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Video: Who You Can Claim as a Dependent on Your Tax Return

Updated for Tax Year 2015


Note: The content of this video applies only to taxes prepared for 2010. It is included here for reference only. You could get $3,650* off your taxable income for each dependent you claim. So who can you claim? *$4,000 in 2015.


Who qualifies as a dependent?

You could get $3,650* off your taxable income for each dependent you claim. So who can you claim? Well, it could be an uncle, a grandchild, a parent, a nephew, or even a freeloading boyfriend.

How do they qualify? In general, you support them, they live with you, they make less than $3,650* a year, and they are a resident or citizen of the United States, Canada, or Mexico.

But dependents come in two types, children or other people you support. Children can include your child, a grandchild, a niece of a nephew, or even a brother or sister. Children are under 19 years old, or 24 if they are a full-time student.

Other people you support can include others that the IRS says are qualifying relatives, such as a parent, a grandparent, an aunt or uncle, or an in-law. Or people who are not a qualifying relative like a friend or a cousin or someone you are just helping out. Qualifying relatives do not need to live with you while non-qualifying relatives do.

So let’s recap, who qualifies? Well, it can be children and adults or relatives and friends. How do they qualify? In general, you support them, they don’t work or make very little. They are a US citizen and live with you.

We realize this is all a bit complicated, but TurboTax can help. Just select the Personal Info tab in your TurboTax return, go to the Dependents section and select the Guide Me button, and we will walk you through step-by-step. Or go to IRS.gov and look up IRS publication 17, where you will get lots of information about who qualifies as a dependent.

*$4,000 in 2015

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The above article is intended to provide generalized financial information designed to educate a broad segment of the public; it does not give personalized tax, investment, legal, or other business and professional advice. Before taking any action, you should always seek the assistance of a professional who knows your particular situation for advice on taxes, your investments, the law, or any other business and professional matters that affect you and/or your business.

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