Is there an age limit on claiming a dependent?
We're often asked the age limit on claiming a child as a dependent. To be claimed as your dependent, an individual must meet the qualifying child test OR the qualifying relative test. While the child's age is a factor in the qualifying child test, it is not in the qualifying relative test.
Tests To Be a Qualifying Child (must meet all 5 criteria)
1. 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.
2. The child must be (a) under age 19 at the end of the year and younger than you (or your spouse if filing jointly), (b) under age 24 at the end of the year, a student, and younger than you (or your spouse if filing jointly), or (c) any age if permanently and totally disabled.
3. The child must have lived with you for more than half of the year.
4. The child must not have provided more than half of his or her own support for the year.
5. The child is not filing a joint return for the year (unless that joint return is filed only to claim a refund of withheld income tax or estimated tax paid).
Tests To Be a Qualifying Relative (must meet all 4 criteria)
1. The person cannot be your qualifying child, or the qualifying child of any other taxpayer.
2. 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).
3. The person's gross income for the year must be less than $4,300 for 2021 tax year and $4,400 for 2022 tax year (do NOT count non-taxable Social Security income towards this income calculation amount).
4. You must provide more than half of the person's total support for the year (Worksheet 2 at this IRS link is helpful in determining whether you provided more than half a person's support).
Therefore, there's no absolute age limit on claiming a dependent, as long as you meet all criteria in one of the tests mentioned above.
Please contact us if you would like clarification in determining whether you can legally claim an individual as a dependent...we’re here to help!
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