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  • Dennis C. Carroll, Esq.

Can I claim my parent or adult child as a dependent?

Can I claim my parent or adult child as a dependent?

Yes, but their taxable income must be less than $4,200 in 2019 and you must pay for more than 50% of their total support.

In this test, "taxable income" includes gross income from a rental property or from a partnership. Remember that social security benefits are not taxed like other income. The IRS uses a sliding percentage of your social security benefits based on how much other income you receive outside of your social security benefits. They can include up to 85% of your SS benefits but will not include your SS benefits if your SS benefits are your only income.

Also, in this test, "total support" includes your parent or adult child's share of the total household expenses (outside mortgage interest, taxes, insurance) and your parent/adult child's expenses for clothing, unreimbursed medical, and recreation. Your parent or adult child does not have to live with you for this test.

Alternatively, your adult child can have a "taxable income" over $4,200 and be a dependent but they must live with you for over half of the year and must be permanently and totally disabled at some time during the year. A disabled parent cannot be claimed as a dependent if their income is over $4,200.

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