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The Guy Behind the Tree
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My 15 year old daughter began living with my brother and ...

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My 15 year old daughter began living with my brother and his family in May 2007. In order for her to live with them and attend high school, my brother and his wife needed to become her legal guardians. This was required by the school district. I am doing my taxes and trying to determine which one of us (my brother or I)can claim her as a dependent for 2007. As I read through Pub. 501, I think I can claim her because I am the parent. But I am not sure since my brother is her legal guardian for school attendance reasons. Thank you for any clarification you can provide?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  The Guy Behind the Tree replied 9 years ago.
The IRS has specific rules for the claiming of a child or a qualifying relative as a dependent. From a reading of these requirements, you can decide who can claim your daughter as a dependent. Their rules, not the school district requirenments, will apply.

The IRS will not accept someone claiming a child as a dependent unless these rules are met. The person who is NOT entitled to claim the dependent will have their tax return changed, and possibly audited. The IRS computers match almost perfectly for checking doubly claimed dependents.

The IRS offers a publication that specifically states the requirements for claiming a child as a dependent:

(See "Qualifying Child" section)

Here is an article summarizing the IRS publication:

The key points are - under the qualifying child rules, the child must be your child and live with you for more than half the year. Under the qualifying relative rules, the taxpayer must provide more than half of the dependent's total support.

Hope these thoughts help.
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