You’re considered eligible to claim a dependent on your income tax return if they meet some tests. The IRS’s guidelines for claiming a dependent are called the Rules for Claiming a Dependent, and they can save you a lot of money on your taxes. The relationship test is one of the most important tests for qualifying as a dependent. This test says that you must have a close enough relationship to the person being claimed as a dependent to be their primary caretaker.
The most common dependents are minor children, but adults can also be considered dependents. The IRS considers adult dependents if they live with you and rely on you for at least half of their support. For example, you can claim your 19 to 24-year-old college student as a dependent if they lived with you for at least half the year and you provided 50 percent or more of their financial support during that period. The IRS also allows an exception for college students who temporarily lived outside the United States for a limited amount of time during that year.
Another important qualifier is that the person you’re claiming as a dependent must not be filing a joint return with you or anyone else. This can help you avoid paying double taxes. Here are the most common rules for dependency eligibility:
How Do You Qualify for Dependency?
- You can claim two main groups of people as dependents: qualifying children and qualifying relatives. Both groups have different rules that are established by the IRS.
- Qualifying children must meet several requirements to be eligible for this credit. They must be a U.S. citizen or a, resident alien, or a U.S. National resident of Canada or Mexico.
- They must also be under 19 years old. They cannot be a full-time student until they turn 24. They must live with you all year (except for temporary absences) and not qualify as someone else’s qualifying child or a kidnapped child.
- The gross income test is one of the biggest criteria for a dependent, and it can be difficult to meet. The 2022 tax year’s gross income limit is $4,400.
- There are many other factors to consider when claiming a dependent. These include the individual’s marital status, other types of relationships, and how much they provide in support during a tax year.