Do they support you? You are a dependent if you qualify in one of the categories below.
Relationship — the taxpayer’s child or stepchild (whether by blood or adoption), foster child, sibling or step-sibling, or a descendant of one of these.
Residence — has the same principal residence as the taxpayer for more than half the tax year. Exceptions apply, in certain cases, for children of divorced or separated parents, kidnapped children, temporary absences, and for children who were born or died during the year.
Age — must be under the age of 19 at the end of the tax year, or under the age of 24 if a full-time student for at least five months of the year, or be permanently and totally disabled at any time during the year.
Support — did not provide more than one-half of his/her own support for the year.
You can claim a child, relative, friend, fiancé (etc.) as a dependent on your 2020 taxes as long as they meet all of the following requirements :
- You provided more than half of their financial support. More info
- They made less than $4,300 in gross income during 2020 unless they are a qualifying child.
- They live with you or they are related to you. (Your relative must live at your residence all year or be on the list of “relatives who do not live with you” in Publication 501.)
- They are a U.S. citizen, resident alien, national, or a Canadian or Mexican resident.
- They aren't (or won't be) claimed as a dependent by someone else.
- They aren’t filing a joint return with their spouse.
- You are not being claimed as a dependent on someone else's return.
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It depends - how are they related to you? (see test 1 below) and did you live with them at least half of 2020?
If so, then they probably can claim you and their support is not an issue - it would not matter who supported you as long as you did not support yourself.
---Tests To Be a Qualifying Child---
(Must pass ALL of these tests)
NOTE: If a child passes all of these tests he must say “yes” on his/her own tax return (if he/she files one) that another taxpayer CAN claim him/her as a dependent even if they DO NOT claim him/her)
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 2020, (b) under age 24 at the end of 2020 and a full-time student* for any part of 5 months of 2020, or (c) any age if permanently and totally disabled and must be younger than you (or your spouse if filing jointly).
3. The child must have lived with you for more than half of the year (There are exceptions for temporary absences such as school, illness, business, vacation, military service).
4. The child must not have provided more than half of his or her own support for the year.
See Worksheet 3-1. Worksheet for Determining Support
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 is not filing a joint return.
7. The child must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. resident alien, U.S. national, or a resident of Canada or Mexico
*A full-time student is a student who is enrolled for the number of hours or courses the school considers to be full-time attendance during some part of each of any 5 calendar months of the year.
See IRS Publication 17 for more information.
They are not related to me. They were my guardians during high school because my parents were not in the U.S. while I needed to go to high school here, so my parents had them appointed as my guardians. I did not physically live with them either since I am in college. I am actually only tied to their address because that is what my school has on file for me and is therefore on my W-2. Thank you very much for your help!