Hope this information was helpful.


  3. I have a boyfriend who has lived with me for 17 years and is unable to work due to physical conditions and has no income, can I claim him as a dependent?

  4. A friend gave me temporary custudity of their two children who have lived with me for 9 months, would they qualify as a dependant?

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