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Category: Basic Information

Who can I claim as a Dependent or Qualifying Child?

Generally, your children for whom your provide support and a home qualify as your dependents. However, you may find yourself in a situation where your dependents do not fall into this category. In those cases, the IRS has devised the following five tests to determine if you can claim the person as a dependent: 

1. Citizenship

To qualify for an exemption your dependent must either be:

* a US citizen,

* a resident of the US, Canada, or Mexico for part of the year

* a legally adopted foreign child who now resides in the US, or

* an adopted child living with you the entire year in a foreign country.

 

2. Relationship

To qualify for an exemption your dependent must either be:

* a relative or

* a member of your household for the entire year.

 

3. Joint Return

To qualify for an exemption your dependent can NOT file a joint return with a spouse. 

 

4. Gross Income

To qualify for an exemption your dependent can NOT have a gross income of more than $4,050 (exceptions apply).

 

5. Support

To qualify for an exemption your dependent must receive more than one-half of his/her total support from you.

 

You can use the IRS interactive tool to assist you in determining who you can claim as a dependent on your tax return. Visit the IRS website by clicking here.