Tax Tips So Dependent On You: Who Can I Claim as a Dependents on my 2009 Tax Return? Read the Article Open Share Drawer Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Written by TurboTaxBlogTeam Published Mar 29, 2010 - [Updated Jun 12, 2019] 5 min read Over the past few years, questions around who can claim who and why has dramatically changed. There are more blended families in the U.S. The economy has taken a toll on our bottom lines resulting in three or four generations of families living together to save money. And yes, even non-family members moving in with each other to save a buck. So how do those changes affect your tax situation? Can you claim your girlfriend on your taxes? What about your son who lives with your mother? And of course, pets. Can you claim Buster the beagle on your taxes? I sat down with Lee Ferris, one of our in-house tax experts and asked her those same questions. The question and answer session aims to explain some of the more common dependent questions so you can get your biggest refund possible. Question: Can someone claim their girlfriend or boyfriend on their taxes? Answer: If your girlfriend has lived with you for all of 2009, her gross income is less than $3,650, and you’ve provided more than half of her total support (which is room board, food, car, insurance, etc.), you could claim her as a dependent on your tax return. To determine if you pay for more than half of her support, see IRS Pub 501 page 20. Each dependent you claim on your 2009 tax return reduces your taxable income by up to $3,650. Question: What if we have a child, can I claim the baby also? Answer: If the baby is your child, lived with you for more than half the year, and can’t support itself, you can claim the child as your dependent. And I know you are thinking, ‘Of course my baby can’t support itself.’ This was a-recent change by the IRS and a good example is if you have a child that is an actor. That child might be receiving a decent income and that counts as supporting itself. But for all those parents with non-actor children out there, you can claim a child under the age of 19. If the child is a full-time student then you can claim them until the age of 24. If they are 25, working on their master’s degree and not earning any income you might be able to claim what the IRS calls a “qualified relative.” I would recommend visiting the IRS link to get more info on what defines the qualified relative and qualified child. Question: My sister lives with me, and she receives Social Security Disability Benefits. If I charge her rent – which gets paid with social security – can I claim her as a dependent on my tax return? Answer: If you are providing more than half of her total support (taking into consideration the rent she’s paying you) and she doesn’t make more than $3,650 a year, you can most likely claim her. Remember her social security isn’t counted as gross income. Look at the IRS worksheet in pub 501 to get more information on this. Question: Can I claim any of my pets? What if they require special needs? Answer: No. But I have been reading about a bill in Congress that is making the rounds that allows people to deduct pet medical expenses up to $3,500. The bill is proposed by Republican Thaddeus McCotter of Michigan. I am not sure what will happen with this but it is worth paying attention to. Q: My parents just moved in with us so that we can take care of them. Can I claim them? Answer: This is a common question right now because of the economy. If they are living with you, their only source of income is social security, and you are supporting them by more than 50 percent, you can claim them as a qualified relative. Remember, social security doesn’t count towards their gross income. Also, remember that since they are qualified relatives, they don’t have to live with you. You could be supporting them in their own home and still claim them as dependents. Question: Can I still claim my spouse even though she received unemployment the majority of the year? Answer: Even if your spouse is a stay-at-home mom, you can’t claim her as a dependent. This is why I encourage you to file a joint return. That way you get $3,650 for you and $3,650 for your spouse as a write-off – also known as an exemption. So 99 percent of the time it is more beneficial to file jointly because of that write-off amount and other deductions and credits. However, one of my top questions this year is “Is unemployment taxable?” And the answer is, the first $2,400 of unemployment is NOT taxable. If both spouses receive unemployment benefits during 2009, each may exclude from taxable income the first $2,400 of benefits they received. Question: I have been supporting my grandchild for the past six months and paid for everything. Do I claim her or does my daughter? Answer: It depends. There are some questions you need to answer first. Will the father claim the child on his return? Is your daughter going to claim the child? If the child has lived with you for more than six months, both the father and your daughter are not going to claim the child , then yes, you can probably claim your granddaughter as a qualified child and get the various child credits on your tax return. Question: Can I claim my niece if she is here on a student visa, going to college, and living with us? She makes no money here, pays no rent to us and we support all her expenses, except for tuition. Answer: In