Can I Claim My Child as a Dependent?

Can I Claim My Child as a Dependent? - Accountants

Can I Claim My Child as a Dependent?

Claiming a child as a dependent has many related tax benefits, including a personal exemption for each dependent. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) provides this personal exemption based on the actual costs that have been incurred. Other benefits include a reduction of taxable income and additional tax reductions. A taxpayer may claim someone as a dependent if a specified relationship exists – the most common being that of a parent and child. A foster child or a stepchild may also be claimed as a dependent. There are a few restrictions though.

Restrictions to Claiming a Child as a Dependent

1. To claim a child as a dependent, they must be under 19 years of age for the years where they are claimed as dependents on the tax return. However, this number gets extended to 24 if the child is a full-time student for at least 5 months out of the year. A student is an individual who physically attends a university or institution. A student who takes classes online does not qualify for this.

2. The dependent must live with the parent for at least half of the tax year. Even if you are away from your home due to illness, business, vacation, education, or military service, your child is still deemed as living with you during this time. Similarly, even if the residency requirement is not met, a noncustodial parent may claim a dependent if this parent makes child support payments to the custodial parent. However, the custodial parent must first agree in writing to not also claim the child as a dependent.

3. The degree of financial support is also a requirement – a child who does not provide more than half of its own financial support and does not file a tax return may be deemed a dependent. If he or she pays for more than half of their financial support, they are not eligible to be claimed as a dependent.

Additional Help

Having a child can be expensive. Fortunately, our government recognizes the sacrifices that parents make (at least monetarily). Claiming a child as a dependent has some benefits, as well as requirements that mean these benefits don’t reach every person. If you are unsure as to whether your child can be claimed as a dependent, feel free to find professional help on the matter. If you need help finding a competent and reliable personal accountant or CPA, consider using TalkLocal to find a tax specialist for you. TalkLocal is a free service that will connect you with top-quality accounting companies in your area within minutes. Just enter in your specific problem, location and availability, and up to three companies will call YOU directly, saving you the time and stress of finding one yourself.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *