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renbra76
New Member

My sister passed away in 2017 and I am now their legal guardianship can I claim them on my taxes?

 
1 Best answer

Accepted Solutions
Hal_Al
Level 15

My sister passed away in 2017 and I am now their legal guardianship can I claim them on my taxes?

Probably not. It's complicated. They needed to have lived with you for more than half the year. 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 relationship test and residence test. Only a QC qualifies a taxpayer for the Earned Income Credit and the Child Tax Credit. They are interrelated but the rules are different for each.

Since they did not live with you for more than half the year, they are the QC of the taxpayer they did live with. That is either your deceased sister or your father. If neither of them are required to file a tax return, or they can get no benefit from claiming the children and you supported the children, you can claim them as a qualifying relative but not a QC (no child tax credit or EIC for 2017).

.A child closely related to a taxpayer can be a “Qualifying Child (QC)” dependent, regardless of the child's 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

3.              He lived with the relative (including temporary absences) for more than half the year

4.              He is younger than the relative (not applicable for a disabled child)

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 (this essentially means that you have the parent’s permission to claim the child, if the child also lived with the parent more than half the year)

6.              If the parents of a child can claim the child as a qualifying child but no parent so claims the child, no one else can claim the child as a qualifying child unless that person's adjusted gross income (AGI) is higher than the highest AGI of any of the child's parents who can claim the child.

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 the taxpayer ALL year

2. His/her gross taxable income for the year must be less than $4,050 (2016-17)

3. The taxpayer 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

https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tools/tax-tips/Family/Rules-for-Claiming-a-Dependent-on-Your-Tax-Ret...

*If no one person (or married couple) provides 50% of the support (for example your brother was also sending support and your father provided housing), then a "multiple support agreement” (IRS Form 2120) can be used, to allow you to claim the dependent. https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f2120.pdf

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4 Replies
rjs
Level 15
Level 15

My sister passed away in 2017 and I am now their legal guardianship can I claim them on my taxes?

Who are "them" that you want to claim? Are you talking about your sister's children? If so, how old are they? How long did they live with you in 2017? Who supported them in 2017?
renbra76
New Member

My sister passed away in 2017 and I am now their legal guardianship can I claim them on my taxes?

My apologies. Yes 3 kids age 11(twins) and a 4 yr old. They lived with my father up till the time of my sister passing. In December I was awarded by the courts legal guardianship. My father nor my sister worked my brother and I supported the family.
Hal_Al
Level 15

My sister passed away in 2017 and I am now their legal guardianship can I claim them on my taxes?

Probably not. It's complicated. They needed to have lived with you for more than half the year. 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 relationship test and residence test. Only a QC qualifies a taxpayer for the Earned Income Credit and the Child Tax Credit. They are interrelated but the rules are different for each.

Since they did not live with you for more than half the year, they are the QC of the taxpayer they did live with. That is either your deceased sister or your father. If neither of them are required to file a tax return, or they can get no benefit from claiming the children and you supported the children, you can claim them as a qualifying relative but not a QC (no child tax credit or EIC for 2017).

.A child closely related to a taxpayer can be a “Qualifying Child (QC)” dependent, regardless of the child's 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

3.              He lived with the relative (including temporary absences) for more than half the year

4.              He is younger than the relative (not applicable for a disabled child)

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 (this essentially means that you have the parent’s permission to claim the child, if the child also lived with the parent more than half the year)

6.              If the parents of a child can claim the child as a qualifying child but no parent so claims the child, no one else can claim the child as a qualifying child unless that person's adjusted gross income (AGI) is higher than the highest AGI of any of the child's parents who can claim the child.

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 the taxpayer ALL year

2. His/her gross taxable income for the year must be less than $4,050 (2016-17)

3. The taxpayer 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

https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tools/tax-tips/Family/Rules-for-Claiming-a-Dependent-on-Your-Tax-Ret...

*If no one person (or married couple) provides 50% of the support (for example your brother was also sending support and your father provided housing), then a "multiple support agreement” (IRS Form 2120) can be used, to allow you to claim the dependent. https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f2120.pdf

BobinCT
Level 7

My sister passed away in 2017 and I am now their legal guardianship can I claim them on my taxes?

Where will the children be living in 2018? (doesn't have a bearing for your 2017 return but probably will for 2018)
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