this case, if she is under 24 and a full-time student and she’s not a qualifying child for anyone else, you can probably claim her as a dependent. But I like to urge people to please ensure that someone else is not already claiming the person in question as a dependent. Your niece can’t be claimed more than once. Also you can only claim the niece as a dependent if she’s a U.S citizen, U.S. resident, U.S. National, or resident of Canada or Mexico. For questions we haven’t covered, please check out the IRS.gov page. The site has updated sample situations to help U.S. filers. Check out this TurboTax video as well: http://www.youtube.com/v/sbD8BfZzs8s?fs=1&hl=en_US&rel=0 Previous Post Hot Tax Topics: Filing an Extension, Paying Your Tax Bill Next Post What are Personal Property Taxes? Written by TurboTaxBlogTeam More from TurboTaxBlogTeam 227 responses to “So Dependent On You: Who Can I Claim as a Dependents on my 2009 Tax Return?” « Older Comments Can a grandmother claim a child on there taxes the child lives with there mother not with there grandmother and the mother gets public aid asst.for theses children is that ok to do so Reply Hello Kelly, There are several Dependent requirements. Here are a few: 1. Qualifying Child: They are not being claimed as the “qualifying child” of another taxpayer 2. Gross Income: The dependent being claimed earns less than $4,150 in 2018. 3. Total Support: You provide more than half of the total support for the year. 4. Member of Household: They must live with you all year (or at least 6 months of the year) Here is more information regarding who is eligible to be claimed as a dependent: https://ttlc.intuit.com/community/credits-and-deductions/help/who-can-i-claim-as-my-dependent/00/26781 Thank you Reply I have a boyfriend lives with me but he is not the father of my two boys we been together fir five years can he do taxes using my kids s.s card Reply My son started receiving SSI benefits under his dad this year. Can I still claim his as a dependent? Reply I have a question. I am on social security disability. I did not have any federal taxes taken out of my checks. I have two grandchildren living with me. Am I able to file a tax return and claim them? Reply I am a single mom of 2 young children . I receive ssdi, can I claim my kids??? Reply Gwen I have a 2 part question: First one: My 35 yr old daughter lives with me and receives SSI because she is legally blind, she receives $733.00 a mth. She gives us 450.00 for rent, and keeps 288.00, she pays for her phone and 1 debt unrelated to care and medication. We provide her food, transportation to anywhere she needs to go, utilities. clothes, how do we determine if we pay half of her care to be able to carry her as a dependent? 2nd question: Our 18 yr old grandson and 15 yr-old granddaughter have lived with us permanently for 2 yrs. Our grandson wants us to carry him on our taxes this year because he is no longer in his dads custody. The dad has told us if we try to carry our granddaughter he will take her from us. He has provided no support or interaction to his kids. However he gets medicaid ,food stamps, and always carries them on his taxes. we haven’t disputed this because of the threat to take them. My question is, can we carry our grandson since he is 18 now, and do we need some form signed from by hisdad allowing us to carry him? Reply i have a close friend who been living with me over 6 years and she gets ssi disability benefits and i pay half of the person’s well being can i file the person as a dependant Reply Hi Wanda, You may be able to claim her if: -She meets citizenship tests -She lived with you the entire year -She did not receive over $4,000 in taxable income TurboTax will ask you simple questions and give you the dependent exemption for her if you are eligible to claim her. Thank you, Lisa Greene-Lewis Reply I am not married…but lived with same man for 20 years…. This year 2015 started receiving social society… Not more than 14000..a year…can he still claim me with hurting my ss …or his return Reply Hi Margaret, He may be able to claim you if: – You lived with him all year – You did not provide over half of your own support – You did not receive over $4,000 in taxable income TurboTax will ask him simple question and help him get the dependent exemption if he is eligible. Thank you, Lisa Greene-Lewis Reply I’ve been helping to support my boyfriends son. Neither live with me. I’ve been helping 6 months now, due to my boyfriend getting financial set again. My boyfriend told me since I helped support his son, I could claim his son on my taxes this year. So here’s my question. Since neither lived with me but I helped support his son for 6 months am I allowed to claim him? Reply Myself and 2 kids have lived w my mom for 3 years I’m on ssi and I’m 28 not able to work. Can my mom claim me? Reply My 6 yo lives with my mom for about 4-5 months last year until school was out. Then moves with my fiancé and I. She had him on her health coverage for 3 months which are through the state of Texas She’s retired from Txdot. I claimed him on my taxes which I didn’t know she didn’t want me to. Now she’s aaying unless I have it amended so she can claim him then she’ll love her insurance through the state. Our history is rocky. Always has been. So is this even a possibility. I don’t want that for her but I feel I have the right to claim my son Reply I have a question….lol, don’t