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  1. #1
    varworks is offline Junior Member
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    Can I claim my grandson as a dependent?

    What is the name of your state?What is the name of your state? California

    My grandson has been living with us since year 2000 after his parents passed away. He is 21 yrs old, and is going to school full time. He earned $4,300 working this summer.
  2. #2
    abezon is offline Senior Member
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    Absolutely! You can claim him if you:
    1. provided over half of his support
    2. he earned less than the personal exemption amount OR was a full time student for 5 months during the year & earned any amount of money
    3. he is not filing a joint return with anyone else
    4. he's a US citizen or resident of the US/Canada/Mexico
    5. he's a descendent (duh! he's your grandson!)

    You can also claim him for earned income credit if you meet the income criteria. Furthermore, since he's a student, you may be able to claim education credits for his tuition.

    Finally, you can go back to your 2001-2003 returns and amend them to claim him as a dependent if he met the 5 dependency tests during those years too. See a tax pro about amending your returns.
    This post does not constitute legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. Postings are based only on the information provided and you should consult an attorney in your area before relying on information contained in this post.
  3. #3
    varworks is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks, abezon.

    Here is what confused me. I read in the publication under the gross income test that there is an Exception for a person who is your child and a full time student under 24. The gross income test does not apply but other dependency test must still be met. Your child, for purposes of the gross income test, must be your child, stepchild, adopted child, or a foster child who was a member of your household for the entire year. My confusion is that I don't see grandchild. Can you confirm?
  4. #4
    abezon is offline Senior Member
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    I retract what I said before; the student exception appears to apply only to children, not grandchildren or foster children. You won't be able to claim him on your 2004 return. However, you may still be able to claim him on an amended 2001-2003 return.

    Complain to your congressman about the narrowness of the student gross income test exception.
    This post does not constitute legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. Postings are based only on the information provided and you should consult an attorney in your area before relying on information contained in this post.
  5. #5
    varworks is offline Junior Member
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    I can't amend either, he just started going to school this year. I wonder if there is anything I can do to qualify him as a foster child.
  6. #6
    abezon is offline Senior Member
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    You'll be able to claim him if he made less than the personal exemption amount in 2001-2003, regardless of whether he was a student.
    This post does not constitute legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. Postings are based only on the information provided and you should consult an attorney in your area before relying on information contained in this post.
  7. #7
    racer72 is offline Senior Member
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    Unless you have a court order that allows you to claim the person as a dependent, you cannot claim grandchildren as dependants. I just found this out a few months ago. And in your situation, because your grandson is an adult, it would be highly unlikely a court will grant you any kind of custodial status. You may be able to deduct the expenses for the education depending on where the money is coming from. I would suggest a consultation with an income tax professional. That does not include part time H&R Block employees.
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  8. #8
    abezon is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by racer72
    Unless you have a court order that allows you to claim the person as a dependent, you cannot claim grandchildren as dependants. I just found this out a few months ago.
    Where do you get that idea racer? A taxpayer can claim any living human being who meets the 5 dependency tests for that taxpayer. If a grandparent is paying over 1/2 a child's support, the grandparent is the only person who could legally claim the child as a dependent. The child still has to meet the other 4 dependency tests, but since the GP is paying over 1/2 the support, *no one else* could claim they are paying over 1/2 the child's support. Even if there was a court order granting the exemption to one parent or the other, the tax laws trump the court's order. Period. The court can't "award an exemption" to someone who cannot legally claim the child as a dependent.

    There are situations where no one can claim a child as a dependent, not even the custodial parent(s). The most common are (1) where a child is receiving social security survivor benefits or (2) where a parent is receiving welfare for the child. The payments are considered money someone else contributed to the child's support. If the parents between them are not paying over half the kid's support, they can't claim their own kid.
    This post does not constitute legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. Postings are based only on the information provided and you should consult an attorney in your area before relying on information contained in this post.
  9. #9
    Snipes5 is offline Senior Member
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    Perhaps Racer is confusing this with the 8332 Requirement for divorced/separated/never married parents? Even so, it requires a signature, not a court order.

    That's a whole different kettle of fish, as it were.

    Snipes

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