Can I claim my relative or friend as my dependent?
A dependent doesn't always have to be your child. Dependents come in all shapes, sizes and relationships. To be your dependent, the person needs to meet all five of these conditions:
- Relationship: The person lives in your home for the entire year and is considered to be a member of your household. If they don't live with you, they need to be related to you.
- Income: Generally, their income is less than $4,000 (not including Social Security and welfare).
- Support: Generally, you provide more than half the person's support.
- Marital status: Generally, a dependent can't do their taxes with a spouse (married filing jointly). The also can't be a dependent on someone else's return.
- Nationality: The person is a United States citizen; or a resident or national of the U.S., Canada or Mexico.
Understanding if someone is or isn't your dependent can be tricky for many people. We think the best way to figure it out is to leave it to us. We'll ask you about the person you support to determine if they are your dependent.
- Does a dependent have to live with me?
- What does "financially support another person" mean?
- Can I claim myself or my spouse as a dependent?
- Can I claim my parent as a dependent?
- Is my dog (cat, hamster, canary, goldfish, etc.) a dependent?