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If my children file their own returns, can I claim them as dependents?

Maybe. If your child is single, you can claim him or her as a dependent even if the child filed a return. The child must otherwise qualify as your dependent.

You can also claim your child if both of these are true:

  • The child is married filing jointly to claim a refund. If the child files a return to claim a credit, you can’t claim the child as a dependent.
  • The child otherwise qualifies as your dependent.

If your adult child is a qualifying child or qualifying relative, you can claim your child as a dependent.

Your child is a qualifying child if all of these are true:

  • Your child is permanently and totally disabled.
  • Your child lived with you for more than 1/2 the year.
  • Your child didn't provide more than 1/2 of his or her own support for the year.
  • Your child isn't filing a joint return for the year, unless it's only a claim for refund.

Your child is a qualifying relative if both of these are true:

  • Your child's gross income is less than $3,900 for the year.
  • You provided more than 1/2 the child's total support for the year.

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