33° Good Evening
33° Good Evening
Long Island

What are rules on claiming an older child as a deduction?

The IRS carefully spells out the conditions for such claims

You recently addressed a question from someone who claims their 25-year-old daughter who lives with her as her tax dependent. My 25-year-old son lives with me. He earned less than $12,000 in 2017. Our accountant told us we can’t claim him as a dependent on our tax return. What are the rules?

For tax purposes, a dependent child 1) is your biological, adoptive or foster child, sibling, niece, nephew, or grandchild; 2) is under age 19; or under age 24 and a full-time student for at least five months of the year; or permanently disabled, regardless of age; 3) lived with you for more than half the year; 4) and provided no more than half his own support for the year.

Clearly, a 25-year-old who’s neither a full-time student nor disabled doesn’t qualify. However, he or she might still be eligible to be claimed as a ‘qualifying relative,’ says Ed Slott, a Rockville Centre tax accountant.

A qualifying relative can be your child, grandchild, great-grandchild, stepchild, adopted child, foster child, sibling, half-sibling, stepsibling, parent, grandparent, great-grandparent, niece, nephew, aunt, uncle, son or daughter-in-law, brother or sister-in-law, or father or mother-in-law. This person doesn’t have to live with you, but must meet all these requirements: 1) Nobody can claim him as a qualifying child; 2) he doesn’t file a joint return with someone else; 3) you provided more than half his total 2017 support; 4) he’s a citizen or resident alien of the United States, Canada, or Mexico; and 5) his 2017 taxable income can’t exceed $4,050.


You can’t claim your child as a dependent on your tax return if he earned more than $4,050 last year, and is over age 24 and not permanently disabled, even if you provide more than half his support.



We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

Latest Long Island News