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

Dependency Exemptions

Qualifying Relative Tests

Gross Income Test

Probe/Action: Ask the Taxpayer:

Did the person have gross taxable income of less than $3,950 in 2014?

If NO, you cannot claim this person as a dependent.

If YES, go to Step 5.

To meet this test, the dependent's gross income for the tax year must be less than the personal exemption amount. Gross income is all income in the form of money, property, and services that is not exempt from tax. Specific examples are found in Publication 17, Personal Exemptions and Dependents. Remember this test applies only to qualifying relatives, not to qualifying children. For purposes of this test, the gross income of an individual who is permanently and totally disabled does not include income for services the person performs at a sheltered workshop.

Example

Joe is 65 years old and lives with his son and daughter-in-law. Joe's taxable pension income for the year was $10,000. Joe's son and daughter-in-law cannot claim a dependency exemption for Joe because Joe's income exceeds the personal exemption amount.

Click here to view the Interview Tips, Table 2: Dependency Exemption for Qualifying Relative, from the Volunteer Resource Guide, Exemptions/Dependencies tab.

Interview Tips, Table 2: Dependency Exemption for Qualifying Relative

Interview Tips, Table 2: Dependency Exemption for Qualifying Relative