Tax Tip - Dependents

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Wondering if you can claim someone as a dependent on your 2012 tax return? To qualify as a dependent on your tax return an individual must meet the following three tests:   

  • Cannot be a dependent of another taxpayer
  • Cannot file a married filing jointly tax return
  • Must be a citizen of the U.S. or a resident of the U.S., Canada, or Mexico during the year

Dependents fall into two specific categories: they are either a qualifying child or a qualifying relative. While both types of dependents are eligible for a $3,800 exemption, the qualifying child dependent is the only one eligible for the Child Tax Credit, Additional Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit.