Who qualifies as a Dependent?
For the purposes of filing a tax return, there are two types of dependents:
- Qualifying Child
- Qualifying Relative
Before going into the specific rules for each type of dependent, there are a few requirements necessary for all dependents:
- The dependent must be a U.S. citizen or resident.
- The dependent may not be claimed as a dependent on another tax return nor take a personal exemption for himself.
- The dependent may not file a joint tax return for himself.
All of the following must apply for a dependent to be a qualifying child:
- The child must be your relative. This includes a son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, brother, sister, adopted child, or offspring of any of them.
- The child must be under age 19, a full-time student under the age of 24, or permanently and totally disabled.
- In general, the child must live with you for more than half the year.
- The child cannot have earned income that provides for more than half of their support.
All of the following must apply for a dependent to be a qualifying relative:
- Member of household or Relationship. In general, the relative must live with you.
- Gross Income. The relative’s gross income must be less than $4,000.
- You must provide for more than half of the relative’s total support for the year.