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My husband and I are both disabled and collecting social security, and I also collect disability benifits through my job, this is our only income. We have a 2 year old grandchild that we help support since both of her parents have been out of work for over a year. the same situation applies in the case of my niece ( I have raised her since she was 7 when my sister, her mother passed away.) . She is now 30 with a 2 yr. old son and has no income except what my husband and me help her with. My question is this , since no one else can claim these two children on income tax, is it legal for us to claim them with there mothers permission? We all live in Brooklyn, New York. Thank you in advance for any info you can provide. Sincerely, XXXXX XXXXX (XXXXX@XXXXXX.XXX
Good morning Diane and thanks for submitting this question. These are the general rules for claiming dependent status of a non-child for tax purposes:
Many people provide support to their aging parents. But just because you mail your 78-year-old mother a check every once in a while doesn't mean you can claim her as a dependent. Here is a checklist for determining whether your mom (or other relative) qualifies. Do they live with you? Your relative must live at your residence all year or be on the list of "relatives who do not live with you" in Publication 501. About 30 types of relatives are on this list. Do they make less than $3,800? Your relative cannot have a gross income of more than $3,800 and be claimed by you as a dependent. Do you financially support them? You must provide more than half of your relatives total support each year. Are you the only person claiming them? This means you can't claim the same person twice, once as a qualifying relative and again as a qualifying child. It also means you can't claim a relative-say a cousin-if someone else, such as his parents, also claim him.
Here is a great deal more information on the subject. http://taxes.about.com/od/dependents/Claiming_Dependents.htm
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