Question

Can I claim a non-child relative as a dependent?

Answer

Yes. To claim this family member, he or she must meet these requirements to be a Qualifying Child or Qualifying Relative:

Under the qualifying child rules:

    • Your qualifying dependent must live with you for more than half the year.
    • The qualifying dependent must be one of these:
      • Under age 19 at the end of the year and younger than you (or your spouse if married filing jointly)
      • Under age 24 at the end of the tax year and younger than you (or your spouse if married filing jointly)
      • Permanently and totally disabled
    • The qualifying dependent can’t have provided more than half of his or her own support.

Under the qualifying relative rules:

      • Not qualify as somebody else’s qualifying child or qualifying relative
      • Live with you the entire year (365 days) or be one of these:
        • Your child, stepchild, foster child, or a descendant of any of them
        • Your brother, sister, half brother, half sister, stepbrother, or stepsister or a descendant of any of them
        • Your father, mother, grandparent, or stepparent, but not a foster parent
        • Your son-in-law, daughter-in-law, father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, or sister-in-law
        • Your uncle, aunt, nephew, or niece
      • Earn less than $4,200
      • Receive more than half of his or her support for the year from you

To claim a dependent, these must also be true:

      • He or she can only have filed jointly with his or her spouse to claim a refund of the taxes withheld. Also, if he or she were to have filed separately from his or her spouse, neither would have owed taxes.
      • The dependent is one of these:
        • U.S. citizen
        • U.S. resident alien
        • U.S. national
        • Resident of Canada or Mexico

You can’t qualify as a dependent on someone else’s return. This is true even if the other person doesn’t claim you on his or her return.

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