Tax Time Is Approaching! Identify Your Dependents Now


March 26, 2018


Doctor Examining an Elderly PatientIt doesn’t seem fair to start thinking about taxes right after the holiday season ends, but there’s no way to avoid the fact that tax day is only a few months away. While filing your taxes is never a fun and exciting process, it can be made even more challenging if you have unanswered questions regarding your dependents. This is especially true if you have a parent living in your home who could potentially qualify as your dependent. By determining your tax dependents now, you can welcome that April tax deadline feeling a bit more relaxed says attorney Kim Muenter, a Tampa estate planning attorney.

Understanding the Requirements of a Dependent

In terms of taxes, a dependent is a person who you financially support. This enables you to claim that person as a “dependent” on your taxes. If your child is under 18, he or she is your dependent unless a split custody situation gives that benefit to the other custodial parent. It’s also possible to consider somebody a dependent if that person lives with you for the entire year or is related to you, makes less than $4,000 in gross income, and received a significant amount of support from you during the year. You’ll sometimes experience this as kids get older and parents need a healthcare surrogate attorney to navigate their lives. As long as that person is not claimed as a dependent by anybody else and will not file his own single or joint tax return, you have the ability to claim him.

Is Your Parent Your Dependent?

Though it is most conventional for a parent to claim a child as a dependent, the roles often become reversed when the parent becomes sick or old enough to rely on a child for support. This is something that a medicaid attorney tampa can help with too. First, the parent’s gross taxable income cannot exceed the personal exemption level set by the IRS. Social Security income is treated differently and does not incur taxes until $25,000. In addition, the adult child must provide more than half of the parent’s support during the year. This means that if food, shelter, medical care, and recreation cost $20,000 per year for the parent, the child must supply more than $10,000 of that to qualify to claim the parent as a dependent.

Taxes are notorious for being complicated and stressful, so if you are still questioning your best tax filing options, speak to an elder care attorney for expert advice.