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RD, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 8784
Experience:  CPA, MBA, Over 10 yrs of experience in tax planning and business consulting..
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At what age do we stop claiming a child as a dependent She

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At what age do we stop claiming a child as a dependent? She is 17 now and is working a job. We also are to claim her this year per court order from the divorce decree. What if her mother tries to claim her also?

RD :

If the child is providing for more than 50% of its own support, you cannot claim the child as your dependent. The rules for claiming the child are as follows-

RD :

In general, to be a taxpayer’s qualifying child, a person must satisfy four tests:

  • Relationship — the taxpayer’s child or stepchild (whether by blood or adoption), foster child, sibling or stepsibling, or a descendant of one of these.

  • Residence — has the same principal residence as the taxpayer for more than half the tax year. Exceptions apply, in certain cases, for children of divorced or separated parents, kidnapped children, temporary absences, and for children who were born or died during the year.

  • Age — must be under the age of 19 at the end of the tax year, or under the age of 24 if a full-time student for at least five months of the year, or be permanently and totally disabled at any time during the year.

  • Support — did not provide more than one-half of his/her own support for the year.

If a child is claimed as a qualifying child by two or more taxpayers in a given year, the child will be the qualifying child of:

  • the parent;

  • if more than one taxpayer is the child’s parent, the one with whom the child lived for the longest time during the year, or, if the time was equal, the parent with the highest AGI;

if no taxpayer is the child’s parent, the taxpayer with the highest adjusted gross income (AGI)

JACUSTOMER-embq38l7- :

So it doesnt matter if it is court ordered but, instead needs to meet the four tests instead?

RD :

Yes, that is correct. Unless the child qualifies as your dependent, you cannot claim him.

JACUSTOMER-embq38l7- :

ok, i think this helps. She didn't live with us this past year so, we can't claim her. What is her min yearly earnings that require her to file taxes on her own?

RD :

If she does not qualify as someone's dependent than she needs to file if she makes atleast $9,350 in 2010

JACUSTOMER-embq38l7- :

ok thanks very much. This helps very much.

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