Friday, March 7, 2008

Requirements for claiming a dependent

You get one exemption for each person you can claim as a dependent. A dependent can be your Qualifying Child or Qualifying Relative. But you can claim exemption for a qualifying child or qualifying relative only if these three tests are met.

Dependent taxpayer test. You can’t claim a dependent if you are a dependent or can be claimed a dependent by another person. On a joint return, even if your spouse can be claimed as a dependent, you can’t claim a dependent.

Joint return test. You can’t claim a married person as dependent if he or she files a joint return except that the joint return is only a claim for refund and no tax liability would exist for either spouse on separate returns.

Citizen or resident test. A dependent must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. resident alien, U.S. national or a resident of Canada or Mexico, for some part of the year.

Qualifying Child
You can claim a child as dependent only if the following requirements are met
1. Relationship. The child must be your son, daughter, stepchild, eligible foster child, brother, sister, half brother, half sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or a descendant of any of them.
2. Age. The child must be (a) under age 19 at the end of the year, (b) under age 24 at the end of the year and a full-time student minimum for during any 5 months in the tax year, or (c) any age if permanently and totally disabled.
3. Residency Test. The child must have lived with you for more than half of the year except for temporary absences.
4. Support Test. The child must not have provided more than half of his or her own support for the year. A scholarship received by a child who is full time student is not considered.
5. Special Test for Qualifying Child of More than One Person. If the child meets the rules to be a qualifying child of more than one person,
(a) you all must agree on who claims the child, or
(b) you must be the person entitled to claim the child as a qualifying child using tie-breaker rule.

Qualifying Relative
You can claim a relative as dependent only if the following requirements are met:
1. Not a Qualifying Child Test. (a) A child cannot be your qualifying relative if the child is your qualifying child or qualifying child of any other taxpayer. (b) You cannot claim a child as dependent who lives in a foreign country other than Canada or Mexico, unless the child is a U.S. citizen, resident or U.S. national for some part of the year.
2. Member of Household/Relationship Test. The person either (a) must be related to you (read who is related to you?), or (b) must live with you all year as a member of your household (and your relationship must not violate local law).
3. Gross Income Test. The person's gross income for the year must be less than $3,650 (for 2009 or 2010).
4. Support Test. You must provide more than half of the person's total support for the year.

Who is a related person? A related person can be your child, stepchild, eligible foster child, your grandchild, 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 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.)

Claiming dependent not related to you. Even a non-related person can be your Qualifying Relative. However, this does not make you head of household and you do not get earned income credit benefit for this dependent. For example, even if you are eligible to claim your girlfriend or boyfriends kid, you do not get head of household status and earned income credit.

Which relationship violates the local law? Your relationship must not be illegal under local law against cohabitation, even if it's not enforced. Today, just seven states (North Carolina, Mississippi, Virginia, West Virginia, Florida, Idaho and Michigan) still criminalize cohabitation by opposite-sex couples, although anti-cohabitation laws are generally not enforced).

How many qualifying children you can claim? There is no limit on the number of qualifying children you can claim on your tax return. For every qualifying child you will get an extra exemption deduction ($3,650 for 2009 or 2010). Each each qualifying child for Child Tax Credit you will get a tax credit of $1,000. However, the earned income credit is same if you have three in 2009 qualifying children or more than three qualifying children.

Child born alive. You may be able to claim an exemption for a child who was born alive during the year even if the child lived only for a moment. There must be proof of a live birth shown by an official document such as a birth certificate.

More Articles:
Your Filing Status
1. Filing Status for Married
2. Head of Household
Exemptions for Dependents
1. Requirements for claiming a dependent
2. Child of separated or divorced parents
Filing Requirements
1. Filing Requirement for a Dependent
Your Income
1. W2 vs 1099-Misc: Employee vs Independent Contractor
2. Tax Filing by Self Employed Sole Proprietor or Independent Contractor
3. Filing W4 Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate
Income Adjustment and deductions
1. Moving Expenses
2. Itemized deductions
3. Student Loan Interest Deductions
Income Adjustments -- Retirement Plans
1. Trad IRA and Roth IRA
2. Elective Deferrals 401(k) Plans
What's New for 2009
What's New for 2009

Any Question?
If you have a question, send me an email: ustaxfiling@gmail.com
Forum for India Taxes http://www.mytaxes.in/

22 comments:

Manoj Sadasivan said...

Hello, Great Blog. I got a question. Can I claim my parents in India as dependents. They do not have ITIN number. I am paying for their support.
Thanks

Manoj

MyTaxes said...

If you pay more than half of their support and each parent does not earn more than $3,400, you can claim them dependent only if they are U.S. citizen or residents.

