Internal Revenue Service United States Department of the Treasury
Level Basic Advanced Military International

Dependency Exemptions

Qualifying Child Tests

Relationship Test

Probe/Action: Ask the Taxpayer:

Was the child your son, daughter, stepchild, eligible foster child, brother, sister, half brother, half sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or a descendant of any of them (i.e., your grandchild, niece, or nephew)?

If NO, this child is not your qualifying child. Go to Table 2—Dependency Exemption for Qualifying Relative Interview Tips.

If YES, go to Step 6.

Note: An adopted child is treated as your child.

To meet this test, the child must be:

  • The taxpayer's son, daughter, stepchild, foster child (placed by an authorized placement agency), or a descendant (for example, a grandchild) of any of them
  • The taxpayer's brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or a descendant (for example, niece or nephew) of any of them

An adopted child is treated the same as a natural child. This includes a child who was lawfully placed with the taxpayer for legal adoption.

Click here to view the Interview Tips, Table 1: Dependency Exemption, from the Volunteer Resource Guide, Exemptions/Dependencies tab.

Interview Tips, Table 1: Dependency Exemption

Interview Tips, Table 1: Dependency Exemption