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Claiming adult children as dependents on tax forms

2:48 PM, Mar 20, 2013   |    comments
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With only four weeks to go to file your 2012 tax return, you probably have questions. Whether you prepare your own tax return or pay someone to do it for you, we are here to help. Each day for the next four weeks, members of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants have agreed to answer tax questions from USA TODAY readers.

Submit your questions to

Today's question:
Q: My son, 24, and daughter, 22, have full-time jobs and still live with me. Can I claim them as dependents, or does it depend on their income?

A: To claim a child as a dependent, the child must be under the age of 19, a student under the age of 24, or permanently and totally disabled regardless of age.

In addition, the child must have lived with you for more than half the year and cannot have provided more than half of his or her own support during the year.

It sounds like your children do not qualify based on the age test.

The Qualifying Child section of IRS Publication 501 gives all the details of the requirements that must be met in order to claim a child as a dependent.

Clare Levison, CPA
Blacksburg, Va.

For more information: 
Who can I claim as a dependent?
Six important facts about dependents and exemptions
Top frequently asked questions for filing requirements, status, dependents, exemptions


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