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How Long Can You Claim Your Child as a Dependent?

How Long Can You Claim Your Child as a Dependent?

By on Jan 14, 2016 in Tax Tips | 0 comments

How Long Can You Claim Your Child as a Dependent?One of the joys of tax season for some is being able to claim their child as a dependent. This often makes the difference in determining whether or not a taxpayer is due a refund or they owe. It is safe to assume that no one wants the latter. Yet, as with everything, there are certain rules and regulations that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has applied toward these types of tax credits. This is usually the case with most taxpayers.

Not knowing about tax filing laws can lead to misinformation on an annual tax filing that could result in processing delays and even an audit. In other cases, it may result in losing out on money that is rightfully owed to the taxpayer.

So when filing taxes, whether there’s a kid to claim or not, it is most advantageous to educate oneself regarding who can be claimed as a dependent on a tax filing. 

Claiming a Child 

It is pretty much a no-brainer that a parent can legally claim his or her child. Some may even know that they can claim an adoptive child on their tax filings. The only way that this can be done is if there are legal documents stating that this person is legally under that taxpayers guardianship. The only situation where it is not necessary is when that dependent is a blood relative, in which case, even more legal documentation may be necessary.

Claiming a dependent becomes questionable, as the child gets older. Legally, a taxpayer can claim his or her child until they reach the age of 18. If that child chooses to go to college and the parents are still providing more than have of his or her living expenses, then that ‘child’ continues to qualify as a dependent. Now if that child ends up being fully able to financially support him or herself, then the parents can no longer claim that person as a dependent. In fact, that ‘child’ is now considered an independent taxpayer and is now obligated to file his or her own annual taxes. 

Who Else Might Qualify as a Dependent? 

If a taxpayer is taking responsibility for more than half of that dependent’s living expenses, he or she can legally claim that person. There just need to be legal documentation to prove that dependent is a blood relative. In this case, the dependent can be a niece, nephew, grandchild, cousin, sibling and even parent. 

How Much is a Dependent Worth? 

Tax credits and exemptions can change every year, so the amount always varies each tax season, but not by much. Here is why fully understanding who can be legally claimed as dependent matters.  A taxpayer can receive up to a $4,000 exemption per dependent. This is a major benefit that can reduce the net amount of taxable income that may also result in a generous refund.

Success Tax Relief: Depend on Us!

Success Tax Relief is a tax consultation service that specializes in resolving any tax issues that you might have with the IRS. We also concern ourselves with tax debt prevention as well, informing our clients about how to avoid financial downfalls that usually cause tax debt. If you are interested in learning more about our services, visit our website or call us today at 1-877-825-1179. For immediate action, contact us online now.

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