There are various situations that dependents may or may not fall into. Each condition can significantly affect the result of the return. Below, are descriptions for each option given on the Dependent information within the program. This information is to help you determine which, if any, of the boxes should be checked when you are entering your dependent information into your account.
- The IRS considers a full-time student as a student who is enrolled for a required number of hours or courses for a school to consider the student to be attending full-time. The school can be an elementary, junior or senior high school, a college, university, or technical, trade, or mechanical school.
- Correspondence schools, on-the-job training courses, or schools offering courses only via the Internet do not count as "schools" for the purposes of determining "full-time student" status.
- To be considered disabled, the person in question must meet BOTH of the following conditions:
- He or she cannot engage in any substantial gainful activity because of a physical or mental condition; AND
- A doctor must determine that the condition has lasted or can be expected to last continuously for at least a year, or that the condition can lead to death.
- If you are listing this person on your return ONLY for the purposes of Earned Income Credit (EIC), but you are not eligible to claim them as a dependent, you would check this box.
Example: John and Mary have a son. John and Mary do not live together. Their son lives with John for the entire year. By court order, as a part of their divorce agreement, Mary and John alternate years claiming their son as a dependent on their returns. It is Mary's year to claim their son as her dependent. However, because he lives with John, their son will be John's qualifying child for the purposes of receiving Earned Income Credit (EIC). John will claim their son on his return for EIC, and Mary will claim their son to receive the exemption for him as her dependent. On John's return, he would list his son's information and check the box indicating "This qualifying child is NOT YOUR DEPENDENT". He is not claiming their son as a dependent, just for the purposes of EIC.
- If you are claiming the person as a dependent on your return, but they do not meet the tests to be a "qualifying child" for the purposes of receiving Earned Income Credit, you should check this box.
Example: The same circumstances exist as in the example above. On Mary's return, she would list her son's information. However, she would check the box indicating "You wish NOT to claim this dependent for Earned Income Credit (EIC) purposes." She is claiming her son as a dependent. However, because he did not live with her, she cannot claim him as a "qualifying child" for EIC purposes.
- If you are claiming a dependent that got married during the current tax year, you should check this box. The dependent must meet all other criteria to be claimed as a dependent.
- Generally, if the person is married and files a joint return, you cannot claim that person as a dependent on your return. The only situations where it might be possible to claim a married person as a dependent would be if the married individual:
- Does not file a joint return; OR
- Files a joint return only as a Claim of Refund AND
- No tax liability would exist for either spouse if they filed separate returns.