Who qualifies as a dependent on my tax return?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 12,321
    Goodman & Company Tax Director Art Auerbach discusses how to know who qualifies as a dependent on your tax return.

    Host: Who qualifies as a dependent on my tax return?

    Aurthur Auerbach: To qualify to be a dependent on a tax return, the individual needs to be a Resident Alien, that is somebody who is not yet a citizen but resident in the United States or a citizen of the United States generally.

    Some Non-Residents Aliens might qualify with exceptions depending upon how they got into the country. Now, there are some specific qualifications here. To be a dependent on a tax return I cannot have filed the joint return with anybody else. That's obvious, because that exemption went on the joint return and if I do it here then I am double dipping, I am claiming the same exemption on two returns. So we have the Citizen or Resident Test, we have the No Joint Return Test with somebody else. There is a Gross Income Test. Here the gross income of an individual generally cannot be more than the personal exemption. If it is, then they need to file their own tax return and you don't get to claim them as on your tax return if you are looking at this as a dependent. Then the last one is a rule that changed about two or three years ago and they are some called qualifying child or qualifying relative. So if you have a qualifying child, qualifying relative who is a citizen or resident alien, who did not file a joint return with anybody else and whose gross income is less than the value of the personal exemptions then you will be able to claim the dependency exemption.