What is the definition of a dependent? 4 Answers as of July 10, 2013

What defines a dependent? Can you claim your biological child on your taxes if you are not married to the biological mother?

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Steven J. Fromm
Steven J. Fromm | Steven J. Fromm & Associates, P.C.
You can claim your biological child as a dependent even if you are not married to the child. Here are the rules for when you can claim the child even if the child does not live with you. Divorced or Separated Parents: Determination of Dependency Exemption Written by: Steven J. Fromm Attorney licensed in Pennsylvania Contributor Level 10 Requirement 1: The noncustodial parent must attach a written declaration from the custodial parent to his or her tax return. Requirement 2: A divorce decree does not qualify for a written declaration after July 2, 2008 under Treasury Regulation 1.152-4(e). The exception here is that for divorce decrees executed on or before July 2, 2008, if the pages of this decree constitute a statement substantially similar to Form 8332, the noncustodial parent can continue to use such decree. Requirement 3: The written declaration must state that the release must be unconditional Requirement 4: The release must specify the year or years for which it is effective and must name the noncustodial parent claiming the exemption. Requirement 5: Form 8332 is used for this release, but a substitute from may be used as long as it is used only for the release of the dependency exemption. As a result, the divorce decree cannot be so used.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 7/13/2011
David Hoines Law
David Hoines Law | David Hoines
A person is a dependant if you provide more than 50% support of such person.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 7/12/2011
Tomas Ayuban
Tomas Ayuban | Tomas Ayuban
There are two classes of people who you can declare as a dependent on your Federal Tax Return: Qualifying Children and Qualifying Relatives. Since we are talking about your biological child, he/she would fall under the category of Qualifying Children. In order to claim the minor child, he/she must have resided with you for more than half the year. If the child lived with the other parent for more than half the year, you can still claim the child as a dependant, as long as the other parent waives his/her right to claim that child. The other parent can complete this waiver by executing an IRS Form 8332 waiver. If the child is not a minor, there are some additional criteria: The person must not have provided more than half of his or her own support during the year. The person must be under the age of 19, or under the age of 24 and be a full-time student for at least five months out of the year. In the alternative, the person can be claimed as a dependent at any age if he/she is permanently disabled.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 7/8/2011
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