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Who do I claim as a dependent?

Our furry friends depend on us just as much as we depend on them. Why wouldn’t we count them as dependents for tax purposes, and take the $2,000 per dependent tax credit?We take them to doggy daycare, spend money on toys and pay human-sized sums on their health and well being.


But, unfortunately IRS has some strict rules on who can be considered a dependent, and Fido and Whiskers are not on the list.


So who counts as a dependent? Here is a full breakdown:

1. A dependent can be

a. A Qualifying Child, or

b. A Qualifying Relative


A. Qualifying Child.

A child can qualify as dependent if all of the following criteria are met

· The child is related to you including son, daughter, stepchild, stepbrother, stepsister eligible foster child, brother, sister, half brother, half sister, , adopted child, and any children that they may have.

· The Child must be under age 19, or 24 if they are full time student. There is no age limit for permanently disabled children.

· The child must live with you for more than half of the year.

· The child needs more than half of their support from you.

· You must be the only tax payer that claims the qualifying child.


B. Qualifying Relative.

· Your relative must live with you all year, or must be on a list of “relatives who do not live with you”.

· Your relative must have less than $4,200 of gross income in 2019.

· The relative needs more than half of their support from you.

· You must be the only tax payer that claims the qualifying relative.


For a more in depth discussion please contact a Bright Line Tax representative today.


Photo by Alvan Nee on Unsplash

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