In order to get a little extra cash back this tax season, consider the benefits you can claim as dependents for children or adult relatives. For each dependent you claim that you qualify, you may be eligible for an additional tax credit that can reduce your tax liability and save you money depending on the age and relationship of the dependent. You may claim tax credits for your dependents, including child tax credit, earned income credit, child care credit and dependent care credit. A single filer with a qualifying dependent can claim the status of head of household, which can also be valuable during tax season.
IRS Criteria for Dependents; In order to claim a child or adult relative, the IRS requires that taxpayers and their dependents meet the following qualifications: the person who files may not be claimed as a dependent on any other return. The dependent may not be married and file together unless he or she owes nothing to taxes when filed separately and only a refund of withholdings is issued. The dependent must be a U.S. citizen, an alien resident and, in some cases, a resident of Canada or Mexico. The dependent can only be claimed once, so they can not be dependent on the return of anyone else. Children claiming to be dependent must live with the filer for more than half a year. The taxpayer has to pay more than half of the dependent’s support. The IRS has specific information about who qualifies as a dependent for relatives and children. When two filers list the same person as a dependent on two separate tax returns, the risk of auditing is higher. Further information on the qualifications required to claim dependents in each type of tax benefit program can be obtained from the IRS, since the criteria can vary from credit to credit.