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Video: What Are Dependents?

Updated for Tax Year 2015


If you financially support a child, parent, relative or even a friend, you may be able to claim them as a dependent on your tax return and take an exemption.

Hello, I'm Sara from TurboTax with some important information for parents and caregivers.

Did you know that if you financially supporting a child, parent, relative or even a friend, you may be able to claim them as a dependent on your tax return and take an exemption. Exemptions work the same way as any other tax deduction by reducing the amount of tax you owe at the end of the year. The government provides you with the exemption amount for dependents, so there's no need for you to do any calculations.

To claim a child, they must live with you for more than six months out of the year, they're under the age of nineteen and receive at least half of their financial support from you. If you have a son or daughter in college, you can still claim them as a dependent until they are twenty four years old. Step children, foster children and even younger siblings will qualify as well.

Many people do not realize this, but you can also claim anyone else who relies on you for more than half of their financial support provided they live with you during the entire year as your dependent regardless of age. Some relatives such as your parents may not even need to live with you to qualify as your dependent, but all of them must receive minimal income each year aside from social security checks.

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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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