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

Dependency Exemptions

Qualifying Child Tests

Residency Test

Probe/Action: Ask the Taxpayer:

Did the child live with you as a member of your household, except for temporary absences, for more than half of the year? (Answer "Yes" if the child was born or died during the year.)

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 8. (Use Table 3 to see if the exemption for children of divorced or separated parents or parents who live apart applies.)

To meet this test, the child must have lived with the taxpayer for more than half the year. The taxpayer's home is any location where they regularly live; it does not need to be a traditional home. For example, a child who lived with the taxpayer for more than half the year in one or more homeless shelters meets the residency test.

Exceptions to the Residency Test

The child is considered to have lived with the taxpayer during periods of time when either the child or the taxpayer is temporarily absent due to illness, education, business, vacation or military service.

A child who was born (or died) during the year is treated as having lived with the taxpayer all year, if the child lived in the taxpayer's home for the entire time he or she was alive.

Tip

Do not confuse this test with the citizenship or resident test.

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