It depends on whether he provided more than half of his support with his income. The rules for claiming a full-time college student are as follows:
- He is under 19, or between the ages of 19 and 24 and;
- He was a full time student for 2016
- To be a student, they must be, during some part of each of any 5 calendar months of the year:
- A full-time student at a school that has a regular teaching staff, course of study, and a regularly enrolled student body at the school, or
- A student taking a full-time, on-farm training course given by a school described in (1), or by a state, county, or local government agency.
- The 5 calendar months don't have to be consecutive.
- This test is different from the support test to be a qualifying relative, which is described later. However, to see what is or isn't support, see Support Test (To Be a Qualifying Relative) , later. If you aren't sure whether a child provided more than half of his or her own support, you may find Worksheet 2 helpful.
- An exception to the joint return test applies if your child and his or her spouse file a joint return only to claim a refund of income tax withheld or estimated tax paid.
If he paid for more than half of his support (like food, shelter, transportation, medical and dental, clothing, and recreation) with the money he earned, you cannot claim him as your dependent. Use worksheet 2 from page 16 of this PDF version of Publication 501.