Can I claim my parents as dependents if they aren't permanent residents of the US?

September 10, 2004

Subject:   Can I claim my parents (on visitor visa) as dependents
Date:   Mon, 02 Aug 2004
From:   Chirinjeev

My parents visited me in 2002 for 3 months and now again in 2004 for almost 6 months and therefore they qualify for the "substantial presence test". They are neither U.S. citizens nor permanent residents and they come on visitor visa.

They do not have any U.S. income to report. I am a U.S. resident and have been supporting them fully.

  1. Can I claim them as my dependents for 2004?

  2. Do I need to get ITIN numbers for them?

Answer

Date:   Wed, 01 Sep 2004

Hello Chirinjeev,

  1. It appears your parents may qualify as resident aliens and therefore may qualify as your dependents. Remember in computing their income to see if they qualify as dependents, all of their worldwide income is taxable in the U.S. (as is yours). (See Internal Revenue Code Sections 152(b)(3) and 7701(b)(2).

    Your parents may not qualify under the substantial presence test if they are present in the U.S. less than one-half of 2004 and it is established that for 2004 they have a tax home in a foreign country and have a closer connection to the foreign country than to the United States. (§7701(b)(3)(B) and §911(d)(3).)

  2. To claim your parents as dependents, they must have ITINs so you can list that information on your income tax return.

By the way, questions relating to dependents, residence and aliens are extremely complex. I don't claim to be an expert about them.

Good luck!
Mike Gray

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