What are the requirements for claiming my parents as dependents?

To qualify as your dependents, your parents must meet these conditions:

  • Your parents' gross income must be less than $4,050 each. Tax-exempt income, like certain Social Security benefits, isn’t included in gross income.
  • You must provide more than half of their support for the entire year. Both taxable and nontaxable income is included in the amount of support your parents provide themselves. If they own their own home and don’t maintain residency with you, the fair rental value of their home is part of the support they provide for themselves.
  • Your parents must be one of these:
    • U.S. citizen
    • U.S. national
    • Resident of the United States, Canada, or Mexico
  • Your parents can’t file a joint return. This is true unless both of these apply:
    • They only file the return to claim a refund of taxes withheld or estimated payments.
    • There would be no tax liability for either the parent or spouse if filing separate returns.

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Calculators

So how much will you get (or owe) this year? That’s the million-dollar question. We happen to have three very useful calculators to help you estimate your refund or balance due.

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