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How many months do dependents have to live with you to claim them for the full year?

Downey, CA |
Filed under: Tax law

I have legal guardianship of my niece and nephew. They lived with me for over 10 years. This past June 21, 2009 my niece and nephew decided they would live with their father to see if they liked the living situation there. They have been living with their father since June 21, 2009.

My niece and nephew lived with me from January 2009 through June 21, 2009.

My question is: Can I claim them on my taxes for the whole 2009 year? Or do I only claim them for 6 months?
(January 2009 - June 21, 2009) <~~Technically a little more than 6 months

It is my understanding that whom ever had the children living with them more then 6 months at the beginning of the year can claim the children for the full year.

Is this true? Can someone help me with a legitimate answer? I'm filing my taxes soon!

Attorney Answers 1

Posted

In order to claim them as a dependent, you must have furnished over 50% of their support for the tax year/calendar year. If they were receiving other support even during the time they were living with you, then it sounds like you didn't provide half of their expenses during the full year. By support, this means you were paying for their food, clothing and other expenses.

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