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Dependent college students

I have 2 college students, one lives with me the other at school and I pay for the rent.  They both have part time jobs. How long can I claim them as dependents on my tax return?

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3 Replies
Hal_Al
Level 15

Dependent college students

Q. How long can I claim them as dependents on my tax return?

A. Simple answer: Until they turn 24 or stop being full time students. 

 

There are two types of dependents, "Qualifying Children"(QC) and Other ("Qualifying Relative" in IRS parlance even though they don't have to actually be related). There is no income limit for a QC but there is an age limit, student status, a relationship test and residence test.

A child of a taxpayer can still be a “Qualifying Child” (QC) dependent, regardless of his/her income, if:

  1. He is under age 19, or under 24 if a full time student for at least 5 months of the year, or is totally & permanently disabled
  2. He did not provide more than 1/2 his own support*. Scholarships are excluded from the support calculation
  3. He lived with the parent (including temporary absences such as away at school) for more than half the year.  Note: the one that "lives  at school" is considered as still living with you, for tax purposes

 

So, it doesn't matter how much he earned. What matters is how much he spent on support. Money he put into savings does not count as support he spent on himself.

The support value of the home, provided by the parent, is the fair market rental value of the home plus utilities & other expenses divided by the number of occupants.

 

See full dependent rules at: https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tools/tax-tips/Family/Rules-for-Claiming-a-Dependent-on-Your-Tax-Ret...

* Note that the support test is different for each type. The support test, for a QC, is only that the child didn't provide more than half his own support. The support test for a Qualifying Relative is that the taxpayer provided more than half the child's support.

Dependent college students

Thank you so much for your help!

Dependent college students

@Lourdes1 - this may help as well.  Official IRS dependent tool.. the app takes under 5 minutes to complete. 

 

https://www.irs.gov/help/ita/whom-may-i-claim-as-a-dependent

 

 

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