- You cannot claim any dependents if you, or your spouse if filing jointly, can be claimed as a dependent by any other taxpayer
- You cannot claim a married person who files a joint return as a dependent unless that joint return is only a claim for refund and there would be no tax liability for either spouse on separate returns
- You cannot claim a person as a dependent unless that person is a US citizen, US resident alien, US national, or a resident of Canada or Mexico for some part of the year
- You cannot claim a person as a dependent unless that person is your qualifying child or qualifying relative
Tests To Be a Qualifying Child
- The child must be your son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, brother, sister, half brother, half sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or a descendant of any of them.
- The child must be (a) under age 19 at the end of the year, (b) under age 24 at the end of the year and a full-time student, or (c) any age if permanently and totally disabled.
- The child must have lived with you for more than half of the year.
- The child must not have provided more than half of his or her own support for the year.
- If the child meets the rules to be a qualifying child of more than one person, you must be the person entitled to claim the child as a qualifying child.
Tests to be a Qualifying Relative
- The person cannot be your qualifying child or the qualifying child of any other taxpayer.
- The person either (a) must be related to you in one of the ways listed under Relatives who do not have to live with you, or (b) must live with you all year as a member of your household (and your relationship must not violate local law).
- The person's gross income for the year must be less than $3,500.
- You must provide more than half of the person's total support for the year.
For more information, see Pub. 501.