Can You Claim Parents as Dependents?

Posted by on December 6, 2016
Last modified:
You may be able to claim your elderly parent as a dependent

Sometimes we’re so busy growing up that we forget they’re growing old.

Everyone knows that claiming a dependent on your income tax return can get you a significantly larger refund. For every dependent you claim on your taxes you can claim an extra personal exemption. That’s a large chunk of change you can deduct from your income, thus reducing your tax burden.

But who exactly can you claim? Are you eligible to claim your parents as dependents?

When it comes to taxes there are actually two different types of dependents: qualifying children and qualifying relatives.

Obviously, you can’t claim your parents as qualifying children. So the question becomes, do they meet the requirements for qualifying relatives?

Is your parent a qualifying relative for tax purposes?

In order to claim someone as a qualifying relative they must:

  • Have lived with you all year as a member of your household, or be one of the following family members: child, parent, sibling, stepparent, stepchild, step-sibling, half sibling, grandparent, grandchild, child-in-law, parent-in-law, sibling-in-law, uncle, aunt, niece, or nephew
  • Be a U.S. citizen or resident, or a resident of Canada or Mexico
  • Be unmarried, or married but not filing a joint return
  • Not be a qualifying child of you or someone else
  • Have a gross income of less than $4,000
  • Have more than half of their total support for the year provided by you

In plain English, this means that yes you can claim a parent as a dependent but they have to meet the above requirements.

Are Social Security Benefits included?

As a general rule, Social Security benefits are not included in gross income. For more information about Social Security and Disability benefits, check out our other article, Claiming Parents as Dependents If They Receive Social Security Benefits. Be sure to make sure they are tax-exempt, because this could determine your eligibility to claim them as a dependent.

When determining if you provided over 50% of a parent’s total support, be sure to consider

  • lodging
  • food expenses
  • utilities
  • repairs
  • household expenses
  • clothing
  • education
  • medical and dental expenses
  • travel
  • recreation expenses

If you support a parent who meets all of the requirements listed above be sure to claim them when you file online this season!

WATER SPORT (1)

Tags: , , , ,

This entry was posted on at 3:26 pm and is filed under Tax and Life Changes | Blog.

227 Responses to “Can You Claim Parents as Dependents?”

  1. Rose McCoy says:

    My mom lived with me all year and I want to know if I can claim her on my return.   She is disabled and I want to know if her social security benefits are not part of a gross income.  You said as a general rule they are nnot considered part of one.  SHe makes $750/mo

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Rose,

      That’s correct. Social security is generally not considered taxable income, though there are exceptions. You mother should receive a Form SSA-1099 that will tell you how much (if any) is taxable. If I had to guess, I would say that if Social Security was her only income for 2012, then it is probably not taxable and thus you would be able to claim her. It’s a little out of date but this page from the IRS should help provide some guidance: http://www.irs.gov/uac/Are-Your-Social-Security-Benefits-Taxable%3F

    • Heather Thomison says:

      Jason and I paid all property expenses during the marriage I reported it in one of my disability claims. We did not claim her as a dependent but I did make a notation.

  2. Claudia says:

    my mom lives across the street from me, I pay for half her rent, cell phone and cable. She does not work, she was on disability but she is now 67, if I claim her as a dependent will this affect her retirement benefits and food stamps she receives?

  3. darcy says:

    I’m trying to determine “support”…. what does recreation mean according to the IRS. My in-laws only make 10,200 annually between the two of them on SocSec (no filing). We are looking to pick up their mortgage payment ($550 mo) plus their utilities ($200 mo). Food (right now) is estimated at $2400 annually (they couldn’t afford anything more). They have no savings or other income. So, my question is if we pay their mortgage /utilities to allow them to relax a little bit in their retirement years, does the IRS consider the rest of their money is going to be spent on “recreation”? Or does recreation mean ….vacations and trips, or large purchases like boats, etc… The worksheet has you split the total income into three categories: support, other, and savings. Wouldn’t “other” fall under “recreation”? Please help!

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Darcy,

      I think you’re getting too hung up on the definition of ‘recreation’ which doesn’t even seem that relevant to your situation. From what you describe, you would be providing your in-laws with a total of $9,000 of support over the course of the year. This is the total of the mortgage payments and utilities. If you paid for anything else (food, repairs, recreation, etc.) that would count toward the amount of support you are providing them. Now in order to claim them as dependents on your taxes, you have to provide more than half of their total support. That means, if they receive more than $9,000 from all other sources combined, you cannot claim them.

      Also note that this is further complicated by the fact that they are married. You cannot claim them if they are married and filing a joint return. So if you want to claim them, they will have to file separate returns. Then your support would have to be divided between them and their income divided between them as well. Really when making this determination for dependency you have to do it on an individual basis. Also note that if any one of them as a gross income over $3,800 you cannot claim them.

  4. Martin says:

    Quick background on my question.

    I am looking to care for my two elderly parents. I am in the military, active duty, and have full benefits. So long as my parents meet the requirements for the IRS as dependents, they can become my dependents in the military (i.e. medical, dental, ID cards, commissary, etc.). Father’s income filing jointly is less than $25K, almost all from Social Security. Mother’s income is $0. I plan for them to move in with me in the next two years. They currently own their home, free and clear. I plan to quitclaim it, pay for all their household items, taxes, utilities, car bills, and other items.

    I hope I am going about this right, but I am concerned since I am active military and get mostly free care that my IRS claim falls short until I have them move in with me. Any thoughts or guidance?

    Thanks!

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Martin,

      The IRS does not require that your parents live with you in order to claim them as dependents, so you are fine there. However, I think there are several potential stumbling blocks to you claiming them as dependents.

      1) They are married. The IRS does not allow you to claim a married couple filing a joint return as dependents, so they will have to file separate returns for the rest of their lives if you want to claim them.

      2) Your father at least has a gross income over $3,800. If your parents were to file separate returns, it sounds like your father would have an income of $25,000 and your mother would have an income of $0. If this is true, you would NOT be able to claim your father, but you might be able to claim your mother. The IRS only allows you to claim a parent if their gross income is less than $3,800.

      3) Support. It’s not clear how much support you will be providing them. In this scenario you would have to prove that half of your mother’s support comes from you, as opposed to her husband or any other source. This would be tricky to do, and would require you to spend enough to at least offset whatever of your father’s $25,000 goes toward her support.

      All things considered, you should look into this further, but I think it’s pretty unlikely you will be able to claim your father as long as his income remains so high. You have a better chance of being able to claim your mother, though this would require ongoing financial support on your part.

      • Martin says:

        Hello again Tax advisor,

        Thank you for the reply… I had nearly forgotten what I wrote. Here is an update. The income my parents have is from social security and a very small pension. They may qualify for the $4050 deduction rule based on this. Does this mean each parent or the combination of both, if I am to qualify them as my dependents? In other words, $4050 for one or $8100 for both?

        I am now retired from the military and receiving my army pension, VA benefits, and continue to work, so I am able to assist them. They are selling their townhouse this year and I plan to pay their rent, utilities, and various other expenses as needed. Not sure where the house income stands with the IRS.

        Thanks again for all you do.

        • In order for us to further advise you on this matter, because of the complexity of your situation, I would advise that you would make an account with us and fill out your tax information so we can get a better understanding of how you would like to file your tax return. You can visit Rapidtax.com to begin this process with us.

  5. Takisha says:

    If I had contributed 4,000 to a traditional IRA in 2012. Would that be a adjustment on my taxes? Would it be consider taxable income?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Contributions to an IRA, reduce your taxable income. The IRS categorizes it as an “above-the-line” deduction, which means you can use the deduction regardless of whether you itemize your deductions or claim the standard deduction.

