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22 years old daughter can be a dependant in tax return?

northwesternnorthwestern Posts: 100Registered User Junior Member
I have a 22 yrs old recent graduate daughter who graduate from a college out of state and now she lives in different state away from me. If I am supporting her rent for past 6 month, can she be my dependent on my 2012 tax return?

According to the IRS website, dependent should be under 24, who live with you more than half of 2011. My daughter was out of state college student, so she could not live together with me. But I have pretty much supported everything for last whole year.
Thank you in advance.
Post edited by northwestern on

Replies to: 22 years old daughter can be a dependant in tax return?

  • 4kidsdad4kidsdad Posts: 2,308Registered User Senior Member
    the IRS makes an exception for a student who lives away at school. The IRS considers school as a temporary absence for tax purposes.

    Read more: Can I Claim My Child as a Dependent on My Taxes When He/She Is Away at College? | eHow.com Can I Claim My Child as a Dependent on My Taxes When He/She Is Away at College? | eHow.com
  • KKmamaKKmama Posts: 1,264Registered User Senior Member
    In order to claim her as a dependent, she would have had to live with you (or in college using your address as her legal address) for at least six months in 2012.

    Unfortunately, if she graduated in May and did not move back home, you cannot claim her. I heavily supported my daughter for two years after she graduated and moved out of state, so I know how frustrating it is not to be able to claim her. My younger daughter will graduate in May, so I will not be able to claim her for 2013. I really don't like paying those higher taxes.....
  • 4kidsdad4kidsdad Posts: 2,308Registered User Senior Member
    When did she decide not to come home?

    Also, you may still able to claim her as Qualifying Relative if her gross taxable income was less than $3,800.

    See IRS Pub 501 Publication 501 (2011), Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information
  • northwesternnorthwestern Posts: 100Registered User Junior Member
    Thanks 4Kidsdad. She did not come home except for a few weeks in summer. If IRA consider school as a temporary absence, the time period she was in school (Jan-May 2012) should be fine in reporting her as a dependent.
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Posts: 22,694Registered User Senior Member
    Every parent I know claims their kid for that last year in college even if graduation was in May, by cobbling together a few weeks and days here and there for the six months. But even if you are supporting her in 2013, she cannot be considered dependent for tax purposes if she is living on her own.
  • northwesternnorthwestern Posts: 100Registered User Junior Member
    Thank you for sharing the info, cptofthehouse.
  • momofthreeboysmomofthreeboys Posts: 10,889Registered User Senior Member
    Yes I agree with cpt. My son graduated in May of 2011. He never came home to live, but his driver's license, legal address etc. remained "our address" and we supported him pretty much financially through the first of November. We claimed him that year since we had supported him in his college and college town until he located a job which began November 15.
  • vballmomvballmom Posts: 3,129Super Moderator Senior Member
    If the new graduate is working for the 2nd half of the year and making a good income, has anyone done the math to determine if it's better for the parent to claim the kid as a dependent which means the kid's income is taxed at the higher parent rate, vs having the kid file taxes as a single earner taxed at his or her (presumably) lower rate? My definition of "better" would be a lower total tax bill overall.
  • annoyingdadannoyingdad Posts: 1,904Registered User Senior Member
    Claiming the kid as a dependent only means you get the exemption. It doesn't change the rate the kid's income is taxed at. Either way the kid has to file their own return. With the kid not being able to claim their own exemption and getting a lower standard deduction since they can be claimed by someone else, and with a "good income" it would depend on the particular numbers I would think. How good is the kid's half year income vs. the parent's income? It would be relatively easy to check each scenario with a tax program.
  • collegeparentscollegeparents Posts: 197Registered User Junior Member
    Our son graduated in May but didn't leave to start his new job until mid-July....so we are in the clear. I've figured things both ways......us claiming him, and letting him claim himself. As expected it was more valuable for us to claim him and pay him directly for the difference it will make on his tax return. We still will come out ahead overall.....

    As was stated above.....it's very easy to figure it both ways, and then act accordingly.
  • vballmomvballmom Posts: 3,129Super Moderator Senior Member
    What changes is the tax on the kid's unearned income after the first $1900.

    Just for kicks I ran some numbers through a tax calculator. The parents' tax goes up by $950 if the kid is not claimed as a dependent. The kid gets an $877 refund if he's not claimed by his parents. The kid owes $921 if he's claimed by his parents and his unearned income is taxed at the parents' rate. So it's basically a wash either way, looking at the entire family's tax bill.

    I'm guessing for a kid with high unearned income, it might be advantageous to not be claimed by parents, assuming the kid is supporting himself on his income for > 50% of the year.
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