If you're a young adult or someone who lives under the care of a relative, then you may be wondering if you can be claimed as a dependent on another person’s federal tax return.
Dependents are classified as either:
- A qualifying child, or
- A qualifying relative.
Here’s how to tell if this describes you.
Can I Be Claimed as a Dependent?
To be a qualifying child, the answer must be “yes” to all of the following questions:
- Am I younger than 19 years old or a full-time student less than 24 years old?
- Do I live with my parents for more than half the year? In the case of parents who are divorced, you'll have to use “tie-breaker rules" found in IRS Publication 501.
- Was I financially supported by my parents for more than half of my expenses?
To be a qualifying relative, the answer must be “yes” to all of the following questions:
- Did I live with my relatives for more than half the year? For situations involving the receipt of support from relatives whom you don’t live with, please see Publication 501.
- Did I earn less than $4,400 in 2022?
- Was I financially supported by a relative for more than half of my expenses?
What If I Was Claimed But Shouldn’t Have Been?
If you were claimed as a dependent by someone else but didn't report this on your tax return, then it will most likely be flagged by the IRS. Tax returns are processed in the order they were received. Therefore, if you filed yours first, the other person’s return will be rejected. However, if the other person filed first, then your return would be rejected.
In both cases, you and the other person should receive a formal notification (CP87A) from the IRS. One of you will be expected to amend your return. If neither one does, then the case will need to be appealed.
To find out more information, please consult IRS Publication 501: Dependents, Standard Deduction and Filing Information