You can list the child as a dependent, and receive a $500 credit for "other dependent", if he has less than $4150 of taxable income and you paid more than half his support for the year. (He could also be a qualifying child dependent for a larger credit if he is under age 19, or a full time student under age 23, but that seems unlikely from your question.)
However, you can't deduct ordinary living expenses you pay for him any more than you deduct your own ordinary living expenses.
In order to qualify for the Credit for Other Dependents, a dependent needs to meet each of these requirements:
- Relationship: This person lives in your home for the entire year and be considered to be a member of your household or is related to you. If this person is your child, they must be age 17 or older at the end of 2018 unless they use an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). In this case, they can be any age.
- Gross income: Generally, their income is less than $4,150 (not including Social Security or welfare).
- Support: Generally, you provide more than half the person's support. Special rules apply for children of divorced or separated parents or children receiving support from two or more people.
- Marital status: Generally, a married dependent can't file a joint tax return with a spouse. The only exception is when the married dependent files a joint return only to get a refund for taxes paid. If both spouses filed separate returns, neither the dependent nor spouse would have a tax liability.
- Nationality: This person is a U.S. citizen, U.S. resident alien, U.S. national, or a resident of Canada or Mexico. They have either a Social Security number or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). An adopted child who doesn't meet this requirement but lives with you for the entire year can be your dependent, as long as you're a U.S. citizen.
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