we all? I supported my son’s girlfriends two children throughout the year due to her having financial problems. One is my son’s biological child, so she is legally my granddaughter. But under what do I list the other child? None? Other? Grandchild? If u out can answer this thank you, thank you, thank you! Reply Can I file for EIC if I receive government assistance? Reply Hello Joyce, If you are bringing in an income from employment or self-employment and meet the below requirements then yes. Some general requirements for EITC (Earned Income Tax Credit) include: •You and any qualifying child must have a valid Social Security number (Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers, or ITINs, do not qualify). •Your filing status cannot be married filing separately (MFS). •You cannot have investment income greater than $3,350 for 2014 •You must be a U.S. citizen or resident alien for the entire year. •You must have earned income from employment or self-employment. TurboTax will calculate the credit and prepare the proper forms based on the information you provide. For more help determining if you are eligible for the EITC, you can use the IRS Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Assistant (http://www.irs.gov/Credits-&-Deductions/Individuals/Earned-Income-Tax-Credit). Thank you, TurboTax Sherri Reply Hello Joyce, You may claim the EITC if you are able to meet the requirements below even if you receive Government assistance. Some general requirements for EITC (Earned Income Tax Credit) include: •You and any qualifying child must have a valid Social Security number (Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers, or ITINs, do not qualify). •Your filing status cannot be married filing separately (MFS). •You cannot have investment income greater than $3,350 for 2014 •You must be a U.S. citizen or resident alien for the entire year. •You must have earned income from employment or self-employment. TurboTax will calculate the credit and prepare the proper forms based on the information you provide. For more help determining if you are eligible for the EITC, you can use the IRS Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Assistant (http://www.irs.gov/Credits-&-Deductions/Individuals/Earned-Income-Tax-Credit). Thank you, TurboTax Sherri Reply Hi Joyce, Yes, you absolutely can, but you have to have earned income from working for someone or from operating a business. Additionally, you must also have a child that meets all the qualifying child rules. Furthermore, there are income limits to be able to claim that credit. For complete information on the credit, including an income limits table and basic rules, please visit http://www.irs.gov/Credits-&-Deductions/Individuals/Earned-Income-Tax-Credit Thank you, Nicolle Lesuer Reply I just married, but my husband is retired and is diasbled. I am head of household and i was told that his income is not taxable by the state and that I would have to put him as a dependant. We also have 2 minor children how would i file is really I am the only one working? Do I filing jointly or not? Reply My boyfriend Lives with me and he is on SSI, Can I claim him as a dependent? I have heard that I can but I am not sure. Reply My cousin has no income and has lived with me since March of last year. Her son died in june and she’s planning on filing his taxes and claiming herself as his dependent. Is this legal. He did not provide for her prior to his death I have Reply My daughter and I receive ssa from my deceased husband and I do not work. I am living with my fiancé and our new child together. Can he claim both kids and myself since he pays more than half of our living expenses/bills ect.? Will that affect our ssa benefits? Reply I have a question. I’m living with my boyfriend, can he claim my baby and I even though I have medical with my parents because im 19 still??? Does having medical with my parents affect him on doing taxes??? Reply I am on disability and am supporting my grand daughter.. can I claim her as a dependent and how would I go about it.. Reply My parents are on ssi and I live with them with my two kids, I have not worked this year and they have been supporting us. Can they claim my kids if no one else is. Reply Hi, My wife (dependent) with me in US from March-09 till October-31. Can I claim her as my dependent? Also, what would be my tax filing status? Reply You must file a joint return. You cannot claim your wife as a dependent Reply My granddaughter has been living with me since June and on June 2 ,2014 we signed a short term guardianship and had it notarized. we have provided for her ever since she has lived in our household. mom may see her once a month for a couple of hours. She does not provide for her. But mom has been collecting child support, food stamps for her and plans to claim her although she has not had her. she is just collecting the money but has not provided for her and my grand child is still living with us. please let me know if I can claim her . Reply Question….My adult son moved in with me a few yrs ago and has worked.I am on disability and have a nine yr old son.My adult son pays half the rent and house hold expenses can he claim my son on his taxes? Reply i have a question, I’m having my son on Abril 2nd 2015 and I’m still in high school and going to continue studying and I wanted to apply to get help from the government I don’t work, would it affect me if my