La Quinta, CA
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Monday, May 4, 2015

Who is a Qualified Relative for U.S. Income Tax Purposes?

Who is a Qualified Relative for Tax Purposes?

You may want to enter someone as a qualifying relative on your federal income tax return. The question is, who is a qualified relative?

A Qualified relative must meet these 4 requirements:

1. Not a Qualified Child

A child cannot be your qualified relative if the child is your qualified child or the qualified child of another tax payer. If another tax payer is not required to file and does not file or only files for the purpose of obtaining a refundable tax credit or tax refund without claiming the child, the child is not a qualified child of another tax payer.

Unmarried, Claiming Children of Partner

Here is a great example so that you can better understand the importance of qualified relatives. Ralph is single and lived with his girlfriend Sally all year who has a child. Sally did not make an income and was not required to file taxes. Since the child is not qualified by any other tax payer, Ralph can claim the child as a qualified relative on his income tax return provided all other requirements are met.

2. Member of Household or Relationship Test

To be a qualifying relative, the person must live with you all year long as a member of your household or be related to you in one of the ways listed.

If the person is your child, step child, eligible foster child, brother, sister, half brother, half sister, stepbrother, stepsister, mother, father, grandparent, stepfather, stepmother, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, or a descendant of any of these, they do not have to live with you as a member of your household. An eligible foster child is an individual who is placed with you by an authorized placement agency, or by judgement decree, or by any other order of court competent jurisdiction.

A cousin meets this test only if he or she lives with you all year as a member of your household. And a person fails to meet this test if at any time in the year the relationship between you and that person violates local law.

3. Gross Income Test

In order to meet this test, the person who is potentially a qualifying relative must earn less than $3,800 gross income for the year.

4. Support Test

You must provide more than 50% of the total support for this person. There is an exception to this rule though. If there is a multiple support agreement i.e. you and three brothers support mother equally and everyone agrees you can claim her as a dependent), and if these are children of divorced or separated parents.

If you have any more tax preparation questions and are in the Coachella Valley, CA, please don't hesitate to give us a call.

Borders Bookkeeping
(760) 895-3516