A taxpayer may claim an exemption on his or her federal income tax return for each person he or she can claim as a dependent. A person can be claimed as a dependent only if he or she is a “qualifying child” or a “qualifying relative” of the taxpayer. This article explores the following requirements for claiming a dependency exemption based on being a qualified relative.
To meet the qualifying relative test, a person must either:
If at any time during the year the person was your spouse, that person cannot be your qualifying relative.
A person related to you in any of the following ways does not have to live with you all year as a member of your household to meet this test:
Any of these relationships that were established by marriage are not ended by death or divorce.
The relative’s gross income for the year must be less than $3,900 in 2013. Gross income includes all income in the form of money, property and services that is not exempt from tax, such as receipts from rental property, a partner’s share of gross partnership income and unemployment compensation.
The taxpayer must provide more than half of the person’s total support for the year.
In cases where no one individual pays more than 50% of an individual’s support then Form 2120, Multiple Support Declaration, can be used in agreement between all support providers to decide which one will claim the exemption.
A person is not a qualifying relative of a taxpayer if that person meets the requirements for being a qualifying child of any other taxpayer. But if the other taxpayer is not required to file a retuern for the year or only files a return solely for a refund claim, then the child is not a qualifying child of the other taxpayer.
If you could be claimed as a dependent by another person, you cannot claim anyone else as a dependent. Even if you have a qualifying child or qualifying relative, you cannot claim that person as a dependent.
A taxpayer generally cannot claim a married person as a dependent if he or she files a joint return.
A taxpayer cannot claim a person as a dependent unless that person is a U.S. citizen, U.S. resident alien, U.S. national, or a resident of Canada or Mexico.
Example: Jane lives with her boyfriend throughout the 2013 year. She has income far less than $3,900 in 2013. Her boyfriend earns $25,000 and provides more than 1/2 of her support. Jane can be claimed as a qualifying relative by her boyfriend.
As required by United States Treasury Regulations, you should be aware that this communication is not intended by the sender to be used, and it cannot be used, for the purpose of avoiding penalties under United States federal tax laws.
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