  6. Takisha says:

    If I pay all the support for my granson and he made 4,000 for washing cars during the summer and that
    is his only income. Would I be able to claim him as a dependent on my taxes or is his income too high. He also lived with me all year long and can not be claim as a dependent for any one else because his parents or deceased.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      The limit for the dependent’s income is $3900 in 2013. You can claim his as a dependent if for some reason he made under $3900 and as long as he is under 19 or under 24 and a full time student for at least 5 months.

      • Brandon says:

        My aunt stays with me and she doesn’t work at all. Can I claim her as a dependent. I pay everything and supply everything.

        • Tax Advisor says:

          Hi Brandon,

          I suggest taking a look at the IRS tool for who you can claim as a dependent. This will give you further insight for who you are able to claim.

          • Leva TOMISICH says:

            I lived with my son for 6 months. Can he claim me as a dependent? He has cared for me, making sure that I get to my doctor’s and he gives me a place to live. He also pays for all of my needs.

          • Tax Advisor says:

            Hi Leva,

            In order for your son to claim you as a qualifying dependent, all four of the following tests (according to the IRS) must be met:

            1. You must not be his qualifying child dependent.
            2. He must be related to you according to IRS terms (father and son relation is acceptable).
            3. You must have earned less than $4,000 in gross income during 2015.
            4. He must have provided more than half of the individual’s total support during the year.

            As long as all of these terms are met, your son is more than likely able to claim you a qualifying dependent relative.

  7. Becky says:

    Hay I hear if u keep your recitpes gas and food receipts u can keep them till u flow taxes I could a litte more back true

    • Tax Advisor says:

      If you are itemizing your deductions (rather than taking the standard deduction) and you save your receipts, you can deduct some travel expenses (gas,etc) for medical-related situations, unemployment-related, volunteer-related and relocation expenses for new employment. If you are itemizing your deductions and saving receipts, there are also additional deductions you can use to lower your tax liability.

  8. Vanessa Jenks says:

    My father lived with me all of last year, up until his death in October. Do I still need to claim him when I file? The only income he received was from disability.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Venessa,
      I’m sorry about your loss. Yes, you can claim your father as a qualifying relative dependent on your 2013 tax return this tax season, as long as the following apply;
      1. No one else is claiming him
      2. He lived with you from Jan. 1, 2013 until his passing.
      3. His gross income was under $3,900
      4. You provided more than half of his support for the year.

  9. Tracy says:

    My question is can my son claim me as dependent on his income taxes (2014). He is 21 and I am 43.I
    Don’t work and he does. He takes care of the household and buy my medicine, when I need it. We meet all the requirements. abive

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Tracy,
      If the requirements are met, yes he can claim you as a qualifying relative dependent.

      • Barb says:

        My daughter tried claiming herself as head of household, and claiming me as a dependent. She pays everything, the lady doing her taxes said she has to be 25 to claim me is this right?

        • Tax Advisor says:

          Hi Barb,

          Your daughter is still able to claim you as a dependent as long as she meets the requirements to do so set forth by the IRS. Keep in mind that there other tax benefits that she will not qualify to take advantage of until she is 25 years old (for example, claiming the EIC in some cases).

  10. Amanda says:

    I have claimed my mother as a dependent for the last few years because she was on social security disability and living with me. Should we have filed taxes for her as well? Also she past away last year in January can I still claim her as a dependent and does that change my filing status to head of household ?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Amanda,
      I’m sorry to hear about your loss. Regarding your three questions. One, if her income was less than $25,000 (for each year), her taxes do not need to be filed. Two, you can claim her as your dependent as long as she qualifies as a “qualifying relative”. Third, you can file as Head of Household if the following are true;

      • you are unmarried
      • you provided more than half of the costs to upkeep the home
      • a “qualifying relative” or “qualifying child” needs to live with you for at least half the year.

        That means if your mother lived with you for at least half the year and you are unmarried, and provided half the costs of your home, you can file as Head of Household.

  11. Brandy says:

    My mother lives with me and I pay 100% of her household expenses (mortgage/utilities/etc) so it appears I can claim her as a dependent. However, she also files taxes and I don’t want to claim her if it will affect her refund. Do you know if it will reduce the amount of her refund if I claim her? Thank you.

  12. crystal says:

    Hi. My mom lived with me 6+ months in 2013 and receives ss disability and has zero other income. If I claim her as a dependent, will her amount of ss benefits decrease?

  13. Karen says:

    Hi,

    My daughter is 20 years old and an unmarried, full-time student. I am wondering if we can claim her as a dependent.

    She made $1,400 last year, took out $5000 in loans, received $3,000 in grants & scholarships and her grandmother gave her $9,600 (mostly from an EdVest account her grandmother opened years ago).

    Thank you!

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Karen,
      Yes, you can claim your daughter who is in college as a qualifying child dependent until she is 23. You can claim her as long as she is a full-time student for at least five months out of the tax year, and as long as she does not provide more than half of her own financial support for the year. If you claim an exemption for her, she can not claim an exemption for herself.

  14. Kemal says:

    Can my brother and I claim my parents on our tax return? Or it can only be per single tax holder?

    Thank you,

  15. Toja says:

    Good morning,

    My father lives with me and has lived with me since 2010, he is on disability and receives about $600 a month. Can he be claimed as a qualifying relative

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Toja,

      You can claim your father as a qualifying relative as long as the following are met.

      1. He is a U.S. citizen, U.S. resident alien, U.S. national, or a resident of Canada or Mexico for part of the year.
      2. He has no more than $3,900 gross income (except nontaxable Social Security benefits) in 2013.
      3. He receives more than half his or her support from you.
      4. He is not claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer or filing a joint tax return.

  16. Cynthia says:

    My unemployed, single father gets retirement checks and food stamps every month. Nothing else. Can I still claim him? I heard the food stamps may be an issue. Thank you.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Cynthia,
      You can claim your father as a qualifying relative as long as:

      1. He is a U.S. citizen, U.S. resident alien, U.S. national, or a resident of Canada or Mexico for part of the year.
      2. He has no more than $3,900 gross income (except nontaxable Social Security benefits) in 2013.
      3. He receives more than half his or her support from you.
      4. He is not claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer or filing a joint tax return.

  17. berta says:

    Hi,
    I have taken care of my mother for 8 yrs now she just received her social security benefits this year I have never claimed since she has always done her taxes…but like I said this year she is receiving her social security benefits if I claim her as dependent will it keep her from getting her money and what would I have to show as to proving I take care of her since I dont keep receipts or she has no set place to stay since she likes to spent time with each one of her kids.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Berta,
      As long as you meet the following requirements you can claim your mother as a qualifying relative dependent and it won’t change her social security benefits:

      1. Your mother earns less than $3,900 for the year.
      2. You provide more than half of her total support during the year.
      3. If your mother is married, the dependent cannot file a joint return with her spouse.
      4. Your mother must be a citizen or resident alien of the United States, Canada, or Mexico.

  18. Rod says:

    I pay half of my aunt’s rent and her social security pays the other half can I claim her as a qualified relative?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Rod,
      If your aunt does not live with you, you can not claim her. However, if she lives with you, makes under $3900/year, you provide more than half of her support, and a US citizen, then you can claim her.

  19. linda says:

    my daughter carried us on her taxes last year and my husband and I are both disable, how much will she get back for us.

  20. George says:

    Hello,

    I support my mom, she lives in Mexico City (she is a Mexican citizen). I want to claim her as a dependent, but I was told at a tax office that in order to claim her, she had to live in the US at least 6 months during 2013. Is that correct, or can I still claim her as a dependent? I understand I would also need to file a W7 to get her a tax ID number.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi George,
      Yes, they are right. In order to claim her she needs to live in the US for at least 6 months during the tax year.

      • George says:

        Thank you for the response. I am just a bit confused, I just called the IRS and explained the situation to the agent, she asked me a series of questions regarding my mom and myself, I told her that she did not live in the US for any period of time during 2013 and she said in the end that I can claim her as my dependent and for that regard I need to file the W7 form (and supporting documentation) with my tax return.

