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Category: Tax
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Experience:  CPA with tax experience.
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Can I claim my 18 year old son on my taxes He earned more

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Can I claim my 18 year old son on my taxes? He earned more than $3000 working and he also withdrew around $4000 from a 401K that was left to him by my deceased sister. He is not attending school but was supported by me. I am thinking he has to file his taxes because although he had taxes taken out on the $4000, I know there is probably an early withdrawal penalty to be paid. I am also thinking he needs to let it be known on his tax return that he can be claimed by another person. Also want to know if the 401K that was left by my sister for my son can be claimed as an inheritance as opposed to a 401K.



Thanks for your question.


You can claim your son as your dependent under the qualifying child rule if:

1) he was still 18 or younger on 12/31/09

2) He lived with you more than half of 2009

3) You provided more than half of his total support

4) he does not file a married joint return

5) he does not qualify to be a dependent of someone else


He would need to report on his tax return that he can be claimed as a dependent by someone.


For the 401k funds, he will need to report include it in his taxable income but the 10% penalty for early withdrawal does not apply since he inherited the money. The Form 1099-R form should show a distribution code of 4 which exempts him from the penalty.


Hope this helps,

Best regards,


Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I will need to review the 1099 form that we received and get back to you on what it says. So far, I am pleased with what you have provided. Once I review the form, I will send you a response and I am thinking that I may be able to up what I agreed to pay for my answer. I should be able to get what I need and get back to you in the AM if that is okay.
OK, that's fine.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I just checked the 1099-R form for my son. It has a code of 1 on it. Is there a reason why it is not being reported as a 4? My sister passed away at the age of 49 (just about 4 years ago). She had a 401K and listed my son and daughter as beneficiaries. Is it being reported as a 1 because it is still an active 401K?

Hello kjt,


Thanks for your reply. Sometimes the payer does not put the proper code on the 1099-R. It does not matter if your sister was under 59 1/2 or if the plan was active at the time she passed. If your sister properly designated your son as the beneficiary of the 401(k) plan, your son inherited the money when she passed. Your son is not liable for the 10% early distribution penalty although any withdrawals are includable in taxable gross income.


Since the 1099-R form is showing code 1, your son will need to file a 2009 Form 5329 with his return to claim an exception to the penalty. Enter the amount of the distributions on lines 1 and 2 and -0- on line 3. To the left of line 2, enter code 3 for the inherited exception code.


Hope this helps,




Edited by JK_CPA on 2/4/2010 at 3:40 PM EST

Sorry, that should be distribution code 4 (not 3) above.




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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Hi JK, I have accepted your answer and I really appreciate what you have shared with me. I added another $15 to my account thinking I would be able to up what I was giving you for my answer. Since this is my first time using this site, it appears I did nto do it correctly. Can you tell me how I can remove the extra $15 from my balance and then add a bonus for you?



Thanks for using You can request a refund of the money you added to your account here:


To add a bonus, I'm not sure how it appears to you on your screen, but I think there may be a bonus box somewhere on the screen. You may not be able to add a bonus at this point though. I will ask customer service.


*Don't click "accept" again or the $15 you added will be taken out.


I appreciate your feedback and bonus. Thanks and have a great day.

Edited by JK_CPA on 2/4/2010 at 4:13 PM EST
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank you very much for responding to me, I do appreciate it. I was able to add a $15 bonus for your answer. Thank you again and I hope you have a wonderful day!