If you are wondering who the IRS qualifies as a dependent, then hopefully this article will clear up any ambiguity. To claim a dependent when you have one is very important, because you get an exemption for that dependent that will reduce your taxable income. And according to the IRS the two types of dependents are qualifying relatives and qualifying children.

A Qualifying Child

For you to claim a child as a dependent then he or she must be either: your child, stepchild, foster child, or half sibling (or the descendant of one of those). The child should have the same residence as the taxpayer; and he or she should have lived with the qualifying tax payer in his or her residence for six months or more. There are exceptions to these rules however, and the exceptions are for children whose parents have divorced, and also include kidnapped children, children who have taken temporary absences, and children who were born or who had died in that year. The child needs to be under the age of nineteen at the end of the taxable year, or, in the case that the child is a student, under the age of twenty-four.

For a taxpayer to claim a qualifying relative, the relative in question must not also be able to be claimed by another taxpayer (cannot be anyone else’s qualifying child). The relative must be related directly to you, and you must provide fifty percent or more of the financial support for that person in that year.

And if you have any questions whether the children or relatives who live with you, or for whom you provide significant financial support either in your residence or at theirs, qualify as dependents, then make an appointment with your accountant at Practical Taxes today. You don’t want any financial surprises come tax season, which, by the way, is only a few short months away. And having the knowledge and experience of a professional tax expert at Practical taxes guiding you, could make all the difference.