What is a Qualifying Relative?

A relative can qualify as your dependent if they meet the IRS conditions.

Qualifying Relative

  • A relative is your son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, adoptive child, grandchild, sibling, niece or nephew, parent, stepsibling, half-sibling, stepparent or in law. If the individual is not related to you through your bloodline, he or she must have lived with you in your home all year.
  • The individual cannot be a qualifying child or claimed by another taxpayer.
  • The relative’s gross income must be less than $4,050 at the end of the year (subject to change).
  • You must have financially provided over half of his or her support. Expenses include lodging, food, utilities, repairs, clothing, education, household, medical and dental expenses, travel and recreation costs.
  • They must be an unmarried U.S citizen, U.S national, U.S resident alien, or a resident of Canada or Mexico.
  • The relative can be married or unmarried. If he or she is filing a joint return, they can only claim a refund of tax withheld or estimated tax paid.
  • You and your Spouse (if you are filing married filing jointly) cannot be a dependent of another taxpayer’s return.

Did you meet all these terms?

You can now claim your qualifying relative as a dependent on your tax return. Include the dependent’s full name, date of birth, relationship to you, social security number and income earned. You can refer to our tax blog for a detailed description.

You can only claim each dependent once per exemption. However, if the individual is a qualifying dependent of more than one person, the person who has the greater Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) takes the exemption.

What if my dependent is filing their own tax return?

If the dependent you are claiming is filing their own tax return, the dependent must indicate that they are being claimed on their tax return.

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