A dependent must either be a qualifying child or qualifying relative, there are rules for each. Correctly identifying your dependents can significantly†impact your†return. The information below will help you determine who qualifies as an eligible dependent on your taxes. The†IRS website†contains additonal information covering the the rules for claiming a dependent.

Qualifying Child

  • The child must be a son, daughter, stepchild, adopted child, foster child, or grandchild. They can also be a sibling, stepsibling, or niece or nephew.
  • The child must be under 19 at the end of the year and younger than you (or your spouse if filing jointly), under age 24 if a full-time student and is younger than you (or your spouse if filing jointly), or any age if permanently and totally disabled.
  • The child must have lived with you for more than half of the year.
  • he child cannot have provided more than half of their own support for the year.
  • The child cannot file a joint return.† A joint return can only be filed by the child and his or her spouse for the sole purpose of receiving a refund of income tax withheld or estimated tax paid.

Qualifying Relative

  • The qualifying relative cannot be the qualifying child of you or another taxpayer.
  • The person must either live with you for the entire year as a member of your household or be related to you. This can include a child that does not meet the qualifying child test, a relative such as a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, or in-law, or someone unrelated to you that is a member of your household.†
  • The qualifying relativeís gross income for the year must be less than $3,950.
  • You must provide more than half of the personís total support during the calendar year.†