Anonymous said...

Quick Question. If my girlfriend claimed our son on her 2008 taxes, could I have done the same?

USTaxFiling said...

If both of you claim the son, you will both get letters from IRS, and then one of you will have to file amended tax return.
To find out who can claim the child, read ,Child of separated or divorced parents. Same rules apply for unmarried parents.

Anonymous said...

I am a dependent and have made more then 3,500 last year and my dad filed my tax return. Will I get anything?

USTaxFiling said...

If you are asking about stimulus rebate, no the dependents will not get the rebate. Your parents will not get rebate for you if you are more than 16 in 2007.

Trev said...

Question. Can I claim a Chinese National that is here on a student Visa "F1"? He does have a valid social security number for work reasons.

greeshma said...

Hey i have a question. My sister claimed me as her dependant for the year 2008 unknowingly. I have files my taxes for that year. Recently in the month of november or dec of 2008 she got a mail from IRS saying that she cannot show someone as her dependant who have filed his/her taxes and asked her to refile the taxes. She did not do that till now as she is out of the US. Will it be any problem for me this time while filing my taxes? I am worried please help me..

Greeshma.

Anonymous said...

my son lives with his girlfriend in her step-father and mothers house. my son and his girlfriend had a baby in november. my son works full time but part of the reason they live with her parents is because it saves them paying rent. my son provides everything needed for the baby. the step-father claims my sons girlfriend on his taxes and now wants to claim the baby. my son wants to claim the baby on his taxes. who will have the right to do so?

MyTaxes Team said...

Even the F1 student has social security number, you can not claim the student. On F1 the student is exempt for residency for 5-years. You can not claim a nonresident.

Anonymous said...

My boyfriend and I are trying to decide who should claim our son as a dependent. We live together (happily) and file taxes separately. Would we get more $ back depending on who claims him?

Crystal said...

My son recieves SSI and i was wondering if i can still claim him on my taxes and get the EIC and child tax credits or will i get audited

Anonymous said...

Can I claim my father if he lives with me and doesn't work? His only income is Social Security.

Anonymous said...

im 24 and live with my parents. i go to school full time, but i made 14,000 dollars last year. can they claim me?

Marco said...

I am living with my girlfriend and her two children. I provide almost 85% of their support. Can I claim them as dependents? I also cared for my brother and his family last year can I claim them also?

MyTaxes Team said...

Question. My son recieves SSI and i was wondering if i can still claim him on my taxes and get the EIC and child tax credits or will i get audited.

Answer. SSI will be considered as support provided by your son. To be your qualifying child, your son must not provide more than half of his own support. SS benefits alone does not count as income.

Question. Can I claim my father if he lives with me and doesn't work? His only income is Social Security.

Answer. Your father can qualify as your Qualifying Relative. You must provide more than half of his support that is more than his SS benefits.

Question. I'm 24 and live with my parents. i go to school full time, but i made 14,000 dollars last year. can they claim me?

Answer. You can not be Qualifying Child as you are not under 24. Also you can not be qualifying relative as you earned more than $3,650. Your parnets can not claim you.

Question. I am living with my girlfriend and her two children. I provide almost 85% of their support. Can I claim them as dependents? I also cared for my brother and his family last year can I claim them also?

Answer. Your g/f and her children can be your Qualifying Relatives if they lived with you all the year. So you can claim exemption for them. But this does not make you head of household and you will not get EIC as the children are not your qualifying children.

Jo Quintana said...

Hi! This is such great information! I'm a 20-year-old full-time student. I am moving out this coming January and will be providing my own money for food, room and board, necessities, bills, and most importantly TUITION. I want to make sure that my parents can’t claim me on their taxes so I can file as an independent. They have co-signed on two loans- but the loan is actually in my name, will that make a difference?

KD said...

Hi. My fiancee and her daughter live with me and I was wondering since my fiancee is out of work, can I claim her daughter? They have lived with me all year and I am the sole provider for both?

Anonymous said...

My son is went back to our country but i send money to him every month can i still claim his as dependent

Anonymous said...

can i claim my sisters children and get the eic if they did not live with me. nobody else is claiming them. and if so what does she need to sign so that if audited i can show proof that i can claim them. she did not work at all and i helped support them however i did not save receipts.

Anonymous said...

My mother-in-law lives with us, and is on permanent disability (about 800 per month) She is close to retirement age anyway. She does not pay us rent, and will not be filing taxes this year. Can I claim her as a dependent?

Neia said...

I sent my kids to live with my sister for 3 months the ending of 2010. I was still buying them food and giving $700 a month for them. She unknowingly claimed them, can she do that. What do I do. We had what I thought was an agreement that I still provide for them and claim them.