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"Qualifying Child"
Definition for Claiming a Dependent


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be interpreted as specific tax advice.   The comments cannot be used to avoid taxes under the Internal Revenue Code or the regulations of other tax authorities. Furthermore, this website is not intended, and should not be interpreted, to support the promotion or marketing of any tax avoidance schemes.

 

Date last modified:
01/26/17
 

  • Must be your son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, sibling,
    step-sibling or a descendant of any of them (grandchild, niece, nephew, etc.) 

  • Under 19, or between 19 and 24 and be at least a half-time student
    in a recognized degree program. 

  • Did not provide over half of his or her own support during tax year. 

  • Lived with you for more than half of the year (exceptions apply for college students). 

  • Is a US citizen, US National or US Resident Alien; special rules apply for adopted children. 

  • Must be younger than the person claiming him/her as a dependent. 

  • Must be unmarried. 

Generally, the custodial parent is entitled to take the child as a dependent.  The custodial parent can sign over the dependency deduction to the non-custodial parent by signing form 8332.  The non-custodial parent must attach this form to his/her tax return.  In a multi-generation household, the parent is entitled to take the child as a dependent, even if another person is supporting the household.

The dependency exemption and the child tax credit go to the parent claiming the child as a dependent.  Head of Household status can be claimed by the parent providing the dependentís primary home for over six months of the tax year.  The dependent care credit for child care generally goes to the custodial parent regardless which parent pays for the care.