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How Do I Have to Claim My Child as a Dependent?

As a parent, claiming your child as a dependent can help you save money on your taxes. However, the process of claiming your child as a dependent can be confusing for those who are unfamiliar with tax laws. In this article, we’ll discuss the steps you need to take to claim your child as a dependent on your tax return.

Determine If Your Child is Eligible

To claim your child as a dependent, they must meet certain criteria. They must be under 19 years old or under 24 years old and a full-time student. They must also live with you for more than half the year and not provide more than half of their own financial support. If your child is disabled, they can qualify as a dependent regardless of their age or the amount of financial support they provide themselves.

Obtain Your Child’s Social Security Number

To claim your child as a dependent on your tax return, you must have their Social Security number. If your child doesn’t have a Social Security number, you can apply for one by submitting Form SS-5 to the Social Security Administration.

Complete IRS Form 1040

When it’s time to file your income taxes, you’ll need to complete IRS Form 1040. You’ll need to provide your child’s name, Social Security number, and relationship to you, as well as other basic information about your household income and deductions. When it comes to claiming your child as a dependent, make sure you check the appropriate box and provide any additional information requested by the IRS.

Consider Your Filing Status

As a parent, you’ll most likely file your taxes as either a single or head of household. If you’re a single parent, you can claim your child as a dependent, but you’ll only be able to claim one personal exemption. If you’re a head of household, you can claim your child as a dependent and receive a higher standard deduction.

Keep Records

In the event that the IRS requests additional information or documentation, it’s important to keep accurate records of expenses related to your child. This might include receipts for medical expenses, education expenses, or child care expenses. In general, it’s a good idea to keep all important tax documents and records for at least three years.

Claiming your child as a dependent can be a great way to save money on your taxes, but it’s important to follow the rules and guidelines set forth by the IRS. By taking the necessary steps and keeping accurate records, you can successfully claim your child as a dependent and avoid any issues with the IRS.

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