A dependent can be anyone that cannot be claimed on the return of someone else and is a qualifying child or a qualifying relatives.

The rules for 2022 are as follows.

A qualifying child must be:

  1. The taxpayer’s child, stepchild, eligible foster child, brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister, stepbrother, stepsister or a descendent of any of them
  2. Be younger than the taxpayer and either (a) under age 19 or (b) under age 24 and a full-time student OR be permanently and totally disabled (any age) AND not provide over half of their own support.
  3. Have lived with the taxpayer for more than half the year (unless special dependency is waived in writing to a non-custodial parent)

A qualifying relative must meet ALL of the following:

  • The taxpayer provided over half of the individual’s support.
  • The individual was any one of the following:
    1. Taxpayer’s child, stepchild, eligible foster child, or a descendent of any of them
    2. Taxpayer’s brother, sister, niece, or nephew
    3. Taxpayer’s parent*, parent’s* sibling, grandfather, or grandmother
    4. Taxpayer’s half-brother, half-sister; stepbrother, stepsister, stepfather, stepmother; or any of the following in-laws—son, daughter, father, mother, brother, or sister
    5. Any other person who lived with the taxpayer ALL year as a member of the taxpayer’s household
  • The individual was not a qualifying child of another person
  • The individual had a gross income of less than $4,400

This means you may able to get the dependency credit for a person that moved into your home and is sharing a room with your adult child (if they live with you the entire year, can’t be claimed by anyone else, and have an income of less than $4,400).

Or maybe you are unmarried with a domestic partner that lived with you the entire year. If that person has no income of their own, and can’t be claimed by anyone else, you might even be able to claim the child of your domestic partners or the child of another person that lived with you for the entire year. IF you provided all the support.

This is why it’s important to meet with your tax professional each year and review any changes in whom lives in your household and what support, if any, you provide.

*A parent (or parents) do not have to live in your home to qualify as dependents as long as you pay more than 50% of the cost of their support including the cost of their household.