How to Meet the IRS Definition of a Dependent

While it can be confusing to determine who you can claim as a dependent on your tax return, there are five tests that must be used to determine the literal definition of a dependent for tax purposes:

1) Household member/relationship test
2) Joint return test
3) Citizen test
4) Gross income test (less than $3,400)
5) Support test (you have to pay for half or more of the person’s support throughout the year)

If you have a specific question about whether you can claim someone as a dependent, check out or call us at (508) 830-0007.


About cozbycpa

Heather L. Cozby is a CPA on the South Shore and Cape Cod. The managing partner of Cozby & Company, LLC, Heather has the resources and experience necessary to provide quality professional services on a timely basis and at a reasonable cost. She specializes in tax planning & preparation; audit, review & compilation services; management advisory services; bookkeeping; and accounting. Her unique niche is in working with homeowners’ associations and condominium trusts, advising with rental real estate, and providing outsourced financial consulting for mid-sized companies. She is more entrepreneurial than most accountants, and offers the best of both worlds - providing the services of a larger firm while retaining the ability to connect with her clients on a personal level.
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