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.
*$3,950 in 2014