Claiming foreign children as dependents
Can my children, who are neither citizens nor residents of the U.S.,
be listed on my income tax return as dependents? They live in Colombia,
South America, and I support them 100 percent financially. Thank
Unfortunately, in order to claim individuals,
even children, as dependents, they have to be citizens or residents of the U.S.
Children usually are citizens or residents of the country of their parents. If
you were a U.S. citizen when your child was born, the child may be a U.S. citizen
even if the other parent was a nonresident alien and the child was born in a foreign
country. This means that for tax purposes, even if the child has not been presented
for citizenship, he could qualify as your dependent.
can become a U.S. resident either by having a green card or by being substantially
present in the U.S. Many illegal immigrants are considered residents for income
tax purposes based on substantial presence even though they are in violation of
their immigration status.
Substantial presence means that
the individual has been present in the U.S. for more than 182 days in the current
Alternatively, you can be a resident under substantial
presence if you are in the U.S. for more than 30 days in the current year and
if the sum of the current year's days plus one-third of the previous year's days
plus one-sixth of the second preceding year's days exceed 182 days.
order to claim a dependency exemption, the child needs a Social Security number.
If the child is not eligible for an SSN then the child needs an Individual Tax
Identification Number to be claimed as a dependent. Form W-7 is used to apply
for an ITIN.
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