        • Juanita J Gonzalez says:

          George
          Yes you can claim your parent, Dependents living in Canada or Mexico are allowed.
          Rule is still you must have provided support and must mark they lived in Mexico or Canada

  21. Lori says:

    My mother lives with me but I provide 100% of her support she does receive SSI in the amount of $704 my question is this how do I report that money on my tax form

  22. shana says:

    I was wondering if I claim my mother will it effect her ssi, as in will it decrease?

  23. Nick says:

    I wanted to claim my parents how much tax money do I get back and each person

  24. Sheena says:

    my mother lives with me and does not have an income and i am paying for our expenses, but she does have a large amount in savings, can i still claim her as a dependent.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Sheena,
      Yes. As long as you meet the following requirements you can claim your mother as a qualifying relative dependent:

      1. Your mother earns less than $3,900 for the year.
      2. You provide more than half of her total support during the year.
      3. If your mother is married, the dependent cannot file a joint return with her spouse.
      4. Your mother must be a citizen or resident alien of the United States, Canada, or Mexico.

  25. Justin says:

    My Father is 53 years old and is permanently disabled. he receives about $1800 in disability each month. he does live with me and I pay for his groceries, lodging, clothes, etc.. he does qualify as a qualifying dependent. my question is this, if I claim him as a dependent will he lose some of his disability benefits?

  26. Stacey says:

    My mom only got $16,068.90 from social security for 2013 will I be able to claim her on my taxes?

  27. Antoinette says:

    My 88 year old grandmother lives with me. She is permanently disabled. She receives a pension of $3,942 a year and $10,812 a year SSI. All of her money goes to her medicines, and medical/ life insurances. I pay for groceries, lodging, etc.. Does she qualify as a relative dependent and can I claim her on my tax return?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Antoinette,
      In order to claim a qualifying relative as a dependent the following must be met;
      1. The dependent must live with you.
      2. The dependent must make less than $3900 a year.
      3. You provide more than half of the relative’s financial support for the year.
      4. You are the only person claiming them.
      It sounds like your grandmother might make too much to claim her.

  28. Lanie says:

    I claimed my parents as our dependents but father wants to claim his refund. He only made $1900 for 2013. What filing status should he use?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Lanie,
      If he is married and not filing with his spouse, he will file as “married filing separately”. If he is not married, he will file as “Single”.

  29. Yoshiko says:

    Aloha!
    I support my father (he is 53) who was enrolled and attended our local community college the entire year of 2013 as a full time student. I paid all his bills as he was unemployed, but he did receive unemployment to the total of $6,850. He used all his unemployment to pay for his classes, books, and such that he needed for school. Can I still claim him or is he unqualified because of the unemployment? Or does the fact that he was a full time student change that? Thank you for your time and insight!
    Mahalo!

  30. Joanna Belmont says:

    Hi, I am 65, disabled and live on SSI . I receive HUD assistance to pay rent. I am losing my eyesight and it would benefit me to live with my daughter. She owns a house through Employee Housing and I need to be her dependent to live with her. I receive Foodstamps. If I become her dependant, how will that effect my benefits?

  31. Ashley says:

    My mom is currently fighting for disability benefits. She is not receiving her benefits yet because she has to go to court and appeal the disability decision . She has doctors that say she is disabled and proof from the doctors that she is disabled. Can I claim her as a disabled parent on my taxes because of the proof from the doctor. Or do I have to wait until she gets her disability from ssi?

  32. alex says:

    Hi I have a question that might sound dumb but it happened to me days ago. I was waiting for my check that I was going to recieve from my taxes and well I got a letter saying that I owed money, but the funny part is that it says I owe from 2007 and in that year I was 13 yes old I find it ridiculous please help me understand this it’s also my first time filing taxes I’m 20 yes old now thank you

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Alex,

      This typically happens when you forget or choose not to file prior year taxes but do file for the current year. However, since you were only thirteen years old at the time that they are claiming you owe money for (and I am assuming that you were not employed then), I suggest contacting the IRS to get this straightened out.

  33. Beyay says:

    Hi,
    I’m a USA citizen and trying to bring my parents here in New York ,my question is what kind of benifits they can get ? My parents they are about 60 years old and they cant speak english

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Beyay,

      The benefits that your parents are eligible to receive depends on many different factors. You may want to look into if that qualify for Social Security benefits, AARP or retirement benefits (just to name a few).

  34. Kathy Williams says:

    Have been claiming my mother as a dependent she died May 31, 2014, will I be able to claim her on income tax for 2014.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Kathy,

      If the dependent died during the year and they otherwise met the dependency tests, you may still claim them as a dependent in the year they died for the entire year.

  35. Sarah H says:

    Hi Tax Advisor,

    My husband is active duty and we are trying to figure out how to claim my mother as a dependent to meet military housing regulations.

    She meets all the requirements, except for the income from her pension, which comes to $5,000 a year. She does not own a home or vehicle and is otherwise completely dependent on my husband and I. She has been living with us since she retired two years ago.

    Is there any way around the $3,800 requirement? Her pension alone cannot cover her basic living and medical needs.

    Thanks for your time.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Sarah,

      Unfortunately, all requirements must be met and pension income is included in the gross income amount. The only other option would be to contact her pension provider and see if they have any new insight.

  36. Renato Terra says:

    Hello, my son sends to my personal livelihood, every month for the Brazil U$ 950 through Western Union. He is in California and my question is: He will have problems with the IRS in the USA?

  37. Esther H says:

    My mom (in her 90s) has been staying with us since Aug and will be staying with us for good. We send her to an Elderly Day Care while we work and it costs about $1K per month. Based on what I’ve read, we meet all the requirements except her legal status. Her green card is being filed, can we claim her as our dependent while waiting for her green card. Also, what other services can she use once she becomes our dependent?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Esther,

      According to the IRS, all requirements must be met to claim a dependent. However, I do suggest contacting the IRS directly since as explained above, you are waiting for the green card to process. The IRS may take something like that on a case-by-case basis.

  38. willet says:

    My mother is 67 and her income is 5000 of social security and i provide all of hr support can she be my dependent

  39. Becca says:

    Hi my dad has been living with me but he can work his disabled from bad arm an elbow he does not get social or any type of
    income can i still claim him???????

  40. ali says:

    my mom just became permanent resident this year. can i claim her as a dependent for the last 3 years?
    Thanks

  41. Saad says:

    Can I claim both the parents (mother and father) if both of them meet the above mentioned requirements or just one parent ?

  42. juan says:

    Can i claim my parents even if they live in mexico & how can i show irs that i provide for them

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Juan,

      Yes you can! As stated in the article, one of the guidelines is that they must be a resident of the U.S., Canada or Mexico. You can report this the same way you would a U.S. resident. If the IRS needs any further information, they will inform you as to how to proceed.

  43. jill says:

    If I claim my disabled mother (whom lives with me) will this affect her receiving food stamps?

  44. frank says:

    my mother moved into my home on June 1, 2014 following my dads passing. She paid no expenses and passed away the end of November. Am I able to claim her as a dependant on my taxes

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Frank,

      If the dependent died during the year and otherwise met the dependency tests, you may still claim them as a dependent in the year they died for the entire year.

  45. vanetta says:

    What is the form I need I need to get from social security to get number to claim my mother in law in mexico? We did this for my father in law years ago, but now we are supporting my mother in law as well. I would like to claim both now as dependents. We already claim my father in law and have a SS number for that purpose.

  46. Michael says:

    Can I claim my father as a dependent, even though he does not live with me? He lives in another state, and only income is Social Security. I paid half of his rent in 2014.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Michael,

      Unfortunately, in order to claim a dependent, they must meet all qualifications as a “qualifying dependent”. These qualifications can be found on the IRS website.

  47. verline says:

    Can I claim my nephew o. My taxes if he doesn’t work & he’s 20 with no insurance.& how much would I be fine.

