Qualifying Relative

In order to be considered a qualifying relative there are six requirements that ALL must be met. They are:

  • Not a qualifying child -- The dependent must not be a qualifying child for another taxpayer.
  • Gross Income -- The dependent has to earn less than the personal exemption amount during the tax paying year.
  • Total Support -- The tax payer claiming the dependent has to provide more than half of the total support for the dependent.
  • Relationship -- You have to be related to the dependent in certain ways:
    • Child, grandchild, great-grandchild, step-child, or adopted child
    • Brother or sister
    • Half-brother or sister
    • Step-brother or sister
    • Parent, grandparent, or great-grandparent
    • Step-parent
    • Nephew or niece
    • Uncle or aunt
    • Son, daughter, brother, sister, father, or mother-in-law
    • Or a foster child who has been placed in your custody by court order or an authorized government agency.
    • A dependent who qualifies as any of the above does not need to live with the taxpayer as long as you meet the gross income, support, citizenship, and joint return tests. Relationships that are established by marriage also do not end if spouse dies or divorces. For example, if you are still taking care of or supporting your in-laws after your spouse dies or divorces you, you can claim them as your dependent.
  • Joint Return -- If the dependent is married, they cannot file a joint return with their spouse.
  • Citizenship -- The dependent must be a citizen or resident alien of the U.S., Canada, or Mexico.

In order to pass the relationship test, the dependent must be one of the above mentioned OR the dependent must have lived with the taxpayer for the entire year without violating any local laws concerning the relationship.