Q: Can I claim siblings on tax return...?
I received approval from MD state for Kinship care authorization after losing both our parents. Given that the surviving parent also passed at the beginning of May of the tax year, and I ended up caring for my minor siblings for greater than 50% of the tax year (with documented proof and receipts), can I claim them as dependents in my tax, or can they be claimed on the estate tax (is that even possible?)? Also consider that my parents AGI (before their death) is greater than mine for the tax year.
A: I am sorry to hear of your loss.
Most estates do not need to file an estate tax return. An estate tax return is different than an individual tax return. The person who died does typically have a final 1040 income tax return filed in the year they died (which may or may not have dependents depending on the circumstances).
You are strongly encouraged to sit down with a tax professional to go over your return, and if you are the Personal Representative for your parent, go over that return as well, to determine the best allocation of dependents. The IRS offers some general guidance on claiming a dependent, see the following IRS Tax tutorial https://apps.irs.gov/app/understandingTaxes/hows/tax_tutorials/mod04/tt_mod04_01.jsp
If you have an attorney assisting you with administering the estate(s), the attorney should be able to offer additional insight and/or help you select a tax professional to prepare the final tax returns.
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