Who exactly can you claim as a dependent? In recent years, families have rearranged their finances and living arrangements as a result of the state of the economy, making this an even bigger matter. It’s especially important for taxpayers because for each dependent you claim, an exemption applies, taking off a portion of taxable income. Read below to know once and for all.
At the most basic level, a dependent must be someone you support: you must provide at least half of a person’s total support, such as food, shelter, and clothing, in order to claim them. If your child is an adult, working and taking care of themselves while living in your home, it is likely that you cannot claim them as your dependent.
Dependents are typically children or another relative but not always. The below rules apply to all dependents.
When you are claiming a child, certain restrictions apply:
Parents or other relatives can be claimed as dependents, and also come with a set of requirements:
There are also special circumstances for claiming dependents, such as when a birth or death occurs, domestic partnerships, and so on. Always consult your trusted tax professional to explore exceptions and requirements.
The above series will address frequently asked questions. From the most pressing general questions about what to claim, to specific issues applying to niche groups of taxpayers, we have all of the answers to common questions covered.
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