Solved: Dependent or independent status for our son
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Level 2

Dependent or independent status for our son

Usually we file our married filing jointly return at about the same time as we file our son's return. 2019 was a year of change; our son graduated high school, could not find work, ended up job training with Voc Rehab (and earning minimum wage while doing so), and enrolled in college, starting classes this spring. We assumed we could claim him as a dependent, and so did he. We filed his return accordingly, and after a question of our own got answered, went to file our return. The TurboTax software informed us that since he wasn't a student in 2019 - even though he was for 2018 and is now for 2020 - and since he made over $4200 at Voc Rehab, we could NOT claim him as a dependent, even though we provided pretty much all his support/living expenses and he lives here with us at home. So OUR return got filed with him not on it as a dependent, but HIS return got filed early (his refunds for federal and state have already both arrived) with him listed as "(we) can claim him as a dependent". The question becomes, do we need to file an amended return/1040X for his taxes? federal and/or state (South Carolina)? We filed with Deluxe and he filed with Free/Basic, so I wasn't sure which "product" to put in the tags, but we both filed online. Our son and I did the filing for his taxes together, while I did the filing for the return with my husband.

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Level 15

Dependent or independent status for our son

did he owe any taxes on his income?  

 

the difference in his return is going to be the standard deduction.  the formula is different if he is a dependent, but is $12,200 if not a dependent.  

 

if he didn't owe any taxes when he marked himself as a dependent, it's not going to matter.   

 

when i state 'owe taxes', i don't mean whether he paid or got a refund, I mean his tax liability. 

look at likes 8b, 9 and 11b..... 

 

if 8b-9 was zero when he filed, it's not going to matter because the new tax return would be 8b-$12,200.

 

View solution in original post

4 Replies
Level 15

Dependent or independent status for our son

One crucial piece of information you have left out is how old your son was at the end of 2019.  How old was he at the end of 2019?  You said he graduated from high school in 2019-- which makes him a student for enough of 2019 that you can call him a student for 2019 no matter how much income he had in 2019.  But----  You made some contradictory statements in your post-- in another sentence you say "since he wasn't a student in 2019 - even though he was for 2018 and is now for 2020 "

 

Here are the rules:

 

WHO CAN I CLAIM AS A DEPENDENT?

 

You can claim a child, relative, friend, fiance (etc.) as a dependent on your 2019 taxes as long as they meet the following requirements:

Qualifying child

• They are related to you.

• They cannot be claimed as a dependent by someone else.

• They are a U.S. citizen, resident alien, national, or a Canadian or   Mexican resident.

• They are not filing a joint return with their spouse.

• They are under the age of 19 (or 24 for full-time students).

    • No age limit for permanently and totally disabled children

        They live with you for more than half the year (exceptions apply).

Qualifying relative

• They don't have to be related to you (despite the name).

• They cannot be claimed as a dependent by someone else.

• They are a U.S. citizen, resident alien, national, or a Canadian or Mexican resident.

• They are not filing a joint return with their spouse.

They lived with you the entire year.

• They made less than $4200  (not counting Social Security)

• You provided more than half of their financial support. More info

When you add someone as a dependent, we'll ask a series of questions to make sure you can claim them.

Related Information:

Does a dependent have to live with me?

What does "financially support another person" mean?

Can I claim a newborn baby?

**Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to offer the most correct information possible. The poster disclaims any legal responsibility for the accuracy of the information that is contained in this post.**
Level 2

Dependent or independent status for our son

You fundamentally misread the question. I never said he graduated in 2019. I said 2019 was a year of change because he had already graduated. BIG BIG difference.

 

He graduated in 2018 and was looking for work - which is what I said in the original question - that in 2019 as a high school graduate, who turned 19 in 2019, he was looking for work and that was his first year that he wasn't a student at all. He trained with Voc Rehab and got paid minimum wage for the job training program.

 

He earned more than the $4200, can't be claimed as a dependent by anyone else, but lived at home and we provided ALL of his living expenses, housing, food, health insurance, the works. All of his net income ended up in his checking account, and a good bit of that has been spent for what it took to get him set up for college (a desk and computer for his room, a backpack/bookbag, and other supplies).

 

The problem seems to be that because he turned 19 and wasn't a student in 2019, that he can't be claimed as a dependent even though we provided all his living.

 

The question I asked, and wasn't answered, is do we need to amend HIS return to reflect the non-dependent status TurboTax Online decreed on OUR return, or is it a non-issue for HIS return to say we thought he was going to be claimed as a dependent on our return.

 

It will not be an issue in 2020 because as a current college student, he will have student status and his dependent state is obvious.

Level 15

Dependent or independent status for our son

did he owe any taxes on his income?  

 

the difference in his return is going to be the standard deduction.  the formula is different if he is a dependent, but is $12,200 if not a dependent.  

 

if he didn't owe any taxes when he marked himself as a dependent, it's not going to matter.   

 

when i state 'owe taxes', i don't mean whether he paid or got a refund, I mean his tax liability. 

look at likes 8b, 9 and 11b..... 

 

if 8b-9 was zero when he filed, it's not going to matter because the new tax return would be 8b-$12,200.

 

View solution in original post

Level 2

Dependent or independent status for our son

Thank you. That is exactly what (and why) I was asking. His tax liability was zero, and his total gross was about $5200. If it doesn't make a difference, we won't go to the trouble of doing an amended because the numbers don't change.

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