baby daddy puts him as his dependent? Reply Hi my cousin gave birth on november 2014, but shes from mexico so she cant work in the Usa so i wanted to see if i could put her son in my taxes i also paid the hospital and her last two doctors appointments . Reply Hello I have a question I live with my mother with my two kids I did not work alot this year and received snap benefits can my mother claim the three of us Reply I am raising my great nieces. I am supporting them 100%. They have been with me since Sept. Also part of June and July. Their other aunt had them in Jan – May. They went from grandmas to grandpas for part of June and July and lived with gpa in August.Who is supposed to put them on their taxes Reply My older brother, who is receiving SSI only, came out to live with me and my husband in June he has never worked and is 57 yrs old, has autism and some other issues. We are having him pay $500.00 for rent my question is do we have to claim him on our taxes? I’m also his payee for his SSI. We need help with this. Reply Good day! I could have sworn I’ve been to this site before but after reading through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Anyhow, I’m definitely delighted I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back often! Reply My parents are my nieces and nephews social security payees and guardian’s however, they live with me. They’ve lived with me since my sister passed away. My question is, can they legally claim them on their taxes? They don’t provide care for them outside the social security they receive. The kids don’t nor ever have lived with them. They say they have to claim them because they get their money. I read somewhere that social security money doesn’t have to be claimed on taxes. If this is true I believe they’ve been committing fraud. I need answers because they don’t help me with them as far as their every day needs. They bought a house with their social security and have been making double payments on the house. They won’t give me money for food or daily basic needs. I also would like to know if they are buying a house with their money don’t they have to leave it to them when they turn 18? They have been threatening to kick me and my kids out if I question them or being it up. Quite frankly, I’m tired of being threatened and taken advantage of . Could someone please help me? Thanks, Michelle. Reply Michelle, Do they live with you are do you share a home with your parents? You stated they live with you and that you support them, but you also stated that if you bring anything up they will kick you out. They money paid by social security if for the benefit of the person social security is paying it for, not the representative payee. To take that money without using it for the benefit of the children would indeed be fraud. Reply My parents are my nieces and nephews social security payees and guardian’s however, they live with me. They’ve lived with me since my sister passed away. My question is, can they legally claim them on their taxes? They don’t provide care for them outside the social security they receive. The kids don’t nor ever have lived with them. They say they have to claim them because they get their money. I read somewhere that social security money doesn’t have to be claimed on taxes. If this is true I believe they’ve been committing fraud. I need answers because they don’t help me with them as far as their every day needs. They bought a house with their social security and have been making double payments on the house. They won’t give me money for food or daily basic needs. I also would like to know if they are buying a house with their money don’t they have to leave it to them when they turn 18? They have been threatening to kick me and my kids out if I question them or being it up. Quite frankly, I’m tired of being threatened and taken advantage of . Could someone please help me? Reply Send me some general interested questions ….. Reply Question. In 2010 my son was raising a child as his own daughter. He claimed her that year as his “daughter”. Now the IRS is asking for the EIC money back, stating “falsification of relationship”. No one else contributed to her financially, nor did anyone else claim her that year. How can we rectify that so he doesn’t owe almost 5k? Thanks. Reply I’m a married 21 year old. My husband is not a resident of the US yet he lives in India and my dad is sponsoring him because I don’t work. Obviously my husband and I don’t file taxes. My dad put me as dependant on hi tax return, which I am. Is this right? Can he get in trouble. And will it be problem if I apply for financial aid for college with my dad’s taxes while he’s sponsoring my husband? Please help ASAP. Thank you Reply can i claim for my great grand children as they stay with my wife and my self as s/work placed them hear Reply turbo tax lisa: i claimed a child that i had raised since 2 and now is 16 this was the first year that i claimed her and i was audited.. i could not find the information that they were requesting for proof is there any way to get this mess fixed Reply Hi Jennifer, It may be possible that someone else claimed the child, which will show up as a duplicate social security number used which will cause the IRS to send you a letter. If she is not your relative, she would have to live with you the entire year for you to claim her. You would also need to provide half of her support. If