Solved: If I marry on Jan 1st 2017 and divorce before dec 31st 2017, can my mom claim me as a dependent when she files in 2018? I will be living with her since I am in college.
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New Member

If I marry on Jan 1st 2017 and divorce before dec 31st 2017, can my mom claim me as a dependent when she files in 2018? I will be living with her since I am in college.

I have to apply for my immigrant boyfriend, but I çan't let my mom know. So If we divorce by Dec 31st 2017, can my mom claim me as a dependent? Or will the fact that I was married cause problems? Thanks.

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Level 15

If I marry on Jan 1st 2017 and divorce before dec 31st 2017, can my mom claim me as a dependent when she files in 2018? I will be living with her since I am in college.

Your marital status, for 2017, for tax purposes, is determined as of 12-31-17. If your are divorced or have a legal separation on or before 12-31-17, you are single for tax purposes.

But your marital status does not prevent you mother from claiming you. Even if you are married on 12-31-17, she can still claim you (assuming she meets the other rules) so long as you don't file a joint return with your spouse. That means, if you are married, he will have to file as Married filing separately (MFS). If you need to file, so any reason, you too will have to file as MFS.

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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. 

A child of a taxpayer can still be a “Qualifying Child” (QC) dependent, regardless of his/her income, if:

1. He is under age 19, or under 24 if a full time student for at least 5 months of the year, or is totally & permanently disabled

2. He did not provide more than 1/2 his own support. Scholarships are considered third party support and not as support provided by the student.

3. He lived with the parent (including temporary absences such as away at school) for more than half the year

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 you ALL year

2. His/her gross taxable income for the year must be less than $4,000 (2015)

3. You must have provided more than 1/2 his support

In either case:

4. He must be a US citizen or resident of the US, Canada or Mexico

5. He must not file a joint return with his spouse or be claiming a dependent of his own

6. He must not be the qualifying child of another taxpayer

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8 Replies
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Level 15

If I marry on Jan 1st 2017 and divorce before dec 31st 2017, can my mom claim me as a dependent when she files in 2018? I will be living with her since I am in college.

You may want to review this first before attempting this marriage - <a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/free-books/fiance-marriage-visa-book/chapter1-6.html">http://...>
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New Member

If I marry on Jan 1st 2017 and divorce before dec 31st 2017, can my mom claim me as a dependent when she files in 2018? I will be living with her since I am in college.

Its not a fraud, we really love each other and we will be married. I was just afraid that my mom won't accept us but I will talk to her. But thank you for the warning, I don't want to do anything illegal.
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Level 15

If I marry on Jan 1st 2017 and divorce before dec 31st 2017, can my mom claim me as a dependent when she files in 2018? I will be living with her since I am in college.

How old are you?
Highlighted
Level 15

If I marry on Jan 1st 2017 and divorce before dec 31st 2017, can my mom claim me as a dependent when she files in 2018? I will be living with her since I am in college.

Your marital status, for 2017, for tax purposes, is determined as of 12-31-17. If your are divorced or have a legal separation on or before 12-31-17, you are single for tax purposes.

But your marital status does not prevent you mother from claiming you. Even if you are married on 12-31-17, she can still claim you (assuming she meets the other rules) so long as you don't file a joint return with your spouse. That means, if you are married, he will have to file as Married filing separately (MFS). If you need to file, so any reason, you too will have to file as MFS.

________________________________________________________________________________________________

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. 

A child of a taxpayer can still be a “Qualifying Child” (QC) dependent, regardless of his/her income, if:

1. He is under age 19, or under 24 if a full time student for at least 5 months of the year, or is totally & permanently disabled

2. He did not provide more than 1/2 his own support. Scholarships are considered third party support and not as support provided by the student.

3. He lived with the parent (including temporary absences such as away at school) for more than half the year

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 you ALL year

2. His/her gross taxable income for the year must be less than $4,000 (2015)

3. You must have provided more than 1/2 his support

In either case:

4. He must be a US citizen or resident of the US, Canada or Mexico

5. He must not file a joint return with his spouse or be claiming a dependent of his own

6. He must not be the qualifying child of another taxpayer

View solution in original post

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New Member

If I marry on Jan 1st 2017 and divorce before dec 31st 2017, can my mom claim me as a dependent when she files in 2018? I will be living with her since I am in college.

Thanks a lot for the detailed answer. What if we are still married after 12-31-17 and none of us file taxes in 2018? I don't have any income so I will not be filing (my mom will claim me) and my to-be husband most likely will not file taxes. Will this affect anything?
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Level 15

If I marry on Jan 1st 2017 and divorce before dec 31st 2017, can my mom claim me as a dependent when she files in 2018? I will be living with her since I am in college.

Short answer: No. As long as you don't file a "competing" tax return, your Mom can claim you if she meets the requirements. Your marital status is not directly relevant.

But the great American tax system is complicated (some would say convoluted). So, being married isn't totally irrelevant. If you are full time undergrad student, and under 24, being married (and filing a joint return) makes you eligible for a refundable education credit that single students (under 24) can't get. But, since your mother will most likely claim the credit  instead of you, the family will still come out ahead (the parent usually qualifies for a bigger credit).
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New Member

If I marry on Jan 1st 2017 and divorce before dec 31st 2017, can my mom claim me as a dependent when she files in 2018? I will be living with her since I am in college.

Thank you so much!
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Level 15

If I marry on Jan 1st 2017 and divorce before dec 31st 2017, can my mom claim me as a dependent when she files in 2018? I will be living with her since I am in college.

Do you have any scholarships or grants? And how is your husband going to support himself?
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