There are certain requirements for taxpayers to claim someone as their dependent. So if a “dependent” of yours asks to themselves can I be claimed as a dependent? The answer to the question lies in their reliance on you.
A dependent for tax purposes is someone that relies on a taxpayer to basically survive. If you’ve taken care of someone financially and provided shelter, you mostly can claim them as a dependent. However, there is an age limit and the age limit is maxed at 24 by the end of the calendar year. There is no age limit for dependents that are permanently or totally disabled.
Generally, a dependent is someone who’s aged under 18 or between 18 and 24. For a child to be claimed as a dependent, he or she must meet the following requirements.
- Residency: The child/dependent must have lived with you for at least half the tax year. The time spent on school trips such as camping, etc. is all counted towards this.
- Age: The child must be under the age of 18 or be between the ages of 18 and 24. If the dependent is over the age of 18, he or she must be pursuing education.
- Financial Support: The taxpayer who claims the person as a dependent must have provided more than half of the dependent’s financial support.
- Citizenship: The child must be a US citizen, US national, or resident alien.
- Relationship: The dependent must be related to you. The dependent can be your brother, sister, child (including adopted and step children), foster child, cousin, step sister, step brother, or descendant of any of these.
As long as you meet the above requirements, you can be claimed as a dependent on the tax return of the person you depend on. The dependency status is very important because it determines certain tax credits such as the child tax credit in 2021 which is refundable and one of the biggest tax credits.