So your daughter is off to college and you're wondering if you can still claim her as a dependent? Well, a person who would be claimed as your dependent must meet five tests:
- Member of Household/Relationship Test -- the person must be a relative or live in your household all year
- Joint Return Test -- the person can't file a joint tax return with someone else unless it is only to claim a refund of tax withheld
- Citizenship Test -- the person must be:
- a U.S. citizen, resident or national, or
- a resident of Canada or Mexico
- Gross Income Test -- the person must have less than $2,800 of gross income unless he/she is your child and is:
- under 19 years of age, or
- a full-time student (5 months of the year) and under age 24
- Support Test -- you must have provided over half the person's total support; this includes food, clothing, shelter, education, medical expenses and recreation
Assuming the person meets these tests, here are a few important points to remember.
For more information, view IRS Publication 501, "Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information." This publication is also available at your local IRS office, or by mail by calling 1-800-829-3676.