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Things taxpayers should know about claiming dependents

The IRS reminds us that since taxpayers can no longer claim personal exemptions for dependents on their tax returns, other reasons why we may want to claim dependents.

As they are preparing their 2018 tax returns, taxpayers should remember that personal exemptions are suspended for 2018. Taxpayers can’t claim a personal exemption for anyone on their tax return. This means that an exemption can no longer be claimed for a tax filer, spouse or dependents.

Here are some quick key things for these taxpayers to know about claiming dependents on their 2018 tax return:

Claiming dependents.
A dependent is either a child or a qualifying relative who meets a set of tests. Taxpayers should remember to list the name and Social Security number for each dependent on their tax return.

Dependents cannot claim dependents. Taxpayers can’t claim any dependents if someone can claim the taxpayer – or their spouse, if filing jointly – as a dependent.

Dependents may have to file a tax return. This depends on certain factors like total income, whether they’re married and if they owe certain taxes.

Child Tax Credit. Taxpayers may be able to claim this credit for each qualifying child under age 17 at the end of the year, if the taxpayer claimed that child as a dependent.

Credit for Other Dependents. Taxpayers may be able to claim this credit for qualifying relatives and children who don’t qualify for the Child Tax Credit.

Taxpayers can get answers to questions about claiming dependents, such as Whom May I Claim as a Dependent, by using the Interactive Tax Assistant tool.

More Information:
Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax
Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction and Filing Information.
Publication 972, Child Tax Credit.

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