Level 2

Other tax discussions

My son was 19 by 12/31/17, not a student, and earned $5000. Can I claim him as a dependent or me as head of household?

Employee Tax Expert

Other tax discussions

See the dependent rules in link below for reference, but if your son earned > $4,050 and is not a full time student, then he can't be your dependent. Step through the interview process in the My Info section to determine your filing status.


Who can I claim as my dependent?


Level 8

Other tax discussions

Hi There, 

Yes, If you son was under the age of 19 before December 31, 2017 you can claim the EIC credit as long has you meet all the requirements, see below.


To count as a qualifying child for EIC, your child must have a valid Social Security number (not an ITIN).

S/he must also:

  • Be your child (including legally adopted), stepchild, eligible foster child, sibling, half-sibling, step-sibling, or a descendant of any of them (for example, your grandchild or niece); and
  • Be permanently and totally disabled OR under the age of 19 as of December 31, 2017 (under 24 if a full-time student) and younger than you (or your spouse, if filing jointly); and
  • Have lived with you (or your spouse, if filing jointly) for more than half the year; and
  • Not file jointly with their spouse unless they weren't required to file but did so anyway to claim a tax refund.

Additionally To qualify for and claim the Earned Income Credit you must:

  • Have earned income; and
  • Have been a U.S. citizen or resident alien for the entire tax year; and
  • Have a valid Social Security number (not an ITIN) for yourself, your spouse (if filing jointly), and any qualifying children on your return; and
  • Not have investment income exceeding $3,450; and
  • Not be filing a Form 2555 or 2555-EZ; and
  • File a return with the Single, Married Filing Jointly, Head of Household, or Qualifying Widower filing status, even if you're not required to file a return.

In addition, both your earned income and Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) may not exceed:

  • $15,010 if you're not claiming a qualifying child ($20,600 if filing jointly);
  • $39,617 if you're claiming 1 qualifying child ($45,207 if filing jointly);
  • $45,007 if you're claiming 2 qualifying children ($50,597 if filing jointly);
  • $48,340 if you're claiming 3+ qualifying children ($53,930 if filing jointly).

One more thing – if you're not claiming a qualifying child:

  • You (or your jointly filing spouse) must have been born on or after January 1, 1953; and
  • You (or your jointly filing spouse) must have been born on or before December 31, 1992; and
  • You (and your jointly filing spouse) cannot be claimed as a qualifying child or dependent on anyone else's return.

Phew! Got all that? Hope that helped.