Claiming Qualifying Dependents on Taxes – IRS Tax Dependent Definition & Rules

family children tax dependentsAs any parent knows, dependents are a great way to get tax deductions. Everyone in the U.S. is eligible to receive a “personal exemption” of $4,000 on their taxes. However, if they don’t support themselves (children, for example), their personal exemption can be transferred to the person who does support them (such as their parents), by claiming them as dependents.

If you support people in your household, each one may be considered a dependent – and can reduce your taxable income by $4,000. However, there are specific rules that must be met in order for this to occur.

Who Qualifies as a Dependent for Tax Purposes?

1. You Can’t Be Someone’s Dependent and Claim Dependents of Your Own
Yes, this sounds a bit circular, but if you are claimed as someone else’s dependent, you can’t claim your own dependents. For example, if Sarah and her son move back in with her mother due to a job loss, and Sarah doesn’t have a means to support herself, her mother might qualify to take Sarah as a dependent. However, Sarah cannot then list her son as her dependent – he might actually be the dependent of his grandmother, if she provides his support.

2. The Dependent Must Be a Citizen of the United States, or a Resident of the United States, Canada, or Mexico
Even if a potential dependent is your relative, he or she must meet one of these criteria in order to qualify for a personal tax exemption. While this one seems fairly cut and dried, there are some situations where questions arise. For instance, if you’re adopting a child from a different country, and the child is not yet a U.S. citizen, the child may still be considered a dependent if he or she lived with you as a household resident for the whole year.

If you have other questions regarding resident status, Publication 501 has details on determining the proper exemption.

3. The Dependent Can Be Married, But Can’t File as “Married Filing Jointly” With His or Her Spouse
As an example, if Sarah were married when she moved in with her mother, she and her husband must file separately in order for Sarah’s mother to claim her as a dependent.

Claiming Children as Dependents

Most of the time when people claim dependents on their tax return, they are claiming their children. There are five specific criteria that must be met in order to take a child as a dependent:

  1. Residency. The dependent must live with you for at least six months out of the year. For divorced parents or for parents serving in the military, this requirement can seem confusing. Generally the custodial parent in a divorced household is the one who can claim the child as a dependent. For any situation in which you or your child did not live together for more than six months due to business, military service, long-term illness, educational requirements, or vacation, you may still be able to claim the child as a dependent. For more details on when, and how, to determine residency, refer to Publication 501.
  2. Relationship. For a child to be your “qualifying child,” the person must be your son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, or a descendant of any of these (grandchild, for example). Or, a qualifying child can be your brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or a descendant of any of these (such as your niece or nephew).
  3. Age. A child must be under age 19 at the end of the year and younger than you, unless he or she is a full-time student, in which case he or she must be under age 24 and younger than you. However, any child who is permanently and totally disabled can be claimed as a dependent, regardless of age.
  4. Support. The child can’t provide more than half of the money for his or her own support for the year in question. For example, a young actress might earn more money than her parents, and thus essentially support herself. Another instance would be a child whose care is paid for by a trust fund or other source of money. Neither of these individuals would be eligible to be taken as a dependent.
  5. Joint Return. If your child files a joint return with his or her spouse, he or she is not an eligible dependent – with one exception. The exception is if your child and his or her spouse file a joint return for the explicit purpose of having withheld taxes returned. For instance, if they only made $1,000 for the year from part-time jobs, and those jobs withheld taxes, they could file for the purpose of having those taxes returned and still be eligible dependents on your tax return.

Claiming Other Relatives as Dependents

Other than children, who can you take as a dependent? The requirements for this are somewhat stricter. Generally, you can take a relative as a dependent if they didn’t earn more than $4,000 all year and you provided more than 50% of their support. Generally, according to Publication 17, relatives whom you are supporting do not have live with you (e.g., if you are paying for your grandmother to live in her own apartment.)

What Does Support Mean?

The IRS defines support generally as items provided on behalf of an individual. This includes food, lodging, and other necessities like clothing, transportation, day care costs, medical expenses, education expenses, and even luxuries for personal enjoyment (such as video games or haircuts). You must count the fair rental value of any housing you provide, instead of using the mortgage or rent you actually paid.

Each person can only be taken as a dependent by one person or couple filing jointly. The most common situation where this becomes an issue is for divorced couples who share custody of a child. Generally the parent with whom the child lived the most during the year (the custodial parent) is able to claim the child as a dependent. However, he or she has the right to waive that option and allow the other parent to claim the exemption instead.

Someone might choose to do this because the custodial parent’s income is lower or because it’s part of a divorce decree. The custodial parent can use Form 8332 to sign over the right to take the exemption to the noncustodial parent, or attach the part of the divorce agreement that deals with this issue in lieu of completing the form. These rules still apply to stepchildren, even after a divorce.

What’s important to note is that if one parent or one individual claims a person as a qualifying child, no other parent or individual may claim that same person as either a qualifying child or a qualifying relative.

Final Word

Taking advantage of the dependents tax break can be extremely beneficial financially, as long as you understand and meet the requirements set forth by the IRS. Be sure to check if you’re eligible to take the child and dependent care credit, the child tax credit, and the earned income credit as well.

Do you claim any dependents? How much of an impact have they had on your tax return or tax bill?

