Hello, can you tell me if I can claim my granddaughter on my 2022 taxes? My daughter is in nursing school; she lives with my husband and I and we pay her cell phone, car insurance, and any other expense she has. She receives medicaid for herself and her daughter as well as food stamps. I also buy clothes, pay for daycare and other items for my granddaughter. Can we claim my granddaughter on our taxes?
[Edited, see below for updated answer.]
You say she lives with your husband, but does she live with you? Are you separated from your husband or at least living apart? Also, we need to know your daughters age, and whether she is attending school full-time. And, will you file a joint tax return with your husband?
The general rule is that if your child is under age 24 while being a full-time student, you can claim her as a dependent if she lives in your home more than half the year, and does not provide more than half her own support. When a child is away at college, they are usually considered to still live at home, on the presumption that their parents’ home is still their permanent home, and college is a temporary absence. (This may not be true in all cases, such as where the child has definitively moved out and established a new separate residence.)
In this case, your child appears to live with your husband, but not with you? That would mean that, presuming she meets the age and full-time school test, your husband can claim her as a dependent. You could not, unless you file a joint tax return with your husband.
There is a series of special rules for claiming dependents when the parents are divorced or legally separated, and have a custody agreement, that can allow the parent where the child does not live to claim the child if the parent where the child does live signs a release form. However, these special rules only operate until the child turns 18 (or is of legal emancipation age in your state, if that age is not 18). Once the child is legally emancipated, the special rules do not apply, and you have to follow the normal rules about residency and support. The dependent claim can’t be transferred with a signed release form, even if both parents agree to do so.
"she lives with my husband and I "
OK, let's try this again.
The general rule is that if your child is under age 24 while being a full-time student, you can claim her as a dependent if she lives in your home more than half the year, and does not provide more than half her own support. Even if a child is away at college, they are usually considered to still live at home, on the presumption that their parents’ home is still their permanent home, and college is a temporary absence.
So the first questions are, is your child age 23 or less, and are they a full time student (are they taking enough credits to be considered full time by the nursing school)? If the answers are yes and yes, then you can claim your child as a dependent. You can also claim your grandchild as a dependent, presuming the grandchild also lives with you.
However, there are two exceptions.
First, if your child files a tax return and claims your grandchild as her dependent, then you can't claim either of them. If your daughter works, then she might qualify for the child tax credit and EIC if she claims the child as a dependent. But if she doesn't work, she won't get anything for claiming her own child as a dependent, and it would probably be better for you to claim both the child and grandchild.
Second, if your daughter gives the father of her child a written release form, then the father can claim the child as a dependent, even if he does not live with the child or the mother. In that case, you can claim your daughter but not your grandchild.
If your daughter is age 24 or older, or is not a full time student, then you may still be able to claim your daughter as long as you pay more than half your daughter's expenses, and your daughter has less than $4700 of taxable income.
Even if your daughter is age 24 or older, or is not a full time student, and has more than $4700 of taxable income, you can still probably claim your grandchild as a dependent, although you would want to compare that scenario with having your daughter claim the grandchild, to see which scenario results in the largest refund or lowest tax.
You can use the tool at the following link on the IRS web site to determine whether you can claim your granddaughter as a dependent.
If you are asking about 2023, select 2022 when the IRS tool asks what year you are asking about. The only difference is the gross income limit for a qualifying relative. For 2023 it is $4,700 instead of $4,400. If you are talking about a minor child (your granddaughter), it's not likely to make any difference. The child's gross income probably won't even come up.
@rjs every time an OP asks 'can I claim so and so as my dependent", I find the simple response, as you did, to provide the IRS dependent tool. There are simply too many permutations and often unanswered questions to provide an adequate response.
thanks for suggesting the link to the tool!
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