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Mother in law lived with us for 6 months in 2016

My mother in law lived with us for 6 months in 2016 after suffering a stroke. Her husband passed away in July of 2016. She had no job and earned no wages. She did receive some sort of allotment from the VA from her husbands service in the Marine Corps, but this was used to pay nursing home fees.She did eventually return home in July. Can I claim her as a dependent?
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New Member

Mother in law lived with us for 6 months in 2016

You may claim a parent as a dependent but they must first meet Income Limitations and Support Requirements set by the Internal Revenue Service to be claimed as your dependent.

Income Limitations

To qualify as a dependent, your parent must not have earned or received more than the exemption amount for the tax year, this year that amount is $4,050.00. Generally, you do not count Social Security income, but there are exceptions. If your parent has other income from interest or dividends, a portion of the Social Security may also be taxable.

Support Requirements

You must have provided more than half of your parent's support during the tax year in order to claim them as a dependent. Items that can be factored into the Support Determination are day-to-day living expenses such as food, housing, transportation, etc.

Other Benefits

There are other deductions that you can claim whether or not and elderly parent is a dependent or not. You can deduct Medical Expenses on Schedule A. These deductions are only beneficial if the sum of your itemized deductions exceeds the Standard Deduction for your Filing Status and only the Medical Expenses that are over 10% of your AGI are allowed to be itemized.  

  • Single $6,300.00
  • Married Filing Joint or Qualified Widow(er) $12,600.00
  • Married Filing Separate $6,300.00
  • Head of Household $9300.00
  • Dependent $1,050.00

You can be allowed to use your Parent's Medical expenses even if they don't meet the Income Limitation requirement, as long as you provide half of their support.

Another benefit is the Dependent Care Credit. The Child and Dependent Care Credit is a non-refundable tax credit. It can be claimed by taxpayers who pay for the care of a qualifying individual and meet certain other requirements. If your parent is physically or mentally unable to care for himself, he is a qualifying individual.

In order for you to qualify for the credit, you must meet certain requirements. You need to have earned income and work-related expenses to qualify. This means that the care must have been provided while you were either working or looking for work. In addition, you must be able to properly identify your care provider. This includes giving the provider's name, address and identifying number (either Social Security number or employer identification number). If you are married but file a separate return from your spouse, you may not claim this credit.

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