  • Richard

    We supported our full time 22 year old dependant daughter in 2010 through August (college graduation). She then married, and lived with new husband and got her own job too for reminder (4 months) of the 2010. They are doing well. Can’t I still claim her for 2010 as she was dependant on us completely for nearly eight months of 2010 before marrying, moving, and making good money on her new job?

    • Kira Botkin

      Your status at the end of the year is your status for the whole year. So if she was married on December 31st, she was considered married for 2010. The rules for taking a married person as a dependent are much stricter than taking a child. Plus, she wouldn’t have been a full time student the whole year, and if she makes good money at her new job she probably is making too much to be claimed as anyone’s dependent.

  • Kira

    The first thing that comes to mind is whether she and her husband filed as married filing jointly. Anyone who files as married filing jointly can no longer be taken as a dependent. If they are filing as married filing separately, you may qualify to take her as a dependent. Another potential issue is whether you provided more than 50% of her support because that is qualified as money spent, not the amount of time you spent supporting her. I would bet that her current standard of living as a working adult is rather higher than living in a dorm or in her parents’ home, and so she may have spent more on her own living expenses in four months than you did in eight. If she had a job in college, any amount she spent on her own care while you were supporting her also counts against what you spent on her.

    But before you do anything, you need to talk to your daughter to coordinate this, because claiming her as a dependent will increase your refund but significantly decrease the refund that your daughter and son in law will get. There is no situation in which both you and your daughter will come out with higher refunds.

    • joeygiganto

      if the wife salary is above minimum and his husband is below can wife carry their child to lessen her tax?

  • Heatherearhart

    Hi I am 20 years old and a full-time student but in the tax year of 2011, I did not live with my parents for even a week, they might of bought me food one time, but did pay my car insurance for 4 months, but that is the only thing they payed for. I make more money then they do, but they Claimed me on their taxes. They now are refusing to give me their income information for my FAFSA to get government help to go to school. I do not have a good relationship and am not happy they are getting money back for “supporting” me when they don’t. My question is, Is this legal? Can they do this? If not who should I contact to take care of this?
    Thank you!!

    • Kira Botkin

      You should contact your school’s financial aid department to find out what to do to get yourself emancipated, since your parents are unwilling to fill out the FAFSA. As far as your taxes, no, they should not be taking you as a dependent because it sounds like you don’t qualify as their dependent under IRS rules as you didn’t live with them and you provided more than half of your own support.

  • guest

    Hi I am 24 years old and single mom of 3 kids and only get survivors checks for my kids on their dad that passed away. So I can not claim taxes cause I didnt have a job. My Step Uncle helped me out with gas, food, clothes and other things that my kids and I needed. He he able to claim us as dependents on his taxes??

    • Kira Botkin

      It depends on how much the survivors’ checks were for – more than $3,650 per kid and he will not be able to take them. But if you don’t have a job or any income, he can probably claim you.

  • guest

    hi I moved my great aunt to nyc from las vegas to live with me in april of 2011 because of health reasons. Before that she lived with a cousin from oct 2010 to april 2011 in vegas. My great aunt is 88 years old and lives on her social security. I just found out that someone claimed her on their taxes already for 2011 without our knowledge and we suspect it is the cousin in las vegas. Is this legal and can we file a complaint with the IRS.

    • Kira Botkin

      Well, the greater issue is that unless her Social Security checks are $305 a month or less, neither of you can claim her, because she made more than $3,650 during the year.

      • guest

        Thanks for responding and yes her SS checks are more than $305 per month. She was also definately used as a dependent also. Should or Can the IRS be notified?

      • Lisa101

        Kira social security is not earned income and you do not have to file taxes on it only if you make $25,000 or more a year. Social security does not fall under the $3,650 you are stating, which now 2013 is $3,900.

  • Granger

    Hi – …my adult (25+) yr old son has lived with me throughout 2012; unemployed. I have provided full support. He’s potentially going to be employed mid-late November. My question is this: I’d like to recoup some of this cost of support. If my son works 1.5 – 2 months, he’d have to agree to be a dependent on my return, forfeiting his own, correct? Not sure how this works….any advice or reference would be helpful

  • Richard Soosia

    Dear Kira, Gross income does not include Social Security payments or other tax-exempt income.

  • Concern parent

    I have a question, I support both my mother and toddler son financial. My mom takes care of my son as I work and attend school. I claim boy mother,and son on my taxes.,However I only get the child tax credit. My mother wants to sue me for claiming her, because she’s under the impression I get money for her; when I don’ t can she do this?

    • Kira Botkin

      If you do claim her as a dependent, an extra $3,800 (for 2012 taxes) of your income is now tax free. So you are getting some money from claiming her, indirectly. But if your mother makes little to no money, she really has no incentive to not be your dependent because she isn’t going to pay any taxes anyway, and so somebody should get the benefit. But if she earned more than $3,800 this year, that’s the point at which you can no longer claim an adult relative as a dependent.

  • Mindy

    I have an important ??

    • Kira Botkin

      Which is.. ?

  • jeff

    My wife ( who’s only worked for about 4 months during the last year) said she can sue me if I claim both of our children. she sfeel that I m not entitled to ANY refund of any kind since I’ve worked all year and claimed 3 depemdents for with-holding.
    Is she right, or just crazy like everyone tells me?

    • Kira Botkin

      Well, there is really no suing that can go on here, nor does whether you get a refund or not have anything to do with anything. Whether you get a refund or not is only based on the taxes you owe and the taxes you paid, not whether you have dependents.

