A considerable amount of tax can greatly help with your tax return upon declaring your legal dependent. Not only will it boost your own exemption but it can also make you eligible for other tax benefits. You can certainly avail of the child tax credit once you have claimed a legal dependent. Keep in mind that the IRS has restrictions or standard qualifications as to whom you can claim as a legal dependent. Never presume that any person or anybody living in your house directly qualifies as a legal dependent.
What is a Legal Dependent?
In general, a dependent is a person who relies on you for more than 50% of his or her finances. He may have an income from a source or totally depending from the help you are giving. But for the IRS, a legal dependent can be your child or anybody that you are providing aid financially.
A child or your spouse living in your home is the most common type of dependents that mostly everyone claims. Your elderly parents and if you have a child in college, they can still be considered as dependent. To claim a brother, sister, stepsister or any of your family relative as a dependent, he or she should only produce an income less than the standard personal exemption rate for that particular year. The IRS has provided 5 attributes to identify legal exemption of a claimed dependent. These are the following: support, citizenship, relationship, gross income and joint return. With regards to citizenship criteria, it requires that a dependent is a U.S. citizen, a legally adopted foreign child currently residing in the U.S., a local of the U.S. or resident of Mexico or Canada within the year.
Are YOU a Dependent?
Before you can claim a dependent, be sure that you are not claimed as a dependent by another person. Each qualified dependent can only be claimed by one taxpayer in that same year. To ensure that only one person has filed the person a dependent, no other relative should claim the child as a dependent. To fully qualify the kid, he should also be residing with the claimant for more than 6 months of the same year. Make sure that you support your claim with documents and keep those important files for future use.
After you have identified that the person is your qualified dependent, you should, at this time, be keeping significant receipts. It would be in your best interest to take note of any medical, daycare or even itemized expenses that was used or occurred for your dependent. It may seem complicated but the rules determined by the IRS are just very easy to follow.
Sean Harris is a tax blogger from Miami Florida. You can check out his blog irs-easy.com for more extensive information on doing your taxs yourself .