Who Can You Claim As A Dependent?

A dependent must be either a qualifying child or a qualifying relative of the taxpayer.  Although a qualifying can meet the tests to be a qualifying child of more than one person, only one person can claim the child. 

To claim another person as a dependent, all of the following tests must be satisfied. 

  • Dependent Taxpayer Test.  The taxpayer or spouse cannot be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return
  • Citizen or Resident Test.  The person being claimed as a dependent must be a US citizen or a US resident alien
  • Qualifying Child Relationship Test.  The qualifying dependent must be the taxpayer’s son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, half-brother, half-sister, or a descendent of ay of these. 
  • Residency Test.  The child must have lived with the taxpayer for more than half the year. 
  • Qualifying Child Age Test.  The qualifying dependent must be under age 19 or under age 24, a full-time student for some part of each of any 5 calendar months, or permanently and totally disabled at any time during the year regardless of age.
  • Qualifying Child Support Test.  The qualifying child cannot have provided over half of his or her own support during the year.  
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