Claiming Adults as Dependents

Contrary to popular belief it is possible to claim an adult as a dependent on your income tax return. The dependent adult will have to meet certain criteria and does not have to be disabled.

Criteria for Claiming a Dependent

  • To be claimed as a dependent, a person can not file a tax return of their own. If the person files their own tax return you will not be able to claim them as a dependent.
  • To qualify as a dependent a person can not make more than $3,500 a year. If the person’s income exceeds that amount you will not be able to claim them as a dependent.
  • The dependent will have to be your legal relative and can not be your spouse or partner. A relative is usually a parent, child, sibling, step parent, step child.
  • The person must be dependent upon you for at least half the cost of their living expenses.
  • The person doesn’t have to live with you. If you are paying for a relative’s care at a nursing home or other facility you may be able to claim them as a dependent.

One Only Person Can Claim a Dependent

Something to remember is that only one person can claim a dependent at once. If two children are paying for a relative’s care at a nursing home only one of them can claim the exemption.The IRS will reject your tax return if you to try claim a dependent listed on another tax return.

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