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

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.

For more resources, check out PICPA’s Money & Life Tips, Ask a CPA, or CPA Locator.

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

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