If your question is whether you can claim yourself rather than your parent's claiming you: There is a rule that says IF somebody else CAN claim YOU as a dependent, You are not allowed to claim your own exemption. If you have sufficient income, you can & should still file taxes, you just don’t get your own $3800 exemption (deduction). In TurboTax, you indicate that somebody else can claim you as a dependent.
Somebody else can claim you under the following two sets of rules:
A child of a taxpayer can still be a “Qualifying Child (QC)” dependent, regardless of his/her 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 parent (or was away at school) for more than half the year
A person can still be an other dependent (Qualifying relative in IRS parlance, even though they do not have to be actually related), if not a Qualifying Child (QC), if he meets the 6 tests for claiming a dependent:
1. Closely Related OR live with you ALL year
2. His/her gross taxable income for the year must be less than $3,800 (2012)
3. You 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 file a tax return claiming someone else as a dependent
6. He must not be the qualifying child of another taxpayer
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