Who is a qualifying dependent?

A qualifying dependent could be a qualifying child or qualifying relative. A dependent is your son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, adopted the child, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, half-brother, half-sister, grandchild, niece or nephew, parent, stepsibling, half-sibling, stepparent or in law.

Only claim each dependent once. If the dependent is filing their own tax return, they must indicate they are being claimed on their tax return.


You can claim a dependent if they meet the following IRS requirements.

  • If your dependent is a child, he or she must be younger than you and under age 19 at the end of the year. Otherwise, he or she must be younger than you, and a full-time student, under age 24 at the end of the year. There is no age limit if the child is permanently or totally disabled.
  • If the dependent was related to you, they must have lived with you for more than half the year. 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. When considering financial support consider expenses such as 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. If your dependent 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.


If all these terms are met, you can claim the dependent on your return. You must include the dependent’s full name, date of birth, relationship to you, social security number and income earned. (If any)

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