      Are you actually still married to this woman, and if so are you filing jointly or separately? If you do not live together, who actually has custody of the children?

  • Tara

    My grandchildren live with me (9 and 11yrs) and they receive social security benefits because their parents are deceased. Can I claim them as dependants or not? They each receive $900.00 a month from social security.

    • Kira Botkin

      In order to claim them you need to have provided more than half of their support. So if you spend more than $900 of your own money per child per month, you could claim them. (That would be $900 of your money ON TOP of spending their SS checks, on food, clothes, etc.) That seems like a lot of money though.

      You do get to include some for housing and utilities, but only the proportion that is reasonably attributable to the children, not the whole amount you spend on housing and utilities.

  • curiousinal

    Can a mother who has not had her children with her for over a year still claim them as dependents? They have been living with their grandparents since before Christmas 2011. Also, my son gets them most weekends (he is not biological father, altho the baby has his last name.) The children’s mother told my son last year he could claim the baby (he claimed all when they were together because she didn’t work) and then she claimed her also which caused a kickback from IRS. What is the grandparents and his rights ? Can she legally claim them if she hasn’t even seen them?

    • Kira Botkin

      The only thing that matters is who is financially supporting the children. If the grandparents are the ones paying for their food, clothes, shelter, and what not, they are the ones who can claim them. If your son is paying the grandparents to take care of them, he could have a case, but if he is just watching them on the weekend, that’s not enough. If the mother does not pay any support towards the children’s needs, she does not get to decide who takes them as dependents. If she has already filed, you should contact the IRS. The grandparents should file their taxes as soon as possible if they can take the children as dependents.

  • guest

    My father went to court to have me legally emancipated effective January 1, 2012. When I tried to file my taxes they were rejected because he claimed me as a dependent. I was 20 years old in 2012, still live with my mother (not my father) and I made over $17,000.00 in 2012. Can he do that? What can I/should I do?

    • Kira Botkin

      No, he can’t. You should call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 or go to a Taxpayer Assistance Center for help. You probably made too much money to be anybody’s dependent, and you didn’t live with him, so he can’t claim you. Can you talk to him and ask him to amend his taxes?

  • Mathews

    I moved to US in March 2012. But my wife and kids are in India. I support them from the income I receive in US. I am on a H1 visa. Can I claim my wife and kids as dependents

    • Kira Botkin

      Since the children don’t live with you, you couldn’t claim them. You might be able to claim your wife, but I’m honestly not sure how you would go about filing as married unless your wife has a federal tax ID number. You should call the IRS on this question to find some answers.

  • judith.straight

    hi, My son turned 19 in Jan. 2013. He lives with me and I pay for over half of his expenses. He filed his own return and claimed himself. Can I still claim him this year?

    • Kira Botkin

      You are legally allowed to, but the return will be rejected because he already filed. Talk to him and ask him to file an amended return.

      • dgpam

        from what i’m reading on the IRS site,,her son doesn’t have to file an amended return,,she can, and the IRS will contact him to make arrangements for an overpayment, say-lavie

  • Cerebral palsy girl

    I moved out of my parents’ home to another state in 2009. Can they still claim me on their tax forms because I am handicap? Is it wrong. What do I need to do to correct this matter? I have not live with them for 6 months out of year. I tried to apply for fasfa but they need my own income tax statements. I don’t what to do or who to contact about this matter.

    • Kira Botkin

      To be honest, I’m not sure what your being handicapped has to do with it. If you are living on your own and not receiving support from them, or anyone else, you are no one’s dependent. If you earned income, and are not anyone’s dependent, you should be filing your own tax returns with your own name at the top. If you earned income between 2009 and now, you can still file your taxes (and probably should), and that will get you some tax returns you can use for FAFSA.

      If you have not earned any income, you should talk to the school you are applying for about how to fill out the FAFSA when you have no income. If you have SSDI or something else of that nature, you should have statements from that that you could show them, and hopefully they can instruct you on how to fill out the FAFSA using those.

  • heather

    I been living with my roomate and have not worked this whole year I been getting child support n paying my half the bills for that is my roomate aloud to claim my kids

    • sara

      Had the same question, same situation. Do you mind me asking what you found out?

  • m.jackson

    my son lives with me and is twenty years old. he has a job and probably will make about 5300.00 this year. can i carry him as a dependent on my taxes?

  • Leslie Phillips

    I have a 6 year old daughter who i have full custody of, and i don’t receive child support from her father. I don’t have a job, can i still file taxes and claim her as a dependent? And if so, will i get money back?

    • Bella

      If you aren’t supporting her (paying for housing, food, etc) you can’t claim her. If you don’t have a job, they’re going to question how you can afford to support her.

  • Corrie Latour

    I have a roommate who is 70 years of age she makes 948 a month from social security and I pay the majority of the bills can I claim her on my income tax?

  • Mystic

    I am 50 years of age and I live with my son. I haven’t worked in over 3 years. So I was wondering if he can file me on his taxes because he is supporting me?

  • ajsb

    My two daughters have lived with me all year and their father has gotten them maybe 1-2 times for the day a month. I have received no money. Do I have to let him claim one of the children on his taxes?

