Can I Claim Someone As My Dependent?
In order to be able to claim someone as a dependent, they must
not have claimed themselves when filing a return (if they had to
file), and you must satisfy EACH of FIVE tests:
1.RELATIONSHIP or MEMBER OF HOUSEHOLD test:
The dependent must be related to you by blood or
marriage. This includes children (including legally
adopted), brother, sister, parents, grandchildren,
great-grandchildren, parents-in- law, daughter/son-in-law,
brother/sister-in-law, step brother/sister, half rother/sister
or - if related by blood - your aunt, uncle, nephew or niece.
If you do NOT meet the relationship test, the dependent
can still qualify if he or she lived in your home the ENTIRE
tax year. This would include a foster child (any child who
lived in your home as a family member for the year).
The dependent must be unmarried at
the end of the year OR, if he or she is married, cannot be
filing a joint return with his or her spouse (Exception: If
they have no tax liability whatsoever, and are filing just to
get a refund of tax withheld).
3.CITIZEN OR RESIDENT test:
The dependent must be a
citizen of the United States, a resident alien, a resident of
Canada or Mexico, or your adopted child who is none of
the above BUT who lived with you all year in a foreign
In general, the dependent cannot have had gross income subject to tax of $3,050.
EXCEPTIONS: The income limitation does not apply if the dependent is your child
AND either - is under age 19 at the end of the year OR - is under age 24 at
the end of the year AND a full-time student for any part of five months in the
Generally, you must be able to establish
that you have provided MORE than half of the
dependent's total support for the tax year. The cost of
support includes food, clothing, education, medical and
dental care as well as the fair rental value of shelter
provided. This must exceed the total of all other
assistance coming from other sources, including other
relatives, government entities, the person's savings and
Note: Special rules apply to divorced or separated parents, or
cases where the bulk of the person's support is provided by two
or more people. See Forms 8332 and 2120, respectively.