Can I claim a non-child relative as a dependent?
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 $4,300
- 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.
Your options for your tax filing status if your spouse dies will change depending on how long ago they passed away. For example, you can generally use married filing jointly in the year your spouse passes. Then in the next two years, you can file as a qualifying widower if you meet certain requirements.
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