Internal Revenue Service United States Department of the Treasury
Module 4: Dependents

Page 11 of 16


Support Test — Qualifying Relative

Taxpayers will meet this test if the taxpayer provided more than half of a person's total support for the entire year.

Total support items include

  • food, clothing, shelter, education, medical and dental care, recreation, and transportation; and
  • welfare, food stamps, and housing provided by the state.

Compare the dollar value of the support provided by the taxpayer with the total support the person received from all sources.

Tax Tip

There are special rules for dependents who receive support from multiple sources and for children of divorced or separated parents.

Important Point: The gross income test considers the dependent's taxable income. The support test considers all income, taxable and nontaxable.

Remember: To claim a dependency exemption, all seven tests must be met.


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