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When Can I Claim an Adult Child as a Tax Exemption?

When Can I Claim an Adult Child as a Tax Exemption?

Multigenerational residences are on the rise, and many modern families have large numbers of people living under the same roof. The single family household is difficult to afford, and families find it more convenient to live together. This demographic change makes tax season confusing for many households, especially those wondering when they can claim an adult child on their taxes. However, just because an adult is living under your roof, it does not mean that they are a dependent.


The individual you plan to claim must be a biological child, a stepchild, a biological sibling, a stepsibling, or a foster child. In addition, the individual can be a descendent of one of the individuals in the previous categories. For example, the person would qualify if they are the child of your foster child. However, for tax purposes an individual cannot claim someone else as a dependent and be a dependent themselves. For example, if you claim the child of your foster child, your foster child cannot claim their own child.


The age of the child matters. The individual must be under 19 years old if they are not a student. If they are a full-time student, they can automatically be claimed if they are under 24 years old. However, if the individual is permanently disabled, their age does not matter and they permanently qualify for the credit.


There are very important residency requirements. The child must have lived with you for at least six months out of the year. However, if the child is living out of your home because they are in college, then it actually counts toward living at your home, which is why college students can be claimed.

Total support amount

The adult child must provide less than half of their total support, regardless of their age. This can be found by calculating all of the household expenses, determining the adult’s share of the expenses, determining the individual’s income, and measuring whether or not the individual provides less than half of their total support.

To make the entire process go more smoothly, work together with all of the adults in your household to determine who will claim who as a dependent. Attorneys Tax Relief can provide valuable assistance with this process.