The IRS has a set of tests for determining whether a child is a qualifying child to be a dependent. Please note that the test is different to determine if someone is a qualifying relative. Having a qualifying child as a dependent can make a significant impact on the calculation of your tax return.
The tests for determining if someone is a qualifying child are as follows:
- Age Test
- Relationship Test
- Support Test
- Residence Test
Age Test: This test deals with the age of the dependent. If the child is any age and is totally and permanently disabled then they pass the age test. If the child is under the age of 19 years old at the end of the tax year in question then the child will pass the age test. If you have a child over 24 at the end of the tax year than that child does not qualify under any circumstances. If you have a child that is older than 19 but younger than 24 and was a full-time student for at least 5 months out of the year, then the child would pass the age test.
Relationship Test: To pass the relationship test, the child must be related to you in one of the following ways:
- Step Daughter
- Step Son
- Foster Child
- Adopted Child
Support Test: The child did not provide over half of their support during the tax year. This does not necessarily mean that the parent has to provide over the half the support in the situation of charity, gifts, or public assistance.
Residence: The child must have lived with you for more than 6 months during the tax year.