Can I claim my mother as a dependent?

January 21, 2005

Subject:  Parents as dependents
From:  Rosemary
Date:  Fri, 10 Dec 2004

Hi, we recently moved in with my mother after my dad passed. His pension stopped when he died so we moved in and are paying the mortgage and utility bills for my mother. Is it possible to deduct her as our dependent, since we are paying almost all of her bills?

Thank You,
Rosemary
Riverside, CA

Answer

Date:  20 Dec 2004

Hello Rosemary,

Possibly. In order to claim a dependency deduction, five tests must be met. (1) The dependent must have less than $3,100 of gross income for the taxable year (excludes tax exempt amounts like the exempt part of social security); (2) the taxpayer who is claiming the exemption deduction must have provided more than half of the support for the dependent for the taxable year; (3) the dependent must have a qualifying relationship (parent qualifies); (4) the dependent must not have filed a joint return with his or her spouse; and (5) the dependent must be a citizen, national or resident of the United States, a resident of Canada or Mexico at some time during the calendar year in which the tax year of the taxpayer begins, or an alien child adopted by and living with a U.S. citizen or national as a member of his household for the entire year.

Good luck!
Mike Gray

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