Rules on Claiming Dependents on Your Taxes

Rules on Claiming Dependents on Your Taxes
Tax forms include information on dependents.

Types

A taxpayer can claim her own child or relative (known as a "qualifying child") under the age of 19 (24 if the dependent is a full-time student) as a dependent. A taxpayer also may claim a relative (known as a "qualifying relative"), such as a parent or grandparent, as a dependent.

Considerations

A qualifying child must rely on the taxpayer for at least half of their financial support. A qualifying relative cannot make more than $3,650 per year and must depend on the taxpayer for a minimum of half of their financial support, as of 2009.

Time Frame

A qualifying child must live with the taxpayer for a minimum of six months per year. Qualifying relatives need not live with the taxpayer.