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Returning Member

Claiming dependent

Our 22 yr old son lived out of state for college for 5 months of 2019, graduating in May.  He then took a job in another state and lived there for the remaining 7 months of the year.  Our 2019 income was too high to claim any education expenses for either he or his 19 yr old college student brother. He meets some, but not all, of the 5 requirements to be a dependent on our return so I'd like to leave him off so he can claim himself. It would be advantageous for all of us if we left him OFF our return and had him file on his own, claiming his tuition costs and/or any education credit he may be eligible for.  The whole dependent thing is confusing because I understand if he is eligible to be my dependent, then he cannot claim himself on his own return.  So, does he have to meet all 5 requirements (relationship, age, residency, support and joint return)?  Am I even asking the right question?  I'd like to take him off our return......

3 Replies
Texas Roger
Level 15

Claiming dependent

The child did not live with you more than half the year and he probably provided more than half his own support for the year if he had a job living in another state for 7 months. Those are two reasons you could not claim him as your dependent.


There are two types of dependents--qualifying child and qualifying relative. Here is the list of requirements for qualifying child that must all be met:

1. The child must be your son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, brother, sister, half brother, half sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or a descendant of any of them.
2. The child must be (a) under age 19 at the end of the year, (b) under age 24 at the end of the year and a full-time student, or (c) any age and permanently and totally disabled.
3. The child must have lived with you for more than half of the year. Temporary absences while away at college are considered living with you.
4. The child must not have provided more than half of his or her own support for the year.
5. If the child meets the rules to be a qualifying child of more than one person, you must be the person entitled to claim the child as a qualifying child.
6. The child must be a U.S. citizen or U.S., Canada or Mexico resident for some portion of the year.
7. The child must be younger than you (or your spouse, if filing jointly) unless disabled.


The other dependent is qualifying relative and you can not claim him as a qualifying relative if he made more than $4200 in 2019. 

Level 1

Claiming dependent

So the question I have--Do I HAVE to claim the child as a dependent if they meet the requirements, or is it I CAN claim them if I meet the requirements?  If I choose not to claim them, how do I do that? 



Level 15

Claiming dependent

for you, you don't HAVE to claim your youngest child


however, if he is required to file, he must answer the question that someone else CAN claim him as a dependent.


just delete him from your tax return where you listed him as a dependent. 


appears on the older child, you CAN'T claim  him.  

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