Can I claim someone as a dependent who’s never lived with me?
Yes. The person doesn’t have to live with you in order to qualify as your dependent on taxes. However, the person must be a relative who meets one of the following relationship test requirements:
- Your child, grandchild, or great-grandchild
- Your legally adopted dependent
- Your stepchild, stepbrother, or stepsister
- Your brother, sister, half brother, or half sister
- Your parent or other direct ancestor, but not a foster parent
- Your stepfather or stepmother
- Your parent’s brother or sister
- Your brother’s or sister’s child
- Your mother-in-law, father-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, son-in-law, or daughter-in-law
There are additional rules for the person to qualify as your dependent. To qualify as one of your dependents, all of these must be true:
- The person must not be the qualifying child of any other taxpayer.
- The person must have gross income less than $4,050 for the year.
- You must provide more than half of the person’s total support for the year. The person must be one of these:
- U.S. citizen
- U.S. national
- Resident of the United States, Canada, or Mexico
- The person must not file a joint return unless he or she is only filing to claim a refund of estimated taxes or income taxes withheld. Also, there would be no tax liability for either the person or the person’s spouse if filing separate returns.
If you’re itemizing deductions, the IRS generally allows you a medical expenses deduction if you have unreimbursed expenses that are more than 7.5% of your adjusted gross income for tax years 2017 or 2018. You can deduct the cost of care from several types of practitioners at various stages of care.
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