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:

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).

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 country.

4.INCOME test:
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 tax year.

5.SUPPORT test:
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 non-taxable income.

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.

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