    • am

      If they live with you and you are providing at least half their support, he has no rights to claim them. Claiming a child means you provide more than half their support for that year, anything other wise is lying and fraud. They will decide who should have gotten to claim them and got the credit and he can be penalized and also they can stop him from claiming any child credits etc for a certain number of years for this. They are rightfully yours to claim. Even if he already did it and he should not have, you get forms from the IRS to report this so they can go back and investigate.

  • dgpam

    hi,,anyone have a response to this situation. My wife and I have our daughter and her two children(our grandchildren) living with us, and have for the last three years. She, or daughter is not employed and the children’s father is paying the minimum amount of support, 200.00 dollars a month. He claimed the two children last year,,and it appears as though he has done this again, this tax season. We belief we are entitled to claim them in an amended return retro to last year, as well as this year. We have been feeding/housing/clothing these children, haircuts,,even paying for dental visits! And this non-custodial parent(we have another name for him that isn’t fit for print here) knowing he isn’t allowed to claim them,,and has not been given ANY permission to claim them, has done so now two years running. any comments would be greatly appreciated.

    • AM

      The IRS has forms you can file to say that you believe you should have been able to claim them not him, and they will determine who should have claimed and gotten the credit and he would be penalized if he wrongfully claimed them. If is is not providing more than half of their support than they are not his dependents. It is fraud. You can def claim your grandchildren like I said if you are providing support and they are living with you.

  • Issac

    My mother and I both live with my grandparents and my mother supports the both of us. Can my grandparents legally claim my mother and I as dependents on their W-2? On another note, my grandparents had an addition put on their house in 2007, and they had a den put in the blueprints so that they did not have to pay taxes on a bedroom for me. I was just wondering if that would be considered tax fraud?

    • AM

      If your mother is working and supporting the both of you than I do not believe they can also claim you guys as dependents. It would seem to me that your mom would file her own return and claim you as a dependent if you are under age 19, or up to 24 if you are still a student.

  • Shadei

    Hi, I am 19 years of age and I am unemployed and was a full time student. My mother recently filed taxes and claimed me as a dependent, since I live with her and dependent on her for my needs.
    My question is how much money does she receive for me as income tax refund? she works under $15,000 a year as income.
    Your response will be very much appreciated as it is important for me to know this.

    • AM

      May I ask why do you ask? She can claim you as a dependent up to age 24 I believe if you are a full time student and she is providing more than half of your support whether you live with her or not. She is entitled to that because she is supporting you and I think the child tax credit is about 1,000 but am not positive.

  • Grace

    My adult son lives with me . He receives SSI. Can I claim


    • Angela Baney

      Yes you can

      • Angela Baney

        Im on SSI & my parents claim me as well as my 2 children

  • kajuansa

    Filed my taxes it’s someone has already claimed my grandchild whom I ‘ve claimed over 5 years and lives with me I now have legal guardianship what are my options

  • mr. e

    I have primary physical custody but my ex is claiming them for a few things under a name that was changed on the birth certificate a year ago. Is this technically fraud because they never changed it at the Social Security office?

  • KTG

    Daughter graduated from college in May, began her job today, turned 23 last week, only took 6 hours in spring semester. I have provided full support to date. Can I still claim her as dependent or should she claim herself on w-4?

  • deanna

    My husband & I are supporting my sister and I currently do not work. Does the IRS have a table that might show how much $$ is needed to support 3 people?

  • michelle

    My ex and I have been seperated for more than five years we were never married I’ve claimed my son for taxes every year now he says he’s claiming him this year and that’s its Iowa law that he gets every other year is this true I don’t see how when I provide majority of his care

    • Shannon Ux

      Hi Michelle. I understand your situation as I’m a single parent as well.

      You should review IRS Publication 17 for full details, but the summary answer would be your ex PROBABLY cannot do what he wants.

      The best way to determine whether he can claim any exemption for you son is the custodial parent test. The IRS defines the custodial parent as the person with whom the child spends the majority of the nights of the year with. So, if you share custody with your ex and you have your son more nights than your ex, then more than likely you would be able to claim the exemption.

      Now, where your ex is getting the every other year thing is more common with parents who are divorced or have a custodial agreement that stipulates that you BOTH agree to switch off the years in which you claim your son’s exemption. IF no such written document exists, then he cannot just decide that he is claiming your son.

      If he beats you to filing, he may get the exemption initially, but there are steps you can take to fight him and the IRS will side with the custodial parent. If that is you, then he would likely have further issues with the IRS (a warning to him if you will).

  • sara

    Can my room mate claim my 2 children even though I am still legally married?


    hi I have just moved to the us from Canada, and am currently on a TN status I was asked to file the w4 form to which I am confused on line 3 what to check mark. the options are single , married and married but withhold at higher tax rate. also listed below is if married but legally separated, or spouse is non resident alien check the single box..
    my issue is my wife is currently an Indian citizen and is living in the us with me as a TN dependent. can anyways please guide me what the right answer for this will be as I need to submit the same to get paid.. thanks

  • Angels

    My 13 years old daughter was living with my mother outside USA for reasons beyond my control and i was no able to claim her taxes as a dependent although i was supporting both (my mother and my daughter) since i came legally to USA in 2008.
    Now that we are both US citizens and my daughter is finally living with me. Can i have and amendment in my pass taxes to recuperate some of that money?

  • lovely

    i took temp custody of my nephews back in august, i do not file taxes however my boyfriend does and he is in fact head of household. he is the sole provider for our home. since we are no married only i was granted custody. can he claim my nephews on his taxes as dependents ?