  48. Barbara says:

    My mother lives with me and makes over $3900 per year in pension income, so I cannot claim her as a dependent. When I calculate her expenses (estimated rent, food, medicine and medical supply expenses, clothing, etc.) it comes out to $6,000 more than her income.

    I am the one paying the difference and I am a single Mom with two boys to support. Is there any way to claim the $6,000 of her expenses on my taxes? Please let me know. Thank you so much!

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Barbara,

      You may want to take a look at any tax credits that you may qualify for. You can find each tax credit and the qualification on the IRS website. You may not be able to report all $6,000 but it could be a bit of a help to you.

  49. Marisa says:

    My mother, who is 90 and does not live with me, but I assist her with grocery shopping, doctor appt’s, and bill writing; would I be able to claim her? My sister who is wheelchair bound in her home, would I also be able to claim her, for assisting her weekly as shopping, taking her to dr. appointments, cleaning…?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Marisa,

      Your aunt and mother must meet the requirements to be considered a “Qualifying Relative” and be claimed as dependents on your tax return.

      An individual must meet all of the following requirements in order to be considered your “Qualifying Relative”:

      1. The relative cannot be your “Qualifying Child” and cannot be claimed by someone else.
      2. The person must either have lived with you for the entire year as a member of the household (a person who is not actually related to you may meet the requirements in this way), or be related to you in one of the following ways: your child, stepchild, grandchild or other descendant of one of your children (or stepchildren or foster children), son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother, sister, half brother, half sister, stepbrother, stepsister, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, parent, stepfather, stepmother, father-in-law, mother-in-law, grandparent, and, if related by blood, aunt, uncle, niece, or nephew.
      3. The person must have made less than $3,950 in gross income during 2014.
      4. You must have provided more than half of the individual’s total support during the year.

  50. patricia says:

    can my son claim us on his tax return? We are both retired and do not have any other income but social security.It says you can not have a income of 3900 but is that foe social security earnings?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Patricia,

      Can I claim my relative as a dependent?
      An individual must meet all of the following requirements in order to be considered your “Qualifying Relative”:
      1. The relative cannot be your “Qualifying Child” and cannot be claimed by someone else.
      2. The person must either have lived with you for the entire year as a member of the household (a person who is not actually related to you may meet the requirements in this way), or be related to you in one of the following ways: your child, stepchild, grandchild or other descendant of one of your children (or stepchildren or foster children), son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother, sister, half brother, half sister, stepbrother, stepsister, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, parent, stepfather, stepmother, father-in-law, mother-in-law, grandparent, and, if related by blood, aunt, uncle, niece, or nephew.
      3. The person must have made less than $3,950 in gross income during 2014.
      4. You must have provided more than half of the individual’s total support during the year.

      As far as whether or not your social security is included in your gross income, you will need to check your provider and see if they are tax-exempt.

  51. Heather says:

    Hi. I live with my father and my sisters. My dad receives SSI for him and my sister. I help take care of my father and sisters by housekeeping, cooking all meals, doing the laundry, and cleaning. My father pays the household bills with his SSI. Could I claim my younger sister on my taxes since my dad isn’t filing taxes or would that affect the SSI he received for her?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Heather,

      A child must meet all of the following requirements in order to be considered your Qualifying Child.

      1. The child must be your daughter, son, stepdaughter, stepson, foster child, sister, brother, half-sister, half-brother, stepsister, stepbrother, or a descendant of any of these, such as a niece or nephew.
      2. The child must be one of the following:
      a. Under the age of 19 on the last day of the year and younger than you (and your spouse if filing jointly)
      b. A full-time student under the age of 24 on the last day of the year and younger than you (and your spouse if filing jointly)
      c. Permanently disabled at any time during the year, regardless of their age
      3. The child must have not provided more than half of his or her own support for the year (regardless of who did provide the support). Support includes food, actual or fair rental value of housing, clothing, transportation, medical expenses, and recreation.
      4. The child must have lived with you for more than half of the year, except for temporary absences.
      5. The child must not file a joint tax return for the year (if he or she is married).
      6. If they could be a qualifying child for more than one person, you must be the person who is entitled to claim the child.

  52. tracy says:

    can i claim my nephew if he mother got ssi and he has ssi with his mother too

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Tracy,

      In order to claim a child as your dependent, that dependent needs to meet every requirement listed on the IRS’ website to be considered a “Qualifying Child”.

  53. Callie says:

    My mother has lived with us over half the year. She receives SS benefits. She receives a SSA 1099 because they pull out federal. She files every year & gets it all back on her return. Can I still Claim her as a dependent & my mom file her SSA 1099?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Callie,

      An individual must meet all of the following requirements in order to be considered your “Qualifying Relative”:
      1. The relative cannot be your “Qualifying Child” and cannot be claimed by someone else.
      2. The person must either have lived with you for the entire year as a member of the household (a person who is not actually related to you may meet the requirements in this way), or be related to you in one of the following ways: your child, stepchild, grandchild or other descendant of one of your children (or stepchildren or foster children), son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother, sister, half brother, half sister, stepbrother, stepsister, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, parent, stepfather, stepmother, father-in-law, mother-in-law, grandparent, and, if related by blood, aunt, uncle, niece, or nephew.
      3. The person must have made less than $3,950 in gross income during 2014.
      4. You must have provided more than half of the individual’s total support during the year.

  54. Danielle says:

    Hi,

    my father gets disability every month, I stay with him and I wanted to know if I could carry him on my taxes. I help him with everything financial wise. I am married but I file separate because me and my husband are separated.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Danielle,

      An individual must meet all of the following requirements in order to be considered your “Qualifying Relative”:
      1. The relative cannot be your “Qualifying Child” and cannot be claimed by someone else.
      2. The person must either have lived with you for the entire year as a member of the household (a person who is not actually related to you may meet the requirements in this way), or be related to you in one of the following ways: your child, stepchild, grandchild or other descendant of one of your children (or stepchildren or foster children), son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother, sister, half brother, half sister, stepbrother, stepsister, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, parent, stepfather, stepmother, father-in-law, mother-in-law, grandparent, and, if related by blood, aunt, uncle, niece, or nephew.
      3. The person must have made less than $3,950 in gross income during 2014.
      4. You must have provided more than half of the individual’s total support during the year.

  55. please advise says:

    My dad lives with me, I pay rent, groceries, and utility bills. He only gets about $260 from disability and social security combined. He does not work and at times he helps me pay utility bills when he has extra money. I am the one that pays for the expenses at home. If I

    claim him will that affect his benefits?

  56. Deanna says:

    Hi,
    My question is can I claim my father in my income tax, he is fully disabled. He also received a form.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Deanna,

      An individual must meet all of the following requirements in order to be considered your “Qualifying Relative”:
      1. The relative cannot be your “Qualifying Child” and cannot be claimed by someone else.
      2. The person must either have lived with you for the entire year as a member of the household (a person who is not actually related to you may meet the requirements in this way), or be related to you in one of the following ways: your child, stepchild, grandchild or other descendant of one of your children (or stepchildren or foster children), son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother, sister, half brother, half sister, stepbrother, stepsister, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, parent, stepfather, stepmother, father-in-law, mother-in-law, grandparent, and, if related by blood, aunt, uncle, niece, or nephew.
      3. The person must have made less than $3,950 in gross income during 2014.
      4. You must have provided more than half of the individual’s total support during the year.

