How to Provide Proof of Support of a Dependent

How to Provide Proof of Support of a Dependent
Image Credit: KurKestutis/iStock/GettyImages

Things You'll Need

  • Copies of bills

  • Health care bills

  • Proof of dependent's income

  • Proof of school enrollment

  • Letters from teachers

Warning

If you can claim an exemption for your dependent, the dependent cannot claim her own exemption on her tax return. Keep in mind this also holds true even if the exemption is lessened with utilization of an IRS phase out directive.

Tip

Document any proof of childcare support for the dependent. This could be from a daycare, home care specialist or after school program.

How to Provide Proof of Support of a Dependent. Whether you are claiming an exemption for a qualifying child or relative, you must be able to offer proof of your support to the IRS.

Step 1

Keep detailed records of receipts and documents to show proof of the support. Having an organized filing system will help you stay up to date so you can easily provide the necessary information to the IRS. In fact, keep your records on file for several years, just in case the IRS conducts an audit of your tax records.

Step 2

Define the dependent's gross income. In order to claim an exemption for a qualifying relative, he cannot have earned above $3,300 per year. A copy of a W-2 form is an appropriate document to show this. You must also show that you paid for more than 50 percent of the dependent's support for the year. This can be documented by the average market value for rent or payments for living in a home or apartment.

Step 3

Show documentation of the age of a dependent. This is necessary to receive things like a child tax credit. For this purpose the child must be under age 17. A copy of his birth certificate is appropriate to meet this requirement.

Step 4

Be ready to supply documentation of U.S. citizenship. If a child you are claiming is adopted, you can show proof that she is a legally adopted U.S. national, a legal alien or similar. In some cases the proof has to show that the child lived in your home all year. You can supply documentation of medical visits, mail received and any other applications or letters.

Step 5

Supply academic documents to provide proof of support for a qualifying child or relative attending a public or private school. You can show proof of this through course transcripts, report cards/graded papers, completed and marked tests, library cards, school identification cards or official passes. A good source of proof is also a letter from a school administrator or teacher who knows the child well.

Step 6

Provide documentation of health care bills for an older relative. Keep copies of any utility bills you paid for the dependent in addition to receipts for food and clothing expenses.