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BJH_0897
Level 1

Dependent- age 20/not in college yet

Hello,

Our son is 20, lives at home, and currently only works part time (had a full time summer job for a few months).   He graduated high school at the first of the year just before he turned 20 (he started later than most, so graduated later).  So he was a student for only  3 months at the start of the year, and he has not started college yet.  He's planning to start college classes for the upcoming spring semester, at least part time.  And then go to a full-time college program in the fall of 2022.

 

If I understand the rules for dependent status correctly, does that mean we cannot claim him as a dependent for this coming tax year (2021), but when he starts college in '22, we can claim him again on our taxes as a dependent for tax year 2022?    I just want to prepare accordingly when it's time to do the taxes.

 

Thank you.

1 Best answer

Accepted Solutions
Hal_Al
Level 15

Dependent- age 20/not in college yet

There are two types of dependents, "Qualifying Children"(QC) and standard ("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. Only a QC qualifies a taxpayer for the Earned Income Credit and the Child Tax Credit. They are interrelated but the rules are different for each.

 

Since your child is over 18 and not a full time student, he can only be considered under the Qualifying relative rules and that requires that his gross income for the year be under $4300. 

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 relative's support.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

A person can still be a Qualifying relative dependent, if not a Qualifying Child, if he meets the 6 tests for claiming a dependent:

  1. Closely Related OR live with the taxpayer ALL year
  2. His/her gross taxable income for the year must be less than $4300 (2020 & 2021).
  3. The taxpayer must have provided more than 1/2 his support

In either case:

  1. He must be a US citizen or resident of the US, Canada or Mexico
  2. He must not file a joint return with his spouse or be claiming a dependent of his own
  3. He must not be the qualifying child of another taxpayer

View solution in original post

5 Replies
Mike9241
Level 15

Dependent- age 20/not in college yet

he would be a qualifying relative (ie dependent that you could claim in 2021) if

• his gross income for 2021 is less than $4,300
• you provided over ½ his support
• he isn't a qualifying child of another taxpayer

Opus 17
Level 15

Dependent- age 20/not in college yet

"Full time student" means attended full time for at least 1 day in 5 or more months.  So a student who graduates high school in May would be a full time student for that year.  If your son only attended school 3 months, that does not meet the qualification for "qualifying child" dependent.

 

For qualifying relative dependent, you have to provide more than half his support AND his taxable income must be less than $4300.  

 

If he attends full time for part of 5 or more months in 2022, he would qualify for 2022 even though he does not qualify for 2021. 

*Answers are correct to the best of my ability at the time of posting but do not constitute legal or tax advice.*
Hal_Al
Level 15

Dependent- age 20/not in college yet

There are two types of dependents, "Qualifying Children"(QC) and standard ("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. Only a QC qualifies a taxpayer for the Earned Income Credit and the Child Tax Credit. They are interrelated but the rules are different for each.

 

Since your child is over 18 and not a full time student, he can only be considered under the Qualifying relative rules and that requires that his gross income for the year be under $4300. 

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 relative's support.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

A person can still be a Qualifying relative dependent, if not a Qualifying Child, if he meets the 6 tests for claiming a dependent:

  1. Closely Related OR live with the taxpayer ALL year
  2. His/her gross taxable income for the year must be less than $4300 (2020 & 2021).
  3. The taxpayer must have provided more than 1/2 his support

In either case:

  1. He must be a US citizen or resident of the US, Canada or Mexico
  2. He must not file a joint return with his spouse or be claiming a dependent of his own
  3. He must not be the qualifying child of another taxpayer

View solution in original post

BJH_0897
Level 1

Dependent- age 20/not in college yet

Thank you.  That makes sense.

BJH_0897
Level 1

Dependent- age 20/not in college yet

Thank you for the explanation. That makes sense.

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