  57. Deanna says:

    Hi,
    I was wondering if I can claim my father? He is fully disabled, We live together, my job is taking care of him, like his caregiver. He did receive his form from his disability, and I also received my W-2 forms, and school form. Or can he claim me?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Deanna,

      An individual must meet all of the following requirements in order to be considered your “Qualifying Relative”:
      1. The relative cannot be your “Qualifying Child” and cannot be claimed by someone else.
      2. The person must either have lived with you for the entire year as a member of the household (a person who is not actually related to you may meet the requirements in this way), or be related to you in one of the following ways: your child, stepchild, grandchild or other descendant of one of your children (or stepchildren or foster children), son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother, sister, half brother, half sister, stepbrother, stepsister, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, parent, stepfather, stepmother, father-in-law, mother-in-law, grandparent, and, if related by blood, aunt, uncle, niece, or nephew.
      3. The person must have made less than $3,950 in gross income during 2014.
      4. You must have provided more than half of the individual’s total support during the year.

  58. Willie says:

    Hi,

    My mother is in a nursing home. All but 38 dollars of her SSI goes to the nursing home. I, along with a sibling, contribute each month to maintain her home that is willed to us and pay additionally for her private room and other expenses. the total comes out to over $3000.00. Is any of this deductible?

    Thanks

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Willie,

      You can report nursing home expenses as medical expenses under certain circumstances:
      1. If you, your spouse or your dependent is in a nursing home and the primary reason for being there is for medical care, the entire cost including meals and lodging is a deductible medical expense.
      2. If the individual is in the home mainly for personal reasons, then only the cost of the actual medical care is a deductible medical expense, and the cost of the meals and lodging is not deductible.

  59. Deeraj says:

    My Mother lives with my sister. She does not make more than $3900 a year. I support her financially with all her needs, Travel, clothes, food and other expense. We have a store that she collects rent for and she will be filing tax for that but the income of the store does not reach $3900 a year. Can I file her as my dependent? She is filing as single as my father passed away.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Deeraj,

      Typically, as long as you meet ALL requirements listed by the IRS for claiming a relative as a qualifying dependent, then you can. Below are the requirements that the IRS requires to be met in order to do so:

      1. The relative cannot be your “Qualifying Child” and cannot be claimed by someone else.
      2. The person must either have lived with you for the entire year as a member of the household (a person who is not actually related to you may meet the requirements in this way), or be related to you in one of the following ways: your child, stepchild, grandchild or other descendant of one of your children (or stepchildren or foster children), son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother, sister, half brother, half sister, stepbrother, stepsister, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, parent, stepfather, stepmother, father-in-law, mother-in-law, grandparent, and, if related by blood, aunt, uncle, niece, or nephew.
      3. The person must have made less than $3,950 in gross income during 2014.
      4. You must have provided more than half of the individual’s total support during the year.

  60. JC says:

    my dad passed away Aug 2013 and I still am claiming as head of household upon now. I am a single.

    Q1:upon reading few blog and tax laws on deceased dependent, do i need to change my W2 status back to Single and report to my HR department?

    Q2: will there be penalties due this reason for 2014 Tax? I didn’t do it purposely.
    Q3: should i seek professional help to claim my tax in 2014?

    Thanks

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi JC,

      I am sorry to hear about your father.

      To answer your questions, it is in your best interest to update your W-4 information as soon as possible with your HR department. Since the W-4 form is only used to construct an estimate of the amount to withhold from your paychecks throughout the year, there will not be any legal “penalties” applied to you since you did not file your taxes yet. That being said, you may have an amount owed to the IRS after filing this year since the IRS was most likely not withholding as much as they would if you had updated your filing status earlier.

  61. Queeny says:

    My Dad has lived with me for over a year, he collects $550 in SSI every month. He is not my qualifying child and I support him fully in every thing. Can I claim him?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Queeny,

      As long as the individual you are claiming meets all requirements provided by the IRS, you can definitely claim a relative as a dependent. The four guidelines that the individual must meet are as follows:

      1. The relative cannot be your “Qualifying Child” and cannot be claimed by someone else.
      2. The person must either have lived with you for the entire year as a member of the household (a person who is not actually related to you may meet the requirements in this way), or be related to you in one of the following ways: your child, stepchild, grandchild or other descendant of one of your children (or stepchildren or foster children), son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother, sister, half brother, half sister, stepbrother, stepsister, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, parent, stepfather, stepmother, father-in-law, mother-in-law, grandparent, and, if related by blood, aunt, uncle, niece, or nephew.
      3. The person must have made less than $3,950 in gross income during 2014.
      4. You must have provided more than half of the individual’s total support during the year.

  62. Renee says:

    My mother lived with me from Jan thru Sept 2014 unitl her death. Can I still claim her on my 2014 tax return.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Renee,

      I am so sorry for your loss.

      To answer your question, as long as your mother met all other qualifications to be claimed as your dependent, you can claim her for the entire tax year. There is no such rule according to the IRS for claiming a dependent for only a certain amount of months out of the year.

  63. David says:

    To claim both parents, the requirement is that they not file a joint return. Does that mean they are not eligible to file jointly? If they are married but not required to file, does that satisfy the requirement?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hello David,

      The IRS rules can seem a bit misleading. Basically, if you want to claim both parents on your tax return, they cannot file a joint return together. If they are filing a joint return, the IRS will not allow someone else to claim either of them as a dependent. This does not mean that they are ineligible to file a joint return at all; just that they can’t file jointly with you claiming them as dependents at the same time.

  64. Nick Mitchell says:

    Hello,
    My parents in law have moved in with us (Age 80 and 76) and we will claim them as dependents on our tax return as they satisfy all IRS conditions for it. They want to pay us some rent through their SSI (they have no other income). If do get additional SSI for rent, do we add that to our income in our tax returns? Any other impact on our returns?
    Thank you.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Nick,

      This can be a tricky situation. When renting to relatives, you should only report it on your tax return if the rent you are charging (or in your case, what they are offering) falls within fair market value rent amount for your area. If not, and you claim expenses or the rent on your tax return, the IRS could penalize you. For more information, please refer to the IRS website page on rental income HERE. For your case specifically, you may want to take advantage of our free customer service support and give us a call to discuss in further detail. You can reach one of our tax professions Monday-Friday 10AM-5PM EST at 877-289-7580.

  65. Octavio says:

    Hello,

    My mother in law is a U.S. Citizen and retired. She is 67 years old receiving very little in Social Security benefits and she decided to move back to her home country of birth, El Salvador to live out the remainder of her retirement years there instead of living in the States. My wife and I are the only ones supporting her, besides the little money she receives from Social Security we are providing well over 50% of her support

    Can we claim her on our tax return if she is no longer living in the U.S.A? but still receiving the majority of her financial support from my wife and I?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Octavio,

      You may be able to claim your mother in law as a dependent. In order to do so, she must meet all four of the following requirements which are instated by the IRS:
      1. She must NOT be considered a qualifying child dependent.
      2. She must have either lived with you for the entire year as a member of the household OR be related to you as a child, stepchild, grandchild, grandchild or other descendant of one of your children (or stepchildren or foster children), son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother, sister, half brother, half sister, stepbrother, stepsister, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, parent, stepfather, stepmother, father-in-law, mother-in-law, grandparent, and, if related by blood, aunt, uncle, niece, or nephew.
      3. She must have earned less than $3,950 in gross income during the financial year.
      4. You must have provided more than half of her total support during the financial year.

      As long as ALL of these requirements are met, you can claim your mother-in law as a qualifying relative dependent on your taxes.

  66. nora says:

    hi,
    my mom lives in Mexico, i send her money every 2 weeks or once a month sometimes.
    can i still claim her as my dependent?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Nora,

      In order to claim your mother as a qualifying relative dependent, the following requirements mist be met:

      1. She must be related to you (according to IRS rules).
      2. She must have earned less than $3,950 in gross income for the year.
      3. She must be a U.S. citizen.
      4. You must have provided more than half of her total financial support for the year.

  67. Maria sanchez says:

    Can i claim my 25 year old brother who lives with me and which is unemployed and i have provided for him all year long?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Maria,

      In order to claim a relative as an eligible dependent on your taxes, the individual in question must meet 4 main requirements:
      1. They cannot be considered a qualifying child dependent according to the IRS for tax purposes.
      2. They must have either lived with you for the entire year as a member of your household or be related to you according to the IRS for tax purposes (brother is a valid relation)
      3. They must have made below a certain annual gross income (this amount was $3,950 for 2014 but may change for 2015. Updates are not released yet by the IRS).
      4. You must have provided more than half of the individual’s total financial support annually.

