Why is it that if our older kids are not full-time students at the end of the year, they are not eligible dependents?

by Colleen S. Krcelich, CPA | Jun 26, 2019

How come when I take an IRS interactive test on claiming my older kids they are eligible for my wife and I to claim because they live with us and we still support them, but at the end of the year, if they are not full-time students, they are not considered an eligible dependent?

In general, for older children to be claimed as dependents, they need to be full-time students for at least half of the year, under 24 years old, and live with you. This is the qualifying child test. They can also be claimed as a qualifying relative if they do not meet the qualifying child test. In this case, they must have taxable income less than $4,150 for 2018, and live with you. In either case, you must also provide more than 50% of their financial support. There are some other exceptions for disabled children, as explained on the IRS’s website.

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Answered by: Colleen S. Krcelich, CPA, is an adjunct professor at Northampton Community College in Bethlehem, Pa. 

The responses are based on the limited information provided by the questioner and apply the laws and regulations at the time of posting. Other options could arise as rules and regulations may change over time, including but not limited to the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. They are intended to provide general information, not specific accounting or tax advice; they are not intended or written to be used and cannot be used for the purpose of avoiding or evading taxes or penalties under the IRS code or regulations. Views expressed do not imply an opinion of the PICPA, its officers, directors, employees, or members.
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