These days, claiming dependents when filing your taxes no longer gives you a personal exemption. It does, however, play a role in determining your standard deduction. So who can you claim? Our tax experts near Sacramento can help you choose the right options, no matter where you’re located.
As the name suggests, a dependent is typically a person who depends on you financially. Determining eligibility is generally fairly straightforward, but knowing what qualifies an individual can help to ensure that you don’t erroneously claim someone who doesn’t qualify.
Most of your dependents are likely to be children, but they must meet certain criteria.
To claim a child when filing taxes, think of 18 as the general cutoff age. Our Sacramento team can key you into certain exceptions, though. If the child is a student, for instance, then they can be claimed at up to 24 years of age.
Additionally, a dependent child must be younger than you or your spouse, unless they qualify as disabled.
Your dependent must be a U.S citizen, national, or resident national with a taxpayer identification number. This number will typically be the same as their Social Security Number, but might not be if they don’t qualify for one. Our team can help you get all the information you need.
A dependent child must also spend at least half the year living with you. Note that this requirement might also depend on pre-existing arrangements with another caretaker or parent, as in the case of divorce proceedings and agreements.
A dependent can file their own taxes and still be claimed, under the right circumstances. They can even be married. If they file a joint tax return for the year, though, they are ineligible to be claimed–unless they only filed to receive a refund.
Note that children who pay taxes are only eligible for dependent status if they have a gross yearly income below $4,150.
In addition to all of these qualifiers, a dependent child must also be your relative (son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or a descendant of these) or have lived with you for the entire year as a member of your household.
It is also worth noting that a dependent can only be claimed by one individual; the same dependent appearing on multiple returns will raise red flags, as at least one of the individuals claiming the dependent has made a mistake.
Want to ensure that you’re filing your taxes and claiming dependents correctly? The team at Paramount Tax Relief can help! For more information, be sure to contact us by calling (916) 533-9940 today.