Did you know that in some cases, federal tax guidelines allow you to claim children as dependents up to 23 years of age? Typically you can claim children under 19 years old, although there are different guidelines for full-time students. Any child under the age of 24 that is a full-time student may be claimed as a dependent if you have provided half of his support.
What is Full-Time Student Status?
Students have to meet a few requirements in order to be considered full-time. Over some portion of five separate calendar months, students must meet the following:
- Be enrolled at a school with a regular staff, course of study, and a student body that regularly attends the school; or
- Be taking an agricultural-related training program set on a farm that is guided by either a state, county or local government, or qualified school.
- Be enrolled for the specific number of full-time hours required by the institution at which they attend.
The five calendar months aren’t required to be consecutive. Elementary, junior and senior high school college, university, trade, technical, and vocational institutions are all applicable to educate full-time students. Career training courses, night schools, and correspondence schools are not covered for tax purposes.
How Much is Half of Support?
First, you have to calculate how much support your child received total. This includes any expenses paid in relation to food, housing, education, medical or dental care, clothing, transportation services, and even some recreation. You can then determine if you provided half of your child’s support.
While you can’t deduct these expenses during tax time, they can qualify you to claim your child as a dependent. You may not have to include any scholarships or grants that your child received when determining if you paid half of their support, although these tax-free awards are considered income for the child.