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mariak22
Level 1

Should I claim my adult son as a dependent?

My 25 yr old adult son who lives with me earned less than $2000 in 2020. If he marks that he is not a dependent, and I don't claim him as a dependent, he is eligible for the stimulus money when he files. That is more than the deduction I get for him. Is there any downside to not claiming him?

1 Best answer

Accepted Solutions
MaryM428
Level 10

Should I claim my adult son as a dependent?

The question is whether your son can be claimed as a dependent .  Because you are paying for more than half of his living expenses, he is a qualifying relative and can be claimed as a dependent.

 

Being able to be claimed as a dependent makes him ineligible for the stimulus payment.

View solution in original post

8 Replies
mariak22
Level 1

Should I claim my adult son as a dependent?

I guess my question is am I legally required to claim him as a dependent if I provide more than half of his living expenses?

JamesG1
Employee Tax Expert

Should I claim my adult son as a dependent?

You are not required to claim your son as a dependent.

 

If your son files a 1040 Federal tax return, in the Standard Deduction section, he is required to disclose that someone can claim him as a dependent.

 

A dependent must meet the requirements of a qualifying child or a qualifying relative in order for you to claim them on your tax return.

 

The tests for a qualifying child are:

  • Relationship: Must be your child, adopted child, foster child, brother or sister, or a descendant of one of these (grand or nephew).
  • Residence: Must have the same residence for more than half the year.
  • Age: Must be under age 19 or under 24 and a full-time student for at least 5 months. They can be any age if they are totally and permanently disabled.
  • Support: Must not have provided more than half of their own support during the year.
  • Joint Support: The child cannot file a joint return for the year.

The tests for a qualifying relative are:

  • Qualifying Child: They are not the “qualifying child” of another taxpayer or your “qualifying child.”
  • Gross Income: The dependent being claimed earns less than $4,300 in 2020.
  • Total Support: You provide more than half of the total support for the year.
  • Member of Household or Relationship: The person (a friend, girlfriend, non-blood relative) must live with you all year as a member of your household or be related to you.

TurboTax software will ask you simple questions and give you the tax deductions and credits you are eligible for based upon your answers.

 

See also this TurboTax Help.

 

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mariak22
Level 1

Should I claim my adult son as a dependent?

So if I do pay more than 50% of his living expenses, even if I choose not to claim him on my tax return, he still has to mark that he can be claimed as a dependent on his? When I do that in the software, then he does not qualify for the stimulus.

MaryM428
Level 10

Should I claim my adult son as a dependent?

The question is whether your son can be claimed as a dependent .  Because you are paying for more than half of his living expenses, he is a qualifying relative and can be claimed as a dependent.

 

Being able to be claimed as a dependent makes him ineligible for the stimulus payment.

CharlesTax
Level 1

Should I claim my adult son as a dependent?

Hi James,

I have similar question here. 

My daughter is 26 and no job, so she is still eligible to be my tax dependent. However, I want to know if it is mandatory for me to claim her as a dependent?

 

The reason why I am asking is when I submitted her health care application one month ago, I thought my daughter is no longer qualified as my tax dependent because of her age. However, when I am using Turbo tax to prepare the tax return, I noticed she is still eligible to be my tax dependent since she doesn't have any income.

 

Thank you,

Charles

AamilD
Expert Alumni

Should I claim my adult son as a dependent?

No, it is not mandatory for you to claim your daughter.

 

When your daughter files her own tax return, there will be a question about whether someone else can claim her as a dependent and she will mark that as a Yes. There will be a follow up question about whether she will be claimed as a dependent by you and she will mark that as a No.

 

 

CharlesTax
Level 1

Should I claim my adult son as a dependent?

She doesn't have any income so is it ok for her not to file tax return? Thank you!

Charles

DianeW777
Employee Tax Expert

Should I claim my adult son as a dependent?

Yes, she is not required to file a tax return if she has no taxable income.  The key question you should consider is whether you received the third economic impact payment for her from last year's return. If not, then you will want to claim her to take advantage of the $1,400.

 

If you already received this payment there is nothing to do.  If you haven't then you should use the following steps after you include her on your tax return, should you decide to do that.

  1. In TurboTax Online, to claim the Recovery Rebate credit please do the following:

  2. Sign into your account and continue from where you left off
  3. Click on Federal in the left-hand column, then on Federal Review on the top of the screen
  4. On the next page titled Let's make sure you got the right stimulus amount, click on Continue
  5. Follow the interview
  6. TurboTax will determine whether you are entitled to any additional stimulus
  7. Any stimulus amount remaining due to you will show as a credit on line 30 of your form 1040.

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