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Wendy Reed
Wendy Reed, Enrolled Agent
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 3346
Experience:  15+ years tax preparation and tax advice.
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Im wondering if I can claim my younger sister as

Customer Question

I''m wondering if I can claim my younger sister as my dependent on my tax return. I''m 25 and was making $ 38,500 for the year of 2007. My sister was 22 in 2007 and was a full time student. She did work for two-month internship and made $ 3,650. other than the time that she went to school, we stayed together. we are by ourself here in US, our parent is oversea and they are not US resident or citizen. So, no one can claim my sister as dependent other than me. My sister applied student loan and that supported most of her expenses at school and my mum always supports her a little bit. And since she stayed with me most of the time out of school, I supported all her expenses when she stayed with me. My questions will be: 1) Can I claim my sister as my dependent? 2) Can I put my sister tuition fee and school expense on my tax return? Thank you very much!
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Wendy Reed replied 8 years ago.

Dear Ariel,

It appears from your description that your sister may meet the requirements of "qualifying child" for you. She needs to meet these requirements in order for you to claim her. I will post them underneath. The most important things to evaluate are whether or not she provided more than 1/2 of her support, and if she lived with you for more than 1/2 the year. Temporary absences to attend college do not count as time living apart if her primary residence is with you. Also, if you are able to claim her as a dependent, then you may use a tuition credit on your return, as payments made by the dependent are considered to be made by the person claiming the dependent for purposes of the Hope or Lifetime learning credit.

Here are the dependency rules, please let m e know if you need additional clarificiation:


Rules for all dependents include:

  • You cannot claim any dependent if you , or your spouse if filing jointly could be claimed by another taxpayer
  • You cannot claim a married person who filed a joint return unless that joint return is filed only for a refund and no tax liability would exist for either spouse on separate returns
  • The dependent must be a US citizen, US resident, US national, or a resident of Canada or Mexico for some part of the year


All dependents are either Qualifying Children or Qualifying Relatives.


Qualifying Child:


  • The child must be your son, daughter, stepchild, eligible foster child, brother, sister, half or step brother or sister, or a descendant of one of them.
  • The child must be under age 19 at the end of the year or under age 24 and a full time student for any part of 5 months of the year, OR, any age and totally and permanently disabled
  • The child must have lived with you for more than ½ the year (exceptions apply)
  • The child must not have provided more than half of his or her own support for the year
  • If the child is a qualifying child of more than 1 person, you must be the person entitled to claim the child (tie-breaker rules)