April 18, 2023 as tax returnNearby, many Americans are trying to get their tax situation in order. There will be many people given This filing season, as some pandemic-related tax benefits expire, you may be looking to maximize tax savings by claiming tax dependents.
If you think you can claim tax dependents, this may qualify you for more deductions and credits, as well as head of household filing status. However, the rules can be a bit complicated, and you want to make sure you’re claiming dependents correctly. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at who you can claim as a tax dependent and what that could mean for your taxes.
You can now get your taxes done right (and maximize your refund) by using an online tax preparation service like TurboTax.
Who can you claim as a tax dependent?
In order to claim someone as a dependent, they must fall into the category of either qualifying child or qualifying relative.
This can include many types of family members, such as children, stepchildren, and foster children, as well as relatives such as siblings, nieces and nephews, parents, and more.
The key is to see if they meet the IRS requirements to be “qualified.” For tax year 2022 (for which you will file income tax return in 2023), you can review IRS Publication 501, Table 5 For more details on what makes someone a qualifying child or qualifying relative.
Traditionally, you have to provide more than half of the financial support during the year to claim a person as a dependent. There are also restrictions around age for eligible children (generally under 19, with some exceptions) or income for eligible relatives (potential dependents must have less than $4,440 in total income for the year.)
You can even claim unrelated people as dependents if they live with you throughout the year, among other requirements, to count as a qualifying relative.
Be sure to properly include your legal dependents when filing your taxes to maximize your refund. You can now file your taxes online in less than 15 minutes.
Who can you claim as a tax dependent?
There are a few exceptions as to who cannot be claimed as a tax dependent. For example, you cannot claim your spouse as a dependent. Household employees such as maids cannot be claimed as your tax dependents.
Another restriction is that you cannot claim most foreign residents as tax dependents, as they must be either US citizens, US residents, US citizens or residents of Canada or Mexico.
You also generally can’t claim someone as a qualifying child or qualifying relative if they’re married and filing a joint return, unless.
Claim limit of tax dependents
If you claim someone as your tax dependent, they cannot claim someone else as their own tax dependent. Similarly, if someone claims you as their dependent, you cannot claim someone else as your tax dependent.
Also, the same dependent generally cannot be claimed more than once by different taxpayers, i.e., you and your sibling cannot both claim your parent as a dependent.
In the past, claiming someone as your dependent could reduce your taxable income so that you were able to claim the personal exemption for dependents (meaning these dependents could not claim their own exemption if they filed their own tax return).
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act eliminated these personal exemptions by the end of 2025, although it raised other tax benefits that could come from claiming dependents, such as the Child Tax Credit. The child tax credit also increased as part of pandemic relief in 2021 but has since returned to $2,000 per eligible child.
How you can claim dependent tax on your return
To claim tax dependents, you need to start by listing the names of your dependents on the first pageFor your personal income tax return. From there, as you complete your tax return, you’ll find various places to claim dependent-related tax benefits, such as the Child Tax Credit or the Earned Income Tax Credit. Can help guide you on what to claim and how to do it. The professionals at TurboTax can help you file your return and get the maximum refund right away.
The ability to claim tax dependents and the benefits of doing so can vary from person to person, so it’s important to see what applies to your unique situation. Claiming tax dependents can help you save money, but you want to make sure you’re doing it right. So, consider talking to a trusted professional such as an accountant or other tax advisor.