Tax Dependents

One of the easiest ways to increase your tax benefits at the time of taxation is to claim a dependent for a child or adult. You can save some of the tax you owe, because certain dependents or a certain age and relationship can reduce your tax liability. You can claim the child tax credit, the earned income credit and the child care credit by claiming dependents. If you are unmarried but can claim a child as a dependent, you may be eligible to file your return using the head of household status.

The IRS has a separate set of criteria for who can be a dependent. In order for a taxpayer to claim as a dependent a child or an adult relative, the following requirements must be met: the filing taxpayer can not be claimed as a dependent on the return of anyone else. If the dependent is married, they can not file a joint return with their spouse unless, when they file separately, they owe no taxes and only file for the purpose of a refund. The dependent meets a residence / citizenship test, which means that he or she is a US citizen or a resident alien. There are situations in which the dependent may be a Canadian or Mexican resident. Each dependent has the right to be claimed only once, so that he can not be claimed at the return of another person. Dependent children must have been living with the taxpayer for more than six months in the tax year. The person who claims the dependent must have paid more than 50% of the support. It is important to examine all the IRS requirements for children and relatives who can be claimed as dependent. If you claim the same dependent as another taxpayer, you increase your chance of being audited. Each government loan has specific rules as to who can be claimed as dependent.