she lived with you the entire year, you should be able to use her school enrollment records showing your same address, her state ID or driver’s license with your address, and medical records. You would also have to be able to show receipts for providing over half of her support. Thank you, Lisa Greene-Lewis Reply My daughter is permanently disabled due to a brain tumor and four brain surgeries. She and my three grandchildren have had to live with us for over 6 months in 2013 following forclosure on their home. If I claim the grandchildren on my taxes how will it effect her social security disability benefits for the children and their Medicade. Jim Reply my family just came from out of country, i was the one who support them the whole year. can i claim them in my tax return? Reply Can I claim my girlfriends daughter that I’ve raised since she was 2 yrs old, she’s now 6 Reply Hi Oscar, If your girlfriend’s daughter lived with you the entire year, you provided over half of her support, she did not have over $3,900 in earned income, no one else is eligible to claim her, and she meets the citizenship test then you will be able to claim her. TurboTax will guide you through questions and give you the deduction for her if you’re eligible. Thank you, Lisa Greene-Lewis Reply My husband claimed me as a dependant and were married but going through a divorce so we did taxes jointly I’ve never worked since the years I was with him but my question is do I have any rights to get money from him he only wants to give me $500 . Reply I am retired.Social security is only source of income. My granddaughter helps me out by buying groceries, taxables and sometime my medicine. Can she claim those things on her taxes for 2014? Reply I would like to know if my husband can claim me if i recieve SSI and if so what does he need to file? Thank you Reply SSI or SSDI? Reply Hello my fiance has been living with me and didn’t work at all last year, due to having Cancer. He is on disability. And is 2 years older than me. When i file do i file as a head of house hold with a qualifying dependent? Or as a single with dependent? I’m confused. Please help ! Reply You’d file head of household. My concern would be dealing with Social Security because if he is on SSI (not SSDI), they may use your income deciding how much SSI he continues to get. There are some information that is filed with the IRS that Social Security can gain access to. Reply My son is 19..he worked all of 2013 and helped support his siblings because I was layed off.i just started back working December 2013 and didn’t make a lot…could he file his younger siblings on his income tax? Reply I am a payee of a 19 year old that receives social security he lives with me and my mom can claim him on my federal taxes Reply Who is the head of the house? Does he receives SSDI or SSI? SSI is not counted as income, so based on that and you provide for half of the person’s well being, you could file. However, if you are taking care of this indivdual, it might effect his benefits. Reply my neice is on medicad under her moms name..but she has lived with me atleast 7 months out of this year..would it is be ok if I was to carry her on my taxes? or would that be considered fraud on hers/my part ?my sister will not be filling it will only be me . Reply Has anyone answered this question yet? Have u found anything out about this? Reply I think while it may not effect taxes, it may effect her mom’s case with Social Services. Reply My 16 year old daughter lived with me for five months before she decided to run away and live with several other people before she was put in foster care, no one else can claim her because she hasn’t lived with anyone else for more than a month. I am still her legal guardian, can I claim her? Reply I’m a full time student an my father claims me, I recently applied for financial aid help as a dependent an I aslo have a baby would it affect my financial aid if I let the father of the baby claim her? is there any way I can claim myself. I don’t work as I’m a full time student . Reply I’m a stay at home mom and my four year old if on disability for autism, do or can I file taxes since I have not worked due to taking care of him? Reply So i am living with my mom she has no income and i recive child support for my oldest daughter and have supporting the house my mom snd two kids on my own. Can i claim my 2 yr old and my 4 month old and my mother and possiblly head of house hold or can i even file. I didnt wok at all for last year so would i be ok to file. Andvi didnt file last year cause i thought i had to be working to file can i file for last year and just my oldest daughter and my mom for the last 6 months of the year? Reply Child Support is not considered taxable income. Unless you have earned income or taxable income, you would not need to file. Reply « Older Comments Leave a ReplyCancel reply Browse Related Articles Tax Deductions and Credits Multigenerational Families: Top Family Tax Deductions a… Tax Tips Can I Claim My Girlfriend As a Dependent on My Taxes? Tax Tips Divorce & Taxes 101: Filing Taxes After a Divorce Deductions and Credits Who Counts as a Dependent for Taxes? Family 4 Things You Should Know About Dependents Before Tax Ti… Tax Deductions and Credits Can I Claim My Girlfriend or Boyfriend as a Dependent? Family Can I Claim My Parents as Dependents? 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