Definition of Dependent
The tax laws' definition of a dependent is
very important when figuring out what tax filing status a
taxpayer can file as and when claiming tax exemptions for a
dependent. Many taxpayer mistakenly think that just because he
or she has a child who is dependent on him or her, the child is
considered a dependent child and tax exemptions are allowed.
This is not the case. Tax laws' definition of what a dependent
is can be complicated. Below is the definition of a dependent
based on the IRS tax laws.
What is the definition of a dependent?
First of all there are two types of
dependents according to the IRS tax laws. They are qualifying
child and qualifying relative. Below is a chart to help a
taxpayer determine if his or her dependent qualifies as either
a dependent child or a dependent relative in order for him or
her to claim tax exemptions for a dependent.
The questions below apply to the taxpayer
who is trying to claim a tax exemption for a dependent as
well as his or her spouse if he or she is married and filing
If the dependent in question passes all the
tests for a dependency above, then the dependent in question
could qualify as a qualifying dependent for tax exemptions
if the dependent is either a qualifying child or a
relative (even those who
do not live with the taxpayer). The next step from here
is to check to see if the dependent is a qualifying child or
a qualifying relative.