Today we are going to discuss how to identify if your dependents qualify for the dependency exemption on your tax return.
Generally, your children and individuals who rely on you for support and live in your home qualify for the dependency exemption on your tax return. However, there are a few requirements that must be met to ensure they qualify.
First, a dependent must be either a relative, which includes stepparents, stepsiblings, and in-laws, but not cousins, or they must be a member of your household for the entire tax year. Relatives do not need to live in your house to qualify for the dependency exemption, however, non-relatives do.
Next, a dependent must either be a US citizen, or a resident of the US, Canada, or Mexico.
A dependency exemption cannot be claimed for an individual who files a joint tax return with a spouse. It should be noted, however, that you may claim a married dependent so long as they meet the rest of the dependency requirements.
The final requirements that must be met state that you must provide more than half of the support for your dependent and they cannot have gross income greater than the exemption amount for the tax year.
Exceptions to the gross income requirement include if the dependent is your child and is under age 19 at the end of the year, or under age 24 if they are a full-time student for at least 5 months out of the year, or if they are permanently and totally disabled.
If your dependent meets the criteria I have just described then they qualify for the exemption on your tax return.