Jackson Hewitt® is here to help you understand complex tax laws so you can be better informed and take full advantage of tax law provisions.
These topics explore some of the more important aspects of complicated tax laws, in a manner that is understandable and concise.
Claiming someone as your dependent may significantly reduce the tax liability on your federal tax return. You may be entitled to a $4,050 exemption per dependent and a Child Tax Credit of up to $1,000 per qualifying child under age 17. Claiming someone as a dependent may also affect your filing
status. You may qualify for the Head of Household filing status or the Qualifying Widow(er) filing status if you have a dependent. Additionally, if you pay educational expenses for this person, claiming the person as a dependent may allow you take advantage of education credits, the tuition and
fees deduction, or the student loan interest deduction. A dependent does not have to be your child. Dependents can include others who are either related to you, such as a parent, or who have lived with you during the entire year as a member of your household.
To claim a dependent you must not be able to be claimed as a dependent by any other taxpayer. In addition, you generally cannot claim an exemption on a dependent who is married if they file a joint return. You cannot claim a person as a dependent unless that person is a U.S.
citizen, a U.S. resident, U.S. national, or a resident of Canada or Mexico for some part of the year. To be a dependent, the person must be your qualifying child or qualifying relative.
A child is your qualifying child for dependency if all six of the following tests are met:
If a child is the qualifying child for you and another person, you will need to decide who will claim that child as a dependent. If both of you claim the same child, the IRS will use the following tie-breaker rule to determine who can claim the child:
See the qualifying relative rules for a child who is not related to you and is not claimed by their parent.
If a person does not meet the tests for being a qualifying child, they may qualify as your dependent under the qualifying relative tests.
Qualifying relatives can include children who do not meet the qualifying child Age Test, other relatives (for example, parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, and in-laws), and unrelated members of the household. Dependents under the qualifying relative status do not qualify the taxpayer for the EIC or child
A person is your qualifying relative if all of the following tests are met:
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