Madison, AL asked in Tax Law for Alabama

Q: My daughter moved in with her 2 children in February 2013. Can we legally claim grandchildren on our income tax return?

Her soon to be ex has not supported them so far. She is now ready to file for divorce. We are supporting her and the children besides ,maybe a couple of hundred dollars in 7 months.<br/>


<em>Content added on September 18th, 2013 at 2:38 PM</em>


We have saved receipts for all our expenses during this time. Can we go after him at all for hardship? Him abandoning her and the kids has caused a tremendous strain in our marriage due to the over crowding in our home and the financial strain it has put on us. There must be something we can do? This man has caused more than one financial strain on us over the years. It just isn't fair.Please help with any advice! Thank you so so much.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Jennifer Louise Long
Jennifer Louise Long
  • Tax Law Lawyer
  • Detroit, MI

A: You may be able to claim your daughter and grandchildren as a dependent on your tax return under the "Qualifying Child" category. The requirements for a qualifying child are as follows:

(1)The child must be your son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, brother, sister, half brother, half sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or a descendant of any of them.

(2) The child must be (a) under age 19 at the end of the year and younger than you (or your spouse, if filing jointly), (b) under age 24 at the end of the year, a student, and younger than you (or your spouse, if filing jointly), or (c) any age if permanently and totally disabled.

(2) The child must have lived with you for more than half of the year.

(4) The child must not have provided more than half of his or her own support for the year.

(5) The child is not filing a joint return for the year (unless that return is filed only to get a refund of income tax withheld or estimated tax paid).

If your daughter does not meet the age requirement for qualifying child, you may be able to claim her as a qualifying relative. The requirements are as follows:

(1) The person cannot be your qualifying child or the qualifying child of any other taxpayer.

(2) The person either (a) must be related to you in one of the ways listed under Relatives who do not have to live with you , or (b) must live with you all year as a member of your household (and your relationship must not violate local law).

(2) The person's gross income for the year must be less than $3,800.

(3) You must provide more than half of the person's total support for the year.

Please speak with your daughter and find out whether or not she filed tax returns for the year in which you wish to claim her and your grandchildren. Also find out whether or not she claimed her children. If she filed tax returns and/or claimed the children, you will more than likely not be able to claim them as dependents.

I would encourage you to contact a tax professional to get an answer that is more tailored to the facts and circumstances of your case. I have also included a helpful link from the IRS website (IRS Publication 17) as a reference.

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