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

Family and Other Issues

Family and Other Issues

Qualifying Child

A person must satisfy the following tests to be a taxpayer's qualifying child:

  • Dependent Taxpayer — if the taxpayer can be claimed as a dependent by another person, the taxpayer cannot claim anyone else as a dependent
  • Joint Return — the taxpayer cannot claim a married person as a dependent who files a joint return unless that joint return is filed only as a claim for a refund and there would be no tax liability for either spouse on separate returns
  • Citizen or resident — the taxpayer cannot claim a person as a dependent unless that person is a U.S. citizen, U.S. resident alien, U.S. national, or a resident of Canada or Mexico, for some of the year
  • Relationship — the taxpayer's child or stepchild (whether by blood or adoption), foster child, sibling or stepsibling, or a descendant of one of these
  • Residence — has the same principal residence as the taxpayer for more than half the tax year; exceptions apply, in certain cases, for children of divorced or separated parents, kidnapped children, temporary absences, and for children who were born or died during the year
  • Age — under age 19 at the end of the year and younger than the taxpayer (or taxpayer's spouse if filing jointly), or under the age of 24 if a full-time student for at least five months of the year, or be permanently and totally disabled at any time during the year, regardless of age
  • Support — did not provide more than one-half of their own support for the year
Children playing outdoors