One common way for families to lower their tax burden at filing season is through deductions for children and other dependents. With that in mind, the Internal Revenue Service is offering some guidance on the regulations regarding dependents under the tax code.
According to the IRS, even a person who is claimed by somebody else as a dependent may be required to file a tax return under certain circumstances. Such factors would depend on the amount of earned or unearned income from the tax year, along with other things like one's marital status.
Also, people who are claimed as dependents by another person cannot claim a personal exemption on their own tax return.
The IRS adds that a person's spouse cannot be considered their dependent. Instead, when filing jointly, both spouses are entitled to claim one exemption, while those filing separate returns can claim the exemption for their spouse only if the spouse had no gross income and was not reported as another person's dependent.
Finally, people who are claimed as dependents must be U.S. citizens, resident aliens or U.S. nationals, although there are some exceptions under the tax code for adopted children. Dependents can also be residents of Canada or Mexico.
Every effort has been taken to provide the most accurate and honest analysis of the tax information provided in this blog. Please use your discretion before making any decisions based on the information provided. This blog is not intended to be a substitute for seeking professional tax advice based on your individual needs.