They are EITHER under 19 OR they are under 24 and a full time student for some part of 5 months during the tax year OR they are permanently & totally disabled
They live with you over 6 months of the year (time at school counts as time living with you)
They are your biological/step/adopted/foster (placed by court)/OR half child, brother/sister or descendant thereof
They don’t provide more than half their own support.
They is no limit to the amount of income the child can earn as long as they pass all the tests above
IF ALL THIS IS TRUE THEN THE CHILD CANNOT CLAIM THEMSELVES….EVEN IF YOU CHOSE NOT TO CLAIM THEM.
Being a qualifying child dependent means they may qualify you for Earned Income Tax Credit if you otherwise qualify, Education Credits and Dependent Care credits
If the child doesn’t qualify as a dependent with the above rules, don’t give up hope….they may qualify as a “Qualifying Relative” dependent.
In this case the child can’t have income over $4,050 or whatever the personal exemption amount is for that tax year, you MUST actually supply over half their support, and they can’t qualify as a Qualifying Child dependent of another person. These kids don’t even have to live with you to qualify as a Qualifying Relative Dependent.
Keep in mind. In all cases a dependent must
- be a citizen or U.S. or resident of the U.S., Canada or Mexico
- Not have filed a joint tax return unless did so only to get a refund
- and you yourself can’t qualify as a dependent of someone (because dependents can’t claim dependents)