Requirements for claiming an adult child on a tax return

I provide support to my adult child. Can I claim them on my tax return?


During tax season, there are many questions that circle around certain areas of a tax return. With young adults in college or starting on their own path, many may not understand the scenario on a tax return. There are many questions and answers people may not know and that is where the experience and knowledge of a tax professional will play a great role.

In simplest terms, the answer is, yes you can claim an adult child on a tax return. But in order to do this, you must follow these stipulations: 

  • Be unmarried and a U.S. citizen, resident alien or national or a resident of Canada or Mexico. They must be the taxpayer’s child or stepchild.
  • Be (a) younger than the taxpayer and either under age 19 or a full-time student under age 24 or (b) any age if totally and permanently disabled.
  • Live with the taxpayer more than half the year.
  • Not provide more than half of his or her own support.
  • Not file a joint return.
  • Not be a qualifying child of another taxpayer.

Generally, a child can qualify as a dependent relative if their gross income is less than $4,050 and the taxpayer provides over half of their support.

Contact DVF if you have any questions on dependents or other tax areas.