  • mary

    My mother had my kids for half of the year and now my children are living with me. I support them since July and she is wanting to claim them. Can she claim my children without their social security cards or does she need just their names and numbers?

  • sunshine777

    I have court custody of my son I let him live with his grandma in North Carolina for 8 months I picked him up in September of 2014 due to the fact they weren’t getting along she sworn she wasn’t going to claim him on her taxes. I talk to tax per pares they said since I have court order documents and he’s back in school in Va I have the right to claim him. My question can I even though he hasn’t live with me for 6 months. I pick him up in September 2014? Thanks

  • Danielle W

    Hello, my name is Danielle I’m 20 years old about to be 21 this April and i was wondering how do I take my name off my dad’s income taxes? I go to school to get my GED i don’t have a job but I am looking for one my dad said he was going to file his taxes early and not going to give me nothing but he expects me to help him pay the bills which i have no problem doing but at the same time I feel I should at least get some of the money and I really believe that’s it’s unfair. I really need that money because in a few weeks I’ll be heading off to college and I need things but it seems that he doesn’t care he told me that he still carrying me on his taxes and I told him to take my name off of it if since he’s not going to give me the money i need and he said no I’m really upset about the whole thing I just want my share of the money so I can start getting my things i need for college so how do i take my name off his income tax?

    Thank you

    • ProudMommy

      You should be ashamed of yourself

      • Danielle W

        Ashame of myself for what?

        • Crystal

          You don’t have a job. Your father can get a huge tax cut for claiming you as a dependent, where if you claim yourself, you will get very little tax cut or refund, because you don’t have a job, anyway. They’re not going to give you a huge refund if you are not working whereas your father will get a huge refund.

      • bob88

        You’re crazy proud mommy, I totally feel for Danielle w.

        • bob88

          Or well at least understand where she’s coming from. & didn’t mean to call ya crazy
          But yeah.

    • Edgardo A. Soto Rodriguez

      So your father take care of you and gives you a roof over your head and you still want the money he deserve..get a job..get out your house.. And then when you provide for yourself file sociol securities for you. Selfish person you are so wrong.

      • Danielle W

        It’s crazy how almost everyone who comment called me selfish all because I needed the money for school but it’s okay though I’m fine with that. My mom and other family members got together and helped me out with 250 dollars for school I’m a proud student at Job Corps who is taking up 2 trades CNA and Pharmacy Technician I was offered a job and to do the two year college program I’m really excited about that and the best part about it I didn’t need my dads help cause now he needs me but I’m not gonna do him bogus I’m still gonna help him with anything he need I’ll still pay his lights and gas but far as anything else I’m pretty sure he can take care of the rest life been so good to me and I hope life treat every last one of the same and I hope all of you guys have the most wonderful Holiday season ever thank you guys much even though y’all made me seem like I’m a bad person but its okay.. I’m okay once again thank you????????????

  • celi

    Danielle w. Why should he give u anything. U didn’t even work ! I have never heard of someone so selfish you should be helping your parents or just move out then and support yourself

  • me

    hi, i had a son in 2013 i didnt have a job until 2014 his grandmother claimed him in 2013 since i didnt have a job and she never bought him anything because she was having financle problems but anyways since i had my job i have been providing for my son we stayed with his grandmother all of 2014 and now its taxs season and i wanted to claim him because i have been providing for him and the only thing she has done was put a roof over our heads. she took his ssn away from me and his mother and wont give it to me because she says i dont deserve to claim him is their anything i can do to stop her from claiming him.?

    • Stefanie

      All you have to do is go to the social security office to get your son’s ssn if you don’t know it. And also just contact the IRS asap to let them know that someone else is going to try to claim your child on their taxes and you did not give permission to do so & that you’re planning on claiming him because you worked all year & you’re the one that supported him & they should put a block on his ssn from anyone else being able to claim the child at all, only you. It’s actually illegal to claim someone else’s child without permission from the parent of the child. It doesn’t matter if you lived in someone else’s house, it’s who bought everything for the child that the IRS looks at. And no you are not being selfish at all. You worked all year, financially supported him, buying him everything he needed therefore you deserve to claim your child & get some of that money back. Not only that it’ll help you to move into your own place cuz it sounds like it would be a good idea. Good luck.

  • me

    he is only 1 years old

  • mack

    If my wife and I are married when can I not File the kids ?

  • ashmash

    im 22 i always claims my two kids on my taxes my sons father to whom is on child support and also in the navy but only paying me 207 monthly. he says he is going to carry my son … i beg to differ how can i make it so he cant do so? is it even possible

  • Amymae98

    My son and grandson lived with me for 8 months last year. He is now married and they live on their own. Can I still claim my grandson as a dependent this year if my son and his wife only claim the EIC credit? My son said he will allow me.

  • esb1922

    Not really clear (or makes sense) – “A child must be under age 19 at the end of the year, unless he or she is under age 24 and a full time student.”
    “However, you can also claim a person who is unrelated to you as a dependent if that person lived with you for the entire year, earned less than $3,950, and you provided more than half of his or her support”…. so if my child is 25, lives with me and doesn’t work I can’t claim him/her as a dependent but I can claim as a dependent a total stranger who is 25 and lives with me???

    • Pamela Vizuete

      Yes, very confusing, I know. Esb1922, I claim a 34 year old dependent male who lives with me the full year because he makes less than $3,950 and I provide more than half of his support. Here’s the kicker…he IS also my son. He qualifies as an ADULT dependent, not as a CHILD dependent. You see, after the dependent is over age 24, they are still an allowable dependent provided the person claiming them is SINGLE and HEAD of the Household.

  • Not better than the rest

    Danielle Don’t worry about what some old bitch has to say about you. She jumped to conclusions and judged you without the full story, which is none of her business anyway. This sight is for tax advice and that is what you were looking for. It is not to judge people, that is what is wrong with this world. You Celi are a cyber bully and had no right to call Danielle selfish, when you lay your head on your pillow tonight remember that this girl (Danielle) is a far better person than you ever will be, she didn’t even get rude in her respons to you. It sound like you made her feel shameful enough that she had to explain a really tough situation to the world so that she would not be looked at as the most selfish person ever. Danielle good luck in college, I hope your dad sees through the fog of his addiction and does the right thing, I am a recovering alcoholic and I know how selfish addicts can be. Keep your head up and screw the rest:)

    • Danielle W

      Thank you Not Better Than The Rest I’ve Been Trying My Best To Help Him But At The Same Time I Need His Help Also I Hope He Realized That I’m Trying To Make Something Out Of My Life I Never Ask Him For Nothing Until Now. I Did Felt Ashamed And Guilty But After Reading Your Message It Made Me Feel A Lot Better So Thank You For Your Kind Words.?

  • Mignon

    My sons father has the legal right to claim our 17 year old son on his taxes according to our divorce decree. My ex and his current wife are super addicts and kicked our son out less then half way through last year. My son came to live with me and works at a restaurant I own. I do not want nor need to claim him but he would like to claim himself. He supported himself for over half of the year but my ex says that because it is in the divorce decree that he can claim our son if our son claims himself he will be breaking the law. Not looking for oppinions on the quality of parenting just the legal rights my son has to claiming himself. Oh we live in Washington if that makes any difference.

  • hbmom

    My daughter is 19 and a full time student. She works part time and made under $2,000 last year. She claimed 1 on her W4 and I was wondering if I can still claim her on my taxes a my dependent, or will she need to file 0 on her taxes for me to claim her. She does live with me and I do support her 100% besides her car payment and gas.

  • Chaneka Thompson

    Your question: “One of my dependents had a name change last year and as I was filing this year I used his old name. My return was rejected saying my dependent was deceased, do you think it’s saying he’s deceased because his old name is no longer in the system or what?

  • Christina

    My daughter is staying with my niece, not by choice but Because they refuse to give her back to me. There is not a court order and now they want to claim her on her taxes can they claim her even though I claimed her already and will I get penalized for doing so??

    • Angela Baney

      It’s who ever claims first

  • liz

    My daughter is 19 & a full time student. She and her daughter who was born 1-4-14 lived with me until sept. 2014 at which point they went to live with my mother where they’re currenly living. My granddaughters father and I spoke regarding taxes and had agreed he & my daughter would alternate years and I would claim the baby this year because I have supported her. My daughter has no income. However I just found out he already claimed her when he filed his taxes. He says hes intitled because he had the baby for 5 weeks straight while they were fighting for custody. The father has shared custody 50/50 as of Dec 2014. There is no child support ordered and their court paperwork says nothing regarding taxes. Prior to Dec he had the baby roughly 7-10 nights a month beginning in April with zero visitation the first four months until they established paternity. I believe I am entitled to claim both my daughter and granddaughter but how will that work since he already claimed the baby???

  • Sharon Davis Dyer

    My brother split up with his live in girlfriend of 13 years they have 3 kids together and she has one. She is telling my brother that her mother and step father are going claim all 4 children even though they have only lived with them for 3 to 4 months. My brother has always claimed 2 and she has always claimed 2 what can he do to be able to claim his children

    • Kk

      Nothing whoever has custody files unless there’s an agreement

  • karen

    I have been raising three children (non-relative) who has lived in my home for 16 months. Parents are incarcerated. Grandparent has custody but doesnt want to raise them. I get nothing monetary for these children. Grandparents want to take them off on their taxes. Who has the legal right?

  • kelly

    OK me and my boyfriend have 2 daughters. Neither of us worked this passed year and his mother helped support them, but she does not live with us, can she claim the girls since she supported us?

  • Leah

    My 30 year old son went thru a divorce at the end of 2013. At that time he was awarded custody of his son, my grandson who is 9 years old. Shortly thereafter he lost his job. He hasn’t worked at all in 2014. I have completly supported them both, however they live in Florida and I’m in Illinois so they haven’t lived in my home. Can I claim them on my taxes since I’ve totally supported them even though they stayed in their own apartment ?

    • Sigrid

      I believe so. Call H&R Block.

  • Abigail Echevarria

    I have a very serious question I’am a mother of a 5 month old baby girl I allowed my daughter’s older step brother to claim her on his taxes but I wasn’t to sure about it at first I told him no but he then told me I will get money for her my daughter’s father seemed to be okay with it but wasn’t I feel I might have made mistake what could I do if I don’t get any money for my daughter from my daughter’s step brother.

  • reyna

    I am the mother of 4 yr old twins n Iam wondering if my boyfriend can claim them on his tax return, he is not the father but we been together for the past 4 yrs and he’s been supporting my girls n I all along. So would he be able to claim them even if he is not related to my kids?

