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Thursday, November 19, 2015

"Can I claim so-and-so as a dependent?" - A Handy Flowchart

The IRS rules for claiming a dependent can be complicated. If you just want a quick answer about whether or not you can claim an individual as a dependent (or if you yourself can be claimed as a dependent), check out this flowchart I made:

Tax Dependent Flow Chart




Another more thorough tool is the IRS' own "quiz " where you actual answer questions about yourself and your potential dependent to determine eligibility. This tool covers more special cases than my flow chart does.

If you'd like to see a video walkthrough of this flow chart, click here.


*Notes
This Flowchart gives a general overview only. Many special cases apply and are covered in more detail in IRS publication 501.

Examples of special cases:
Foster children, Kidnapped children, death of person, shared custody, divorce mid-year, relationships that violate local law, temporary absences, child files joint return but only to claim refund of withheld tax, permanently and totally disabled persons, qualifying child of more than one person, etc.

Flowchart built using information for tax year 2014.

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