Can I claim my friend and her daughter as dependents on my taxes.

Asked over 3 years ago - Seattle, WA

My friend who went through a nasty divorce now lives with her 7 year old daughter at my house and does not pay any bills including rent. Can I claim my friend and her daughter as dependents on my taxes?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. James Elliot Pratt

    Contributor Level 12

    Answered . Regarding the child, , the IRS requires all of the following tests must be met to claim a dependency exemption under the rules for a qualifying child.

    Dependent Taxpayer Test — Qualifying Child
    If you could be claimed as a dependent by another person, you cannot claim anyone else as a dependent. Even if you have a qualifying child or a qualifying relative, you cannot claim that person as a dependent.

    Joint Return Test — Qualifying Child
    To meet this test, the child must be:

    - Unmarried,
    - Married but does not file a joint return, or
    - Married and files a joint return only to claim a refund of withheld tax, neither the dependent nor spouse can claim personal exemption on their joint return

    Citizen or Resident Test — Qualifying Child
    To meet this test, the child must be:

    - A U.S. citizen or resident or
    - A resident of Canada or Mexico

    Relationship Test — Qualifying Child
    To meet this test, the child must be:
    - Your son, daughter, stepchild, eligible foster child, adopted child, or a descendant (for example, your grandchild) of any of them, or
    - Your brother, sister, half brother, half sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or a descendant (for example, your niece or nephew) of any of them.

    Age Test — Qualifying Child
    To meet this test, the child must be:
    - Under age 19 at the end of the year
    - A full-time student under age 24 at the end of the year, or
    - Permanently and totally disabled at any time during the year, regardless of age.

    Residency Test — Qualifying Child
    To meet this test, the child must:
    - Have lived with you for more than half of the year
    - Meet one of the exemptions listed below:
    - Temporary absences — illness, education, business, vacation, or military service
    - Death or birth of child — a child who was born or died during the year

    Support Test — Qualifying Child
    To meet this test, the child must:
    - Not have provided more than half of his or her own support

    There are special rules for a child that is the "qualifying child" of more than one person. Do research or get professional advice if you encounter this situation.


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  2. Teri A. Walter

    Contributor Level 19

    Answered . Not unless you're legally responsible for their support.

  3. Ayuban Antonio Tomas

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . It doesn't sound like you can declare them. You can only declare people who fall under the IRS definition of a "Qualified Relative" or a "Qualified Child". A qualifying child bears a relation to the taxpayer, therefore this is not an option for you. Your only option would be to treat your friend and her daughter as a "qualified relative."
    With respect to a "qualified relative," the person does not have to be related to you (by blood or marriage) to qualify only if he/she resided with you for an ENTIRE year.
    It doesn't sound like these people lived with you the whole year, so you cannot claim them as dependents.

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