Four People You Didn’t Know You Could Claim on Your Taxes

December 23, 2011  |  
Claiming a dependent on your taxes is a big tax break. The idea behind the dependent exemption is that if you provide the majority of financial support for someone else, you shouldn’t have to pay taxes on it. As it stands now, you can deduct $3,700 from your taxable income for every person you can claim on your taxes. You probably know you can claim your kids but there are several other types of people you can claim, too. As long as you provide the majority of that person’s financial support, the person lives with you and no one else is claiming them, you can receive an exception for them. Here are some examples of people you can claim that may surprise you.
Your Kid Your Ex Has Custody Of
The way child custody and taxes work is that the person who has primary custody of the child gets the tax break for him. Your court order will have that information on it. However, if the custodial parent signs a waiver, you can claim that child on your taxes instead. There are a few reasons she might do this. She might have more kids than she can claim on her own taxes, for example.Your Stepdaughter’s Adopted Son
We all know that you can claim your minor children who live with you on your taxes. But you can also claim stepchildren, siblings, step-siblings and any descendants of these people. Adopted children are treated the same as biological children. So if your stepdaughter and her adopted son live with you and you support them financially, you can claim the son.Your College Kid
One of the exceptions to the under 18 rule is the full-time student. If your kid (or any other qualifying relative) is under 24 and a full-time student, you can claim her on your taxes. It doesn’t matter if she’s away at school, either. Her place of residency is your home and you can use that to claim her.

Your Disabled Mother
The other exception to the under 18 rule is someone who cannot care for herself mentally or physically. Since the threshold for supporting someone disabled or handicapped is lower, you can claim her for the rest of her life. This applies even if she’s in a residential treatment home as long as her place of residency is your home.

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