What are the requirements for claiming parents as dependents?
November 13, 2000
Subject: Claiming Parents as dependents
Date: Fri, 3 Nov 2000
I have had a hard time finding a clear cut answer to this question. I would like to claim my elderly parents as my dependents. I provide more than 1/2 their support, they live in their own home in another state. Do they have to have a minimum income level? If so, what would that be? Are there any other requirements? Your help will be greatly appreciated.
Date: Mon, 13 Nov 2000
In order to claim a dependency exemption for your parents, you must meet five tests.
- The dependent must bear a certain relationship to the taxpayer or be a member of the taxpayer's household for the year. Since these are your parents, you meet the relationship requirement and don't have to live in the same household.
- The dependent may not have gross income exceeding the exemption amount ($2,800 for 2000.) Tax exempt income doesn't count for this test, including the part of social security income that is exempt from tax.
- The dependent may not file a joint return with another taxpayer. Your parents may not file a joint return for a year that you are going to claim a dependent's exemption for them.
- The taxpayer claiming the dependency exemption must provide more than one-half of the support for the dependent. In some cases, brothers and sisters may have a multiple support agreement about who may claim the exemption. You have indicated you meet this test.
- The dependent must be a U.S. citizen, a U.S. national or a resident of the U.S., Canada or Mexico during the calendar year.
You might want to consult with a local tax consultant to apply these rules to your situation.
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