      As long as ALL of these qualifications are met, claiming your brother is valid.

  68. khalid says:

    my parent stayed with me 3 months in 2015, can i put them with me as dependent , right now they left for vacation

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Khalid,

      There are several eligibility requirements that need to be met in order to claim your parent as a qualifying relative dependent. These requirements are as follows and must ALL be met:

      1. The relative in question is not the ‘qualifying child’ dependent of you or someone else.
      2. The relative in question must either have lived with you for the entire year as a member of the household OR be related to you as stated by the IRS (a parent is acceptable).
      3. The relative in question must have earned less than $4,000 of gross income in 2015.
      4. You must have provided more than half of the relative’s total support during the year.

  69. billy says:

    I claim my little brother for years now, this year he worked and made 2800, he is 17 still in high school, does he do his own taxes and can I claim him still I support all. and my aunt moved in two years ago, she gets disability checks,she in a wheel chair permently age 48, is there any claming tjere? and one more iam back in college with student loans full time is there any breaks there? and what forms for my aunt and school if so? thank you….

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Billy,

      As long as your brother still meets the other qualifications for you to claim him as a dependent, you can still claim him based on his income. Since you will be claiming the personal exemption for him, make sure that he does not if he files a tax return to report his federal withholding.

      As for your aunt, you may be able to claim her as a dependent as well. You’ll want to see if she meets the requirements as a ‘qualifying relative dependent’.

      When it comes to your student loans, you may qualify for a few different credits. Take a look at the Lifetime Learning Credit and American Opportunity Credit.

      If you’re having trouble or need more information on what credits you may be eligible for, give our tax team a call at 877-289-7580.

  70. Manuel juarez says:

    I want to ask u . If I can claim my mom she lives in Mexico but I send her money every week and I have proof. thanks

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Manuel,

      In order for you to claim your mother as a dependent on your taxes, the following requirements must be met:

      1. Not a Qualifying Child: The individual cannot be your Qualifying Child Dependent and cannot be someone else’s Qualifying Child Dependent.
      2. Relationship: The person must either have lived with you for the entire year as a member of the household OR be related to you in one of the following ways: your child, stepchild, grandchild or other descendant of one of your children (or stepchildren or foster children), son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother, sister, half brother, half sister, stepbrother, stepsister, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, parent, stepfather, stepmother, father-in-law, mother-in-law, grandparent, and, if related by blood, aunt, uncle, niece, or nephew.
      3. Gross Income: The person must have made less than $4,000 in gross income during 2015.
      4. Support: You must have provided more than half of the individual’s total support during the year.

  71. Kiara says:

    I am trying to see if I can claim my father on my taxes because I am a bit confused. He is disabled and receives a disability check but he doesn’t file for it. But he also receives a retirement check that he has to file taxes for and he says its about $8,000 gross income. Am I still able to claim him?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Kiara,

      In order to claim a parent as a dependent on your taxes, you need to meet certain requirements set forth by the IRS. One of these is that your parent must not have a gross income of $4,000 or more per year. Gross income does not include Social Security payments or other tax-exempt income. That being said, have him double check his retirement to see that it is not taxable. If it is, than you cannot claim him. If it is not, then you can claim him as a dependent considering he meets all other requirements to do so.

  72. Joe says:

    My disabled little brother Passed away in March 2015, can my parents claim him for taxes 2015?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Joe,

      I am so so sorry for your loss.

      To answer your question, your parents are able to claim your brother as their dependent. According to the IRS, a dependent that passes away during the year is deemed to have lived in your home for the entire year.

      If you or your parents have any questions at all about this or any other tax situations, feel free to give our tax team a call at 877-289-7580.

  73. Nicole says:

    My mom is 58. She had a heart attack 4 years ago. She receives disability benefits and collects 700 a month in social security. Can I claim her on my taxes or will she lose her benefits?

  74. Amy says:

    I can claim my father as a dependent since he meets the requirements for a qualifying dependent. How will this affect his disability benefits? Will his benefits be based on my income?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Amy,

      To qualify for Social Security disability, your parent must prove that he is unable to work due to a medical condition that has lasted, or is expected to last, at least 12 months. The benefit is based on his work record and is paid monthly until he reaches full retirement age or until Social Security decides he is no longer disabled. Being claimed as a dependent has no effect on the benefit, but Social Security does limit any wage income she receives while on disability.

  75. Marie Collier says:

    If my grandmother lived with me from Jan to July in 2015, because of a dispute between her and her sister, can I claim her as a dependent and can I file head of household. She receives food stamps and since October she has received disability ssi and social security payments. I provide more than half of her support, even now that she is not living with me. She moved back in with her sister, because it is more space there.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Marie,

      Based on what you have stated above, you may be able to claim your grandmother as a qualifying dependent. In order to do this, your grandmother must have met all of the following requirements:

      1. She must not be your qualifying child and cannot be someone else’s qualifying child.
      2. She must be related to you according to IRS stipulations (which she is as your grandmother).
      3. She must have earned less than $4,000 in gross income throughout the year.
      4. You must have provided more than half of her total financial support during the year.

  76. Debbie says:

    Hi my older brother was on ssi and he died in November can I still carry him on my taxes he was getting a check every month

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Debbie,

      I am so sorry for your loss.

      You can claim a dependent in the tax year that they died for the entire year. Going into future tax years though, you won’t be able to claim him as a dependent.

  77. Renee Newton says:

    My mother has lived with me for several years and I provided over 1/2 her support. I have claimed her as my dependent but now I am not sure if I can claim her for this tax return. She passed away January 18, 2015. My question is can I claim her on my taxes this year even though she only lived for 18 days. If I can do I need to put somewhere on the return that she is deceased?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Renee,

      I’m so sorry for your loss.

      Since your mother passed away during the year, you can claim her as a dependent on your taxes as long as she otherwise met the dependency tests. You will only be able to claim her for this tax year and not in the future.

  78. Susan says:

    My nephew lives with me…he is 34 and receives ssi benefits each month . all. Of my money from my job goes to bills and groceries for the both. Of us…can I claim him, and what would I claim him as? Would he be a qualifying child because he’s disabled? Susan

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Susan,

      You can claim your nephew as a dependent on your tax return. Age is not a factor when the dependent is ‘permanently and totally’ (according to the IRS) disabled. However, you will need to see the tests that the dependent will need to meet in order to be claimed as either a qualifying relative or a qualifying child.

      In order to be a qualifying child, the dependent must meet all of the following requirements:
      1. They must be related to you.
      2. They must be under 19 or under 24 (if a full-time student). There is no age requirement if child is disabled.
      3. They must live with you for more than half the year.
      4. They must be supported by you at least 50% financially.

      In order to be a qualifying relative, the dependent must meet all of the following requirements:
      1. They must live with you for the entire year (special circumstances apply in some cases).
      2. They must earn less than $4,000 (gross income).
      3. They must be supported by you at least 50% financially.

  79. jacob says:

    My parents total income was 11000$,but my father didnt work last year,i supported them,can i put my father as a dependent and not mother?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Jacob,

      You are not required to claim both parents as dependents. As long as your father meets the requirements for you to claim him as a qualifying relative, then you can claim just him as a dependent on your tax return. You can take a look at the qualifications that need to be met on the IRS website HERE. This is easier to understand compared to most IRS publications.

