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Can I Claim Someone As My Dependent pre 2005?

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:

  1. RELATIONSHIP or MEMBER OF HOUSEHOLD test: 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 brother/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).
  2. UNMARRIED test: 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.
  3. CITIZEN OR RESIDENT test: 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 (for 1998) $2,800 or more. 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 2220, respectively.




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We do not offer legal advice. All information provided on this website is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for proper legal advice. If you have legal questions, we recommend that you seek the advice of legal professionals.

Tax Disclaimer: To ensure compliance with IRS Rules, any U.S. federal tax advice provided in this communication is not intended or written to be used, and it cannot be used by the recipient or any other taxpayer (i) for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed on the recipient or any other taxpayer under the Internal Revenue Code, or (ii) in promoting, marketing or recommending to another party a partnership or other entity, investment plan, arrangement or other transaction addressed herein.

Copyright 2017 Wink Tax Services / Wink Inc.
Last modified: January 30, 2017