Who Does the IRS Consider a Dependent?
Who you claim as a dependent on your tax return can have a huge impact on your tax savings. Every dependent that you claim on your return can save you up to $3950 on your taxes. That’s a significant amount of money in your pocket and can make the difference between paying the IRS or receiving a refund from them! So, before the tax year ends, it may helpful to re-evaluate whether anyone in your family might qualify as a dependent. Here is a summary of the current guidelines that the IRS follows that may help you decide:
There are two types of dependents:
A qualifying child: A qualifying child must be under age 19 or age 24 if they are a full time student. They must live with you for more than 6 months out of the year and if they have a job, the income cannot exceed ½ of what it costs to support them. Only one person can claim the child and the child can be a son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, sibling, adopted child, or offspring. There is no age limit if your child is disabled.
A qualifying relative: You can claim a qualifying relative as a dependent on your tax return if they make less than $3950/year and live with you all year (or you have completed Publication 501 indicating that they do not live with you.) You must also provide more than ½ of their financial support throughout the year and be the only person claiming them as a dependent on your return.
All dependents must meet the following criteria in order to be claimed by anyone
- They must be a legal US citizen, US national, a US resident or, a resident of Mexico or Canada.
- They cannot be filing a joint return for themselves. So, if you provide significant support for a child or parent but they file a joint return with their spouse, they are NOT eligible to be claimed as a dependent.
- You cannot claim someone as a dependent who takes a personal exemption for themselves or claims a dependent on their tax return.
Success Tax Relief: Can Help You Make Sense of the Process
You may still have questions about dependent status or whether you are able to claim a relative as a dependent. Success Tax Relief can help you answer these and many other tax related questions anytime of the year. Our team has more than 30 years of experience helping taxpayers just like you navigate the often complicated tax return process. We will review all of your information and documents and make sure that you are maximizing all potential credits and deductions. Additionally, if you receive questions or an audit notice from the IRS, we can handle all of the communication on your behalf.
Completing annual tax returns can be extremely stressful, especially if you have more questions than answers. All you have to do is give us a call at 1-877-825-1179 or contact us online and our team will get started working with you. Don’t wait until next April…now is the best time to look ahead and make plans that can actually positively impact your tax return!