  80. MsG says:

    My 95 yr old Dad has been living with me for one year, earning 866/mo from SS. He cash out his IRA of $11,112.99 and I put it in a savings with my name & SS# only to use it as his funeral planning. The Federal tax held was 122.02. He hasn’t filed taxes for over 30 yrs. He received recently from the bank a 2015 Form 1099-R. Do I have to report this, if I am able to claim him as a qualifying dependent? I support more than half. Please advise, thank you.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi MSG,

      Even if you are still eligible to claim your father as a dependent, you will need to file a separate return for him in order to report the 1099-R. If you are filing this online with us, you will check the box that states that you can be claimed as a dependent by someone else. If you are completing the form by yourself, then you will need to leave box 6A blank.

  81. Dion says:

    My mom lives with me and received social security and pension. The total is not more than $11,850 for both. Her pension has taxes deducted. Can I claim her as a dependent although her pension is taxed and if it does not equal $4000? She is born in 1947.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Dion,

      The IRS has a number of rules that must be met in order for you to claim a qualifying relative dependent. As long as these rules are met, then you can claim your mother as a dependent on your tax return.
      1. She must not be a qualifying child dependent to you or anyone else.
      2. She must either live with you all year as a member of your household OR be related to you as acceptable to the IRS (mother is acceptable relationship).
      3. She must have a gross income less than $4,000.
      4. You must provide more than 50% of financial support for her.

  82. Marco Salazar says:

    Hi, my name is Marco. I recently turned 18 and have had suspicion that my mom been claiming me, and have not been living with her for over for about 2 years. She has not supported me for these 2 years (estimate) I recently have a job and live with my sister. My questions are, “Can I file tax fraud?”, and “Where can I find who has been claiming me for the past 2 to 4 years?”. And if she has been claiming me: “What do I have to set-up to get evidence proving she has been claiming me?”.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Marco,

      In this situation, it may be difficult to prove that your mother was not eligible to claim you as a dependent. It is best to contact the IRS before proceeding with anything. Based on information you provided above, the most logical way to go about this would be to file tax returns for the past two years, claiming the personal exemption for yourself. By doing this, you would be alerting the IRS that more than one person is claiming the exemption for one person (which is not allowed). Since she has filed her returns and has been accepted by the IRS already, your return will be rejected. You’ll want to include documentation along with your return when mailing it in that explains the situation a bit. It is important to remember that the IRS will respond best to the facts of the situation as opposed to providing your thoughts or any hearsay. As I mentioned before, it will be best if you contact the IRS directly from the very beginning as this can become a tedious time-consuming process before you see the light at the end of the tunnel. They will let you know exactly which documents to mail along with your tax returns.

  83. Dan says:

    My father was living with me the past few years and recently moved out in September. I have provided more than half of his support for that time.
    My question is will I still be able to claim him for 2016??
    His only income is SS.

    • Hi Dan,

      Based on what you have stated above, you shouldn’t have a problem claiming him as a dependent. Just be sure that he meets all requirements according to the IRS and that he won’t be filing his own tax return and claiming a personal exemption for himself. If he files and claims a personal exemption, your return will be rejected and you will not be able to claim him.

  84. Tony says:

    hi, my name is tony. Both my parent’s they come to live with me over 7 month ago and they both are over 65! They have 0 income here in usa just the masshealth health insurance! can I claim them as a dependent? if yes do they lose the health insurance?

    • Hi Tony,

      Your parents’ health insurance should not be dropped if you claim them as a dependent. However, I suggest double checking with the health insurance provider for their specific rules on the subject. They will be able to assure you based on your parents’ policy with them.

  85. Ramses Lee says:

    Hello, i was wondering because i wanted to see if i could claim my mom. She is currently disabled and she was once recieving ssi but they took it away and they are still processing to see if she can get it back. Its been almost 1 year she has not had any help from ssi and she recives a pension from her father who died. I am currently paying half the mortgage, her telephone bill, the light bill and the water bill at the moment and she is left not even with a dollar..can i claim her on my taxes as a dependant? She does not work, she does not fike taxes and her pension is not taxed either?

    • Hi Ramses Lee,

      Based on your comment, it sounds as though you should be able to claim your mother as a dependent relative. However, I suggest reading the requirements to do so in the above article under section titled, “Is your parent a qualifying relative for tax purposes?“.

      • rachel says:

        I am claiming my mom as my dependent. However it is not giving me a refund for her only a tax exemption deduction. Why is this?

        • It can be that you did not have enough taxes withheld during the year by your employer. If your with-holdings are not greater than your total taxes you may have an income tax liability. Claiming your mother as a dependent and receiving the dependent exemption may help to lower your taxable income, however, this does not guarantee you to receive a refund.

  86. Minka says:

    My disabled mother lived with me all year with no income, then in November she received a disability check with back pay for the whole year. Is this going to keep me from being able to claim her?

    • Hi Minka,

      Based on the information you have shared above, it seems as though you may be able to claim your mother as a dependent on your tax return. I also suggest taking a look at the IRS Dependent Tool on their website. This will ask you a series of questions and provide you with an answer as to whether or not you can claim your mother.

    • Hi Minka,

      Based on the information you have shared above, it seems as though you may be able to claim your mother as a dependent on your tax return. I also suggest taking a look at the IRS Dependent Tool on their website. This will ask you a series of questions and provide you with an answer as to whether or not you can claim your mother.

  87. Stritama says:

    Can my daughter claim me on her taxes as an EIC I am disabled living on SSDI which is over 3900 annually but not taxable I live with her and she provides shelter and food

  88. michael says:

    Me and my husband receive SSI. Our son wants to claim us as dependents on his tax returns. will that hurt our ssi benefits if he does so??
    thank you for your help.

    • Hi Michael,

      You can claim your parent as a dependent if you provided at least 50% of their financial support during the year. This support may come in the form of food, housing, medical expenses, clothing, etc. Your parent’s income may not exceed $4,000. This amount does not include any Social Security or Supplemental Security Income benefits they are receiving.

  89. Joyce Gum says:

    hi dear, I have been providing more than 50% financial support to my parents in 2016, their income is 0$ for 2016 and currently receiving Medi-Cal insurance, can i claim them as my dependents? and if so, will my income consider as their income which may affects their medi-cal eligibility? thank you for your time.

    –joyce

    • Hi Joyce,

      Federally, you can claim them without their insurance being affected. However, states can sometimes have slightly different rules. I suggest contacting the Medi-Cal insurance company for further instructions for if their eligibility will be affected.

  90. Bob K says:

    Last year, I was able to claim both my parents on my taxes because they were both unemployed, living with me and receiving no benefits whatsoever. I basically paid for everything and supported them fully.

    This past May, my dad begun receiving social security as well as his pension. My mother is still unemployed, receiving no benefits and I still pay all of her bills, since the money my dad is making isn’t sufficient to cover the both of them.

    If they file separately (technically she doesn’t have to file at all if she has no income right?), can I claim her as a dependent still?

    • Bob K says:

      As an aside to this – my mom did win a $1200 jackpot at the casino with money I let her borrow. She had them take all of the taxes, including federal out at that time. Does she still have to file a return with no income shown other than the gambling winnings?

      • Hi Bob,

        Winnings count as taxable income according to the IRS. The good news is that all winnings are taxed at the same amount; unlike income.

        Here is how the IRS taxes gambling winnings:
        – $600 or more at a horse track (if that is 300 times your bet)
        – $1,200 or more at a slow machine or bingo game
        – $1,500 or more in keno winnings
        – $5,000 or more in poker tournament winnings

    • Hi Bob,

      You may be able to claim both parents still even with your father receiving social security and his pension. You’ll still need to meet the minimum requirements set by the IRS. Take a look at our other recent article, “Claiming Parents as Dependents if they Receive Social Security Benefits”.

  91. Daniel says:

    Hello
    My question is. I have moved in to help my mother with,her expenses. She is on ssi and is disabled. I cover at least 50 percent of her stuff. I want to know if i claim her as a,dependant will it effect her benefits. Her food benefits and medical assisstance.

