Tuesday Tax Tips 2/12/13

What is a Dependent?  Normally your child under age of 18 (or 24 if in college or school) but it can be your parents if you are providing more than 50% of their support.  To find out if you have a dependent here is a dependent qualification test.

1.    Is this person a relative - blood or marriage

2.    Financial support - do you support them more than anyone else including state/fed government

3.    US Citizen

Divorce:  If you have a divorce decree that states you can claim a child, you need to have the other parent sign IRS form 8332, Release of Exemption. This removes any issues that you may have with IRS on claiming the child.  If the child live you but divorce decree states you must allow the other parent to claim the child for tax purposes you still get the Earned Income Tax Credit for that child.


1.    Your spouse is never considered your dependent. On a joint return, you may claim one exemption for yourself and one for your spouse.

2.    Exemptions reduce your taxable income. There are two types of exemptions: personal exemptions and exemptions for dependents. For each exemption you deduct $3,800 on your 2012 Federal tax return.

3.    Exemptions for dependents. A dependent is your qualifying child or qualifying relative. You must list the social security number of any dependent or IRS will remove them from your tax return.

4.    If someone else claims you as a dependent, you may still be required to file your own tax return.

5.    If you are a dependent, you may not claim an exemption. If someone else - such as your parent - claims you as a dependent, you may not claim your personal exemption on your own tax return on the federal tax return but you can for your state tax forms.

6.    Some people cannot be claimed as a dependent. Generally, you may not claim a married person as a dependent if they file a joint return with their spouse.

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