HelloCustomer Thank you for coming to Just Answer and allowing us to help you with your tax questions. If a child is or will be 19 years old by the end of December 2009 and is not a full-time student, then she will not be a qualified child for tax purposes. If a child is 19 years old and a full-time student, and she doesn't provide over half of her total support (I'll define total support lower down), then the daughter is a qualified child of her father and can be claimed for all tax benefits. If a child is over age 19 and provides over half of her own support, then she is not a dependent of her parent for tax purposes. If the daughter isn't a qualified child, then her father can't use her to claim head of household filing status or earned income credit. If the daughter doesn't provide over half of her own support, then the father can claim the daughter as a dependent for the dependent's personal exemption only, but he still can't use her to qualify him as head of household or to receive earned income credit.
If the daughter is 19 years old and provides over half of her own support, then she can't be a dependent on her father's return and if she earned over $8950 in 2009, then she is required to file a tax return and she will claim her own personal exemption. If she earned less than $8950, she will not be required to file a return, but she will be able to recover any income tax withheld from her paychecks if she does file. As long as she is over 19 and provides over half of her own support, she will claim her own personal exemption.
In order to determine who provides support for the daughter, you need to add up all money spent on behalf of the daughter, separate the money based on who provided it, and determine who provided over 50% of the daughters support. In this calculation, add in the amount of rent that would be charged by a stranger for similar living accomodations in your area (look at the rent costs in want ads for apartments in your area) and subtract the amount of rent she actually pays to her father. All of the money used to support the daughter should come from the father, the daughter, and, if applicable, any government benefits. Figure out housing costs (minus rent paid), food costs, utility costs, clothing costs, medical and dental costs, and any other money used to support the daughter. Then use these costs and figure out how much is paid by the father, by the daughter, and by other sources (usually the government). If the amount paid by the father is 50% of the total costs, the father can claim the daughter as a dependent and use the daughter's personal exemption. If the daughter pays over 50% of the total costs, she is not a dependent of her father and she can file her own return and use her own personal exemption. The daughter will file as single.
Sorry that this is so complicated. It's a complicated part of the tax code. I will be happy to provide further information or clarify anything that doesn't make sense to you.
Hello again. In order to qualify as Head of Household, the taxpayer must pay over half the total cost of a household which includes a person that the taxpayer can claim as a dependent. Either the father or the daughter could claim Head of Household because of the 17-year old brother (since either a son or a brother under age 19 can be a dependent), but only one of them can file as Head of Household and the other has to file as Single. Unless the daughter earns more than her father and pays over half of the bills for everyone, the father will be the Head of Household. Since the son is only 17 years old, he will be a qualifying child for his father unless the son pays over half of his own total expenses using the same calculation for total support that I explained above. Since a person must be either 24 years old or have a child in order to qualify for earned income credit, it will be probably more advantageous for the whole family for the father to claim the son because either the father can qualify for earned income credit or, if his income is too high to qualify for earned income credit, he will need the tax breaks from being Head of Household and being able to deduct his son's personal exemption as well as his own.
The son can also file to get back any income tax withholding, but if he is claimed as a dependent by either his father or his sister, he will deduct the standard deduction but not his own personal exemption.
Unfortunately, I don't have much information about the Oregon Food Stamp program. Based on the information I have found on the internet, it seems to be based on a family preparing food together and the income of the parent. Since the food stamp estimator includes all persons in the household under age 22 in the estimate, both children should be included in the amount of food stamps provided to the father. In order to get more thorough information, go to http://www.oregon.gov/DHS/assistance/foodstamps/foodstamps.shtmlhttp://www.oregon.gov/DHS/assistance/foodstamps/foodstamps.shtml
or call(NNN) NNN-NNNNto find the office in your area.
I hope this helps.
Sorry that I was slow in responding to your last post. As far as I can tell from the official website of the food stamp program, their own paperwork says to include all children under age 22 when estimating food stamp benefits. The people you have talked to appear to not be following their own posted guidelines. As long as the 17 year old son is not providing over half of his own support, he is a legal dependent of his father according to federal tax law. The Oregon bureaucrats may be able to argue that the 19-year-old daughter doesn't qualify for food stamps with her family, because she is no longer a legal dependent, but, in that case, she should qualify for food stamps personally under her own name as long as her income meets the guidelines. I'm sorry that I can't give you more exact information about the Oregon food stamp program.
I hope this helps. Maybe you should contact another office of the Oregon Department of Human Services and see if you can get a different answer.
Since you have already accepted my answer to this question (and thank you very much), please be careful not to hit the "accept" button again so that you won't be charged twice. I'll be happy to provide further information if I can help you further.