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Can i be claimed as a dependent and paid for have my living expenses?

2 Replies
Expert Alumni

Can i be claimed as a dependent and paid for have my living expenses?

In order to be claimed as a dependent they must meet the qualifications below as a Qualifying Child or Qualifying Relative.


The bottom line is a dependent must be your “qualifying child” or “qualifying relative” and meet specific tests in order for you to claim them. The 5 tests that will qualify a child as a dependent are:

  • Relationship: Must be your child, adopted child, foster child, brother or sister, or a descendant of one of these (grand or nephew).
  • Residence: Must have the same residence for more than half the year.
  • Age: Must be under age 19 or under 24 and a full-time student for at least 5 months. They can be any age if they are totally and permanently disabled.
  • Support: Must not have provided more than half of their own support during the year.
  • Joint Support: The child cannot file a joint return for the year.

The 4 tests that will qualify a relative as a dependent are:

  • Qualifying Child: They are not the “qualifying child” of another taxpayer or your “qualifying child.”
  • Gross Income: The dependent being claimed earns less than $4,300 in 2020 ($4,200 in 2019).
  • Total Support: You provide more than half of the total support for the year.
  • Member of Household or Relationship: The person (a friend, girlfriend, non-blood relative) must live with you all year as a member of your household or be related to you.
Level 15

Can i be claimed as a dependent and paid for have my living expenses?

Q. : Can I be claimed as a dependent  if I paid for (more than)  half my living expenses (support)?

A. Simple answer: no.  If you paid for more than half, then no other taxpayer could have paid for more than half. So, whether we're looking at the support requirement for a qualifying child or the support requirement for a qualifying relative, the answer is still no.


But taxes aren't simple. It depends on the source(s) of the funds that were used to pay your support. Scholarships are not considered as support provided by you. Student loans, co-signed by the parent are not support by you. 529 plans, where the parent is the owner are not self support.


Then we get into what costs are support ("living expenses"). Tuition is support. The home you live in is support.


So for a more specific answer, provide details about how you supported yourself and what you are calling living expenses.

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