    • Sigrid


  • ef

    Do I have to let my mother claim my child on her tax return or can i stop her from doing that??

    • r.lopez214

      Legaally you don’t havE to. and if she does she can and most likely get in federal trouble.

    • Edgardo A. Soto Rodriguez

      If she support you yes , she got the right do do so.

  • help

    My ex wife and I agreed to let her mother claim our two sons. Her mom received a rejection notice and no onegot the tax credit on my kids. II’m their primary guardian. I shouldn’t of agreed. I was just going to help them out. Can I file a amendment? And get what’s owed to me?

  • John Hernandez

    If I’m being claimed as a dependent on my mother’s tax return, can I still apply for a credit card?

  • John

    Question: My Fiance has claimed my daughter this year as we agreed upon as well as her portion of our daycare expenses. Is it possible to still claim my portion of the day care without claiming my daughter as a dependent? I feel like I should be able to since I did pay it out,and we are still under one roof.

  • Johnny Hicks

    Can your mother file her daughter and daughter children if they have been living in different house hold over many year and she been doing so and the mother of the children have her own place source of income and on hud assistance? Some please respond back I think the irs being fraud for 7 years or more

  • valene

    I have a 7 year old son with my ex and a 11 month old from my my boyfriend. My ex has never given me money, i stopped working at the end of my prenancy and had no income of my own for five months i took long to get my unemployment because i was unaware of the prosses so my boyfriend supported myself my son and our son we have together by himself. He paid the rent bought our food he would let me use his car so i could get my son to school bought my son any and everything he needed. In december my ex staryed working and i began to recieve child support so i let him know just incase he was thinking about claiming my son not to because i was he replied with ” of course i im not you have hom all the time why would i do that” oh i forgot to mention he only sees him on weekends and not consistently. Then we go to do our taxes and he already claimed him. We are completely in the right and can prove it but i dont know how the I.R.S works and what exactly to expect or even though we are right if us not being married is an issue. Will we win?

  • Lawona Ronquist

    Please tell me why I have full custody of my severly handicapped granddaughter and I been with my BF. For 10 yrs I think hes got another woman why is he suddenly trying to claim her and I me after 10 yrs her after ive had her 2 yrs im suspicious please help me understand HELP

  • r. alva

    Some help please. I claimed my girlfriend and newborn son on my taxes. She was there signed there paper and all. She’s lived with me for going on two years now. She barley worked and didn’t even make 1000 dollars that year I’m sure. I solely paid the rent , bought groceries, paid all the bills including her cellphone bill. Now today being the last day taxes can be filed, she went to go amend her taxes just so she can claim our son and get money back for herself. I gave her $650 out of the $1,400 that I got back. I would have received more but $900 got with held for past tax money owed. If I would not have claimed them I would have owed this yearr rather than receive a refund and she knows this so now she’s mad cause I didn’t give her $1000 out of it. So if she goes and amends her taxes and claims or son what will that do to me? I had every right to claim then since I was the one suppoting them both and they both lived with me. Can she do that? Is that even legal? As of today we still live together but our relationship is not at its best right now. I’m sure that’s why she’s doing this and is planning on leaving so she wants to ruin me any way she can and is doing this out of spite. Any feed back you guys can help me out with will be much appreciated. I think what’s she’s trying to do is Iligal and fraudulent cause I think she’s gonna probably try and say that she didn’t live with me and that I didn’t support her.. I mean what else could she say, right? Like I said she was there when I claimed her and she signed some ppaper, willingly. I’m sure I’ve written enough already(: just wanted to have all or most of the facts down. So if anyone out there can please help me, all and any feed back will bee much appreciated, thank you for time.

    • vnaessa

      Call me 2015 tax I’ll help 6025546497

  • Lori Fickert-Rock Stone

    HELP…my family has had one of the most unique (sad) situations in 2014. Please read and give any advice you can, as im preparing my moms tax return and most of this is new to me. Here’s our situation…
    My mom worked, therefore received income, as well as received some social security benefits, she cared for my sister Ashley from Jan 1st through September 2014, Ashley then passed away away in October 2014 after living on her own for 1.5 months. August 2nd, my other sister Nicole was arrested and incarcerated the rest of 2014. My mom moved into my sister Nicoles house and raised her three children from August 2nd through Dec 31st.
    Where do i begin? My mom doesn’t make much $, but has a heart beyond anything any of us could comprehend, literally. She has given sooo much to soo many and chose to earn 10$ an hour, working full time, simply because the job helped people that needed help badly. In addition to working, she watched my sister Ashley die, and had to move out of her home to live in a strange town and raise three children who lost both their parents to incarceration.

    Can anyone help me on how to proceed….obviously i’ll claim HOH for my mom, but can she claim my sisters children as dependents since it was only 5 months of the year that she lived at their house and raised them?
    Also, can my deceased sister Ashley be claimed as a dependent for my mom or do i need to file a return for Ashley.
    Ashley did have a little bit of life insurance $ that she left to my mom and one of my nieces, that my mom raised for 5 months. Please help. you can email me directly at [email protected] if you prefer. Any help is appreciated, as it will save me hours and hours researching all this on the internet. Thank you, Lora

  • Tatyana Ronada Howard

    Ok my boyfriend has been audit since he claim our som in 2012 he has been taking care of us for five years now and we live with him but he’s not on my so birth certificate so my question is how do we prove to the irs my son lives with him

  • Lida

    PLEASE HELP… unsure if i was mis lead!!!!!!

