The next exemptions are for your dependents. Dependents are broken down into two categories: qualifying children and qualifying relatives. Qualifying children include your child, stepchild, foster child, sibling, step-sibling, or the descendants of any of those, as long as the child meets certain requirements. The first requirement is that the child must have lived with you for greater than half of the year. Next, the child must not yet be age 19, or not yet age 24 if a full-time student, or any age if disabled. Lastly, the child must not have provided greater than half of his or her own support for the year.
A qualifying relative is your relative who is not a qualifying child, or a member of your household. To qualify, the relative must not have gross income of $3,400 or more. Also, you must have provided more than half of the support for the relative for the year, or more than 10% in the case of a multiple support situation.
There are additional restrictions on claiming a qualifying child or qualifying relative as your dependent. You cannot claim them as your dependent if you, or your spouse if filing a joint return, can be claimed by someone else as a dependent. If they are not a U.S. citizen or national, or a resident of the U.S., Mexico, or Canada for some portion of the year, with an exception for some adopted children, you could not claim them as a dependent. You could not claim him or her as your dependent if they are married filing a joint return, except when the return is filed only to claim a refund and neither spouse would have an amount due if filing a separate return.
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