  92. Steven says:

    Hello,
    My brother claims our mom as his dependent as she lives with him all year. Mom babysits my children on occasion. I pay her for helping me. Last year I paid her $2500. Her only other income is SSI. So there are two questions that I have after researching this situation:
    1. Since it is under $4,000 earned income, does my brother have to claim that money that I paid mom as income on his tax return?
    2. Can I claim the Child Care Credit with the $2500 that I paid my mother for watching my children?
    Thanks in advance for your reply.

    • If your mother provided the child care services from her home, you should have issued her a 1099-MISC so that she can report this income as self employment income. She can also opt to report her business income as cash. If she works in your home, you can put your mom on your payroll and issue her a W-2. Or you can set up a FSA account at work where you set aside money for child care expenses. This money can be deducted from your paycheck before taxes. You can then claim your child care expenses on your return. If you spent more than the benefits withheld on your W-2, you will be able to get a dependent care credit for your out of pocket child care expenses .

      Your brother can claim your mother as his dependent once she meets the IRS qualifying dependent parent tests. One of the tests is that her gross income must bot be greater than $4050. Please be aware this amount does not include SSI.

  93. jasmine carow says:

    hello. I have a question involving a different matter. But see that you respond quickly. My boyfriend and I and his 2 daughters
    have lived with his uncle and his wife for 2yrs now. We both have been unemployed during this time due to personal reasons and me having a baby in 2016. We let his uncles wife claim the 2 girls last year since she was the that provided the cost of living, transportation, clothing for school, utilities, gas food ext. for the whole yr. Everything came back fine when taxes came. This year we did the same of course but added our newborn as well. But now we are being audited. When she filed she filed the children as “Qualified Relative. Our problem is that were not sure how to prove residency for the children and us. We never changed the addresses do to the fact if we did the kids would have had to change school districts and was not an option since they were already comfortable in there schools. What can we do to prove our residency at there home? Also since we did not work but lived there as well, she still has the right to claim them correct? We plan on going to our local IRS office this Tuesday but any help that can help us better prepare to show prove is greatly appreciated. I know they have listings of what works and what doesn’t but every situation is different.

    • Some documentations that the IRS will ask to to provide will be photocopies of school records (no report cards), medical, childcare provider (the provider cannot be a relative) or social service records. You also have the choice to send in an official letterhead from an institution or agency that shows the name of your child’s guardian along with the address and dates that they lived at the home.

  94. Syed A says:

    Hello,
    My question is, both my parents live with me. My mom has annual income of $9K a year from her part-time job. My dad has SSA income of $8K a year. Can I claim my dad as a dependent, granting they both file married/separate? I do pay more than half of his medical expenses as well as other costs.

    Thank you in advance.

  95. Howie Duong says:

    Hello,
    I am Canadian citizen currently working in US, i have 2 questions:
    – What kind of income i need to report to IRA, before tax or after tax? ( my income is in USD)
    – I have a dependent dad in Canada, i pay for his daily expense ( food, house, utilities…) Can i claim him as my dependent when i file my income tax?
    thanks

    • Unfortunately we do not support or specialize in returns containing foreign information, foreign residents, and/or foreign income. Therefore we will not be able to answer your question. We apologize for the inconvenience.

  96. Kimmie says:

    My mother is sick and I take care of her. I am trying to determine if she can be considered a dependent. I understand that her social security isn’t counted, however, she receives a spousal annuity payment from her ex-husband that was court ordered as part of her divorce. Do these funds count as income for her?

  97. Simranjeet says:

    Hello,
    my mom can’t work as she got arthritis,
    and she is living with me from 3 years, and am supporting her for everything,
    so my question is that is there a way to file her as my dependent ?
    please suggest
    Thanks
    Simran

  98. Aldo says:

    Hi,

    My mom doesn’t live in the US, she is a resident of Mexico and does not work. I send her money regularly to Mexico.

    Can I claim her as a dependent? If not, how does that work when the person lives in a different country, in this case Mexico?

    Thanks

  99. Gio says:

    Hi,
    My mother is 69 years old. She recently became a US Citizen. She doesn’t work anymore and doesn’t qualify for any SS benefits. The only thing she’s getting is Medi-CAL (Medicaid in CA). She lives with me and her income is literally $0. I don’t claim her as a dependent because I don’t want to ruin her eligibility for medical benefits.
    Do I have to claim her? Or is it ok for her to file taxes with $0 income? Is it true if I claim her as my dependent, it could affect her eligibility for medi-CAL since it’s based on the household income?
    Thank you so much

  100. Deep says:

    Hi,

    I am foreign expat just moved to Nova Scotia with my family including myself, my wife, 2 yr old son and my mother. My mother stays with me as I lost my father 4 yrs before. She is totally dependent on me in terms of expenses as she is a housewife and never worked before. She is 57 yrs old. Can I claim for her?

    • Pertaining to your question, if you have been providing for more than half her support for the year and she does not have a gross income of over $4,050 for your 2016 return filing, she is eligible for you to claim.

  101. Arman says:

    My parent in laws will stay with us in our apartment they will stay eith us from october until march can we claim them in the ITR. thanku

    • In order to claim someone as a qualifying relative they must:
      Have lived with you all year as a member of your household, or be one of the following family members: child, parent, sibling, stepparent, stepchild, step-sibling, half-sibling, grandparent, grandchild, child-in-law, parent-in-law, sibling-in-law, uncle, aunt, niece, or nephew
      Be a U.S. citizen or resident, or a resident of Canada or Mexico
      Be unmarried, or married but not filing a joint return
      Not be a qualifying child of you or someone else
      Have a gross income of less than $4,000
      Have more than half of their total support for the year provided by you
      Once you meet the above criteria, you can claim your parent-in-laws as dependents.

  102. Lourdes P. Sison says:

    Hi:

    I just wanted to find out if my daughter can claim me as dependent for 2017 taxes. I don’t have a job from December 2016 to May 2017.

    I started a new job on May 8 as part time temporary and would probably make around $12 thousand give or take by the end of the year.

    Thank you.

    • Hello Lourdes,

      If you meet all requirements, your daughter can claim you as a dependent on her return. However, when you are doing your tax return, indicated under special circumstances that you were claimed. You must not have earned or received more than the exemption amount for the tax year. This amount is determined by the IRS and may change from year to year. You may check the IRS website for yearly publications.

  103. liz says:

    Hello;

    I have a few questions about head of the household filling, deductions, tax withholding and so on..

    If I claim head of the household on my w-2’s . ( less taken out, every check )

    I live with my mom since forever and I paid, mortgage, utiliites and so on.

    All are on her name and she has no income at all. She is filing for SSDI, it will take some time to get an answer.

    Can I utilize head of the household status on my W’2 and the tax filing status as well?

    Making less than 21k a year. Do you think more likely I owe or will get a refund?

    Thank you, very much

    For your time and hopefully will hear from you soo

    • Tax Advisor says:

      If you are claiming your mother as your dependent when filing your return, she will be unable to claim herself come filing her return. This will allow you to claim head of household, and the amount of income you earn that will be non-taxable. However, from the situation that you have outlined, you will still have income that is subjected to taxes. We will not be able to determine whether you will end up owing or will receive a refund, but the more allowances that you choose to claim, the more likely you will end up having a tax liability.

    • Hello Liz,

      Your W4 form (which determines your W2) must be the same filing status as your tax returns. Furthermore, you will not be able to deduct your Mother’s Mortgage, utilities as the property must be in your name (even if she is your dependent). Lastly given your low income, you would likely receive a refund.

  104. Barbara Dominguez says:

    Can I claim my mom as a dependent? She does not work, she lives with me and I pay all the bills. She gets about $1300 dls from her pension that she gets from my step dad. So can I claim her?

  105. Michelle says:

    I know ofsomeone who has claimed her two sons on her taxes for years both at the time were in the late 40s and early 50s and attimes they did not live with her ….not legal correct

Leave a Reply