    I have a 17 month year old son and I allowed the father of him and his dad to file my taxes. I also (reluctantly) agreed to him claiming our son as a dependent even though I provided the expense of Daycare and through WIC was able to provide formula and baby food for our son. Along with the help of my food stamps i was able to provide 1 to 2 weeks qirth of grocwries for the both of us and he covered the rest. I was a full time stay at home mom for the first 7 months after he was born. I then went to work p/t and eventually became a full time student. Paid by me. He lived with me and our child 10 out of 12 months before moving out, and back in with his parents. We shared custody of our son , one week on and one week off deal.

    I eatned less then 3,000 earned income and he a guesstimate of around or over 25,000. Which from his impression was that i didnt make enough earned income to qualify for the child care credit and he over qualified by making too much. But said if he were to claim our son we in turn woukd get a bigger amount back and he would split the amount that was given for our son, but not the rest. WAIT: so if i am wrong please correct me, but i seem to think that claiming a child effects the all around total amount the irs refunds to an individual. I have the belief that without that child being claimed your amount would differ drastically. Am i somewhat right? Also when i have asked for a copy of his return he gets defensive and flips on me. Or if he does agree to let me see it or have a copy then he never follows through. Should i not ignore my suspension whenever this happens? Is there a way to gind out how the father of my son claimed taxes? Also he was not origionally on the birth certificate but i agreed to have him amended onto it.

  • Ashley Gould

    I had a 9 month period where I was unable to find another job. My child and I live with my parents and my mother wants to claim my child, without my consent, on her taxes because she says she ‘invested quite a bit’ when I didn’t ask her to buy anything for my child. My child’s father gets diapers and wipes when i need it and also buys food for her. I make less then my mother makes since I am now working part time. She works full time and makes $12 an hour.. Is it right for her to claim my child when I claimed her last year?

  • Susy

    My daughter has live with me since she was born i claimed her last year im pregnant and im going to give my daughter and newborn to the father because at the moment im stugling money wise , also have another child thats not his so i have 3 kids , So i want to know who has the right to claime the 2 kids on tax returne me or him ill have them for 10 months and he will have them for 2 months only .

    • Sigrid

      You don’t have to give them up – the father should be helping you support them. Please seek out advice from your county or family court.

  • Michele

    My nieces father has claimed them on his tax return from 2008 to 2012 and they don’t live with him at all how do I report him to the irs because my mom and I have supported them since then

  • Sigrid

    I hope you are past this, well into school and becoming independent! You have the drive to get through it, I can tell in your words. You did deserve for your dad to have done his duty, but I hope you didn’t hold your breath. Maybe you can teach him to leave the alcohol behind by seeing your strength. May God bless and guide all your endeavors.

  • Kimberly Luna

    My aunt had my son for six months not legal but now i got him back and i was wondering does she have to claim him on her taxes or can i legal stop her from doing that

  • daniel avila

    I made over 15000 last year and i have a son who is 18 months he is a us resident who hes been living with me and my gf for over a year now and i supported him since he was born can i claim him as a dependent?

  • Markeese Seabrooks

    Hi I have had my kids living in my home from December of 2014 until the mother and I split in June 2015, the kids were placed with a non relative on June 26, 2015 by the department of children and families, they were taking from their mother. The kids were placed with a non relative on June 26, 2015, I always have claimed my kids on my taxes the previous years and this year when I tried to claim them I was rejected because I have learned that the non relative have claimed them on her taxes, she is not a licensed foster parent. And she did not have my kids more than 6 months, would I be able to have my taxes amended in this case, they have removed them from my taxes and sent my taxes in without my permission.

  • dohomer623

    My daughter graduated in May of 2015 from college and is 22 yrs old can i still claim her as a dependent because she was in school for 5 months out of the year. She had a part time job she made over $5,000 last year but I pay over $2,000 worth of tuition and I pay for her car her car insurance and she lives with me and I also provide her medical expenses

  • shining

    I have 3 children from my previous marriage. I was claiming one child one year and two children the other year. But I lost one of my children, and I am wondering how I have to proceed in order to change to claiming one child every year since I no longer have three. Please, let me know if this is something that needs to be brought to court or just an IRS adjustment?

  • shining

    I have 3 children from my previous marriage. I was claiming one child one year and two children the other year. But I lost one of my children, and I am wondering how I have to proceed in order to change to claiming one child every year since I no longer have three. Please, let me know if this is something that needs to be brought to court or just an IRS adjustment?

  • Debbie Cartier

    Our 30 year old son, moved back home last year in June, he is on Disability is is on wait lists for a kidney transplant. I’m amending our return as I didn’t claim him on our 2015 return. I know I can amend ours, but he files his own every year, though the only income he has and reports, is his disability income, not taxable.

    Would he have to amend his return, also? Please advise.

  • P.A. Batt

    I am an American parent. I have a dependent Daughter who is 4 years old. She was born in the Philippines. I live with her and supported her since birth. Because of the long process involved meeting U.S. State Dept. requirements I just now obtained her U.S. Report Of Birth Abroad and U.S. Passport for her. I was unable to claim her on my taxes during this period. I now finally have obtained her social security number. I will claim her on my tax this year. Is there a way to also claim her on past taxes paid since her birth?