Posted by Pat Raskob

Tax Credits for Other Dependents: How to Qualify

Tax Credits for Other Dependents: How to Qualify

Tax credit for other dependents is a system designed by Uncle Sam in which relations (nuclear and extended families) can qualify for tax credits. With this credit, taxpayers can get up to $500 for every qualifying person. This tax credit is designed for people who depend on others but do not merit the Child Tax Credit status. 

A few examples are:

  • College kids (ages 17 and above) that rely on you to take care of their expenses 

  • Children without SSN (Social Security Number) but with ITIN (an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number)

  • Adult dependents, for instance, the elderly.

Adult dependents could be relatives for many people. The relationship, however, does not have to be former. An adult depending on you, will qualify provided they meet some specific requirements. Here are the qualification criteria:

  1. The Person is Not your Child

All of your children who qualify for the Child Tax Credit are automatically disqualified for the tax credit for other dependents. Many families have no issue with this since the Child Tax Credit gives them substantial credit value. 

There is also a base payment amount of $1,400 that is usually adjusted for inflation. This is refundable as the new Additional Child Tax Credit. 

  1. The Person Must Satisfy the relationship test.

The following conditions qualify one for the household test:

  • Your stepmother or stepfather

  • Your father, mother, or any of your grandparent

  • The brother or sister of either of the parent

  • Anyone of your brother, sister, brother, stepsister, stepbrother, half-sister, or half brother

Uncle Sam specifies that anyone related to you in various ways as expressed above qualifies. Besides, the clause does not require that you live together for a year. 

In cases, however, that you are not related in any of the ways specified above, the person can qualify as long as you lived together for a year. 

  1. The Gross Income test must be satisfied. 

The dependent’s salary also matters and the earnings cannot be above $4,300 in 2020 and $4200 in 2019. 

  1. The Support test must be valid.

Uncle Sam will examine the value of what you, (the person claiming the credit) contribute to the life of the dependent. As a rule, half of the expenses and needs of the person must come from you.


Concluding Remarks 

With any dependents that you have as a taxpayer, you merit some tax credit. The child tax credit is one of them which applies to people with dependents that meet some qualifications. In cases, however, that the dependent does not meet specific criteria, the credit for the other dependent is a good one to claim. 

Here is further information that serves as a checklist to decide if you merit the claim of credit for other dependents on your next return. 

  • A child who merits the child tax credit or additional child tax credit does not meet the credit requirement for other dependents. 

  • Anyone can qualify – cousins, nephews, older kids, parents, etc. You need not have any direct relation with the person.

  • Each qualifying person gives you a maximum value of $500

  • The person must be a national or citizen. Resident aliens also qualify 

  • People who qualify to claim this credit for other dependents need to submit the name and ITIN (International Tax Identification Number) or the Social Security Number of the person you are claiming to be dependent on. 

  • This credit starts phasing out at a Modified gross Income value placed at $200,000 for singles and double value for married people going through the joint filing route.


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Pat Raskob
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