Can I deduct expenses for my daughter living in Russia?

February 9, 2005

Subject:  Foreign Dependent question
Date:  Sun, 23 Jan 2005
From:  Ralph

Mr. Gray,

My wife for 5 years is Russian and our daughter is still in Russia - a full time student and ill.

We are sending $2,000 per month for her support, school and medicines. She has no other income.

Can any of this be deducted on our joint US income tax return.

Thanks,
Ralph

Answer

Date:  Mon, 31 Jan 2005

Hello Ralph,

In order to qualify as a dependent, the child must be a citizen, national or resident of the United States, or 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 or her household for the entire tax year. (IRC Section 152(b)(3).) It doesn't appear your daughter will qualify for a dependency exemption or medical deductions unless you bring her here to live with you or otherwise meet the requirements. (Also, remember full-time students only qualify if they are under age 24 at the end of the calendar year.)

Good luck!
Mike Gray

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