My 21 year old, a full time student, provided more than half her support in 2020, so for the first time I cannot claim her as a dependent. If I provide more than half her support when she starts grad school this fall, will I be able to once again claim her as a dependent for 2021?
yes, it can flip, but I would have VERY good records to document that she supported more than half her support - that would mean she would be eligible to collect the stimulus and it is going to look "odd", but with the right documentation justified, that she was a dependent in 2019 and 2021, but she was not a dependent the one year that the stimulus was paid out!!!! She is otherwise not eligible for the stimulus.
how are you determining that she paid more than half her support? who paid for college? who paid rent, utilities, food, car, insurance...... how much she earned doesn't matter. it's who paid for support
did she live with your all year? and 'live with your' would include temporary time away at college.
suggest filling out the attached and maintaining the supporting documents if she is ever questioned by the IRS.
does that help?
Her tuition is paid in full through an academic scholarship. As for the rest of her support, she had taken out loans for her expenses, but due to Covid, her study abroad program was cancelled and she ended up paying for her rent at school, food, utilities, spending money, etc. out of the refund the school provided as well as her income. I only paid for her health insurance, car insurance, and cell phone bill in 2020.... I know it looks fishy because she would be eligible for the stimulus payment, but she legitimately paid for over half her support last year.
I believe for this purpose she is considered to have "lived with me" all year, since her college address is a temporary residence, even though she has an annual lease and was there most of the year.
I'm not sure that she will qualify as a dependent in 2021 anyway since she will use grad school loans to pay for everything besides insurance, which I will continue to pay, but wanted to know the options.
truly suggest filling out the form.... and here is why.... let's say there is just you, your spouse, and the child. since she was temporarily away from home, that means she was permanently at home ... and if you work through the form that means 1/3 of the house expenses (implied rent /fair rent value of YOUR home , utilities, etc.) were used to support the child!!! it may be hard to get to her supporting 50% of her financial needs given that approach, so she may be your dependent once you go through the form at the link I provided. it's the IRS form, so they are the arbitrator on the method to determine 50% of support!
the real kicker is the implied rent. if you live in a home that could be rented for let's say, $3000 per month and there are just the 3 of you, then you are providing $1000 per month of support for her as that is the implied value of the support.
Please run through the form as "tie goes to the IRS"!!!