Question

I’m an adult over 24 years of age, but I live with my parents who provide more than half of my support. Can they claim an exemption for me as a dependent or qualifying child on their tax return?

Answer

It’s possible, but once you’re over age 24, you can no longer be claimed as a qualifying child. The only exception to this is if you’re permanently and totally disabled.

However, you can be claimed as a qualifying relative if you meet these requirements:

  • Your gross income is less than $4,050. Tax-exempt income, like certain Social Security benefits, isn’t included in gross income.
  • Your parents provided over half of your support.
  • You must not file a joint return unless you’re only filing to claim a refund of withholding and / or estimated taxes paid. Also, there would be no tax liability for either you or your spouse if filing separate returns.
  • You must be one of these:
    • U.S. citizen
    • U.S. resident alien
    • U.S. national
    • Resident of Canada or Mexico
  • Your parent(s) can’t qualify as a dependent on someone else’s return.

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