Claiming 25-year-old son as dependent

George SaenzQuestionDear Tax Talk,
I claimed my 25-year-old son as a dependent on my 2010 income tax form. I provided more than half his living expenses and he lived at home for the year. He made about $12,000 in wages in 2010. I've gotten my 2010 refund. My son filed his taxes, 1040EZ, as an independent and is due a refund that he has not yet received after six weeks. Is there a problem?
-- Eugene

AnswerDear Eugene,
You have to learn to let go. You don't want to get that lesson from the Internal Revenue Service.

There are two types of dependents: a qualifying child and a qualifying relative. A qualifying child has an age limit but no income limit. To be a QC, your son would have to, apart from meeting the other tests such as support, be:

• Under age 19 at the end of the year.

• A full-time student under age 24 at the end of the year.

• Or, permanently and totally disabled at any time during the year, regardless of age.

Since your son was 25 he could only be your QC if disabled (because he made $12,000, this is doubtful). He wouldn't be considered a qualifying relative as he made too much money. You should consider amending your return, as your son will probably have an issue arise with his tax return, and you are in the wrong.

Ask the adviser

To ask a question on Tax Talk, go to the "Ask the Experts" page and select "Taxes" as the topic. Read more Tax Talk columns.

To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS, we inform you that any U.S. federal tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein. Taxpayers should seek professional advice based on their particular circumstances.

News alert Create a news alert for "taxes"


Show Bankrate's community sharing policy
          Connect with us
Product Rate Change Last week
30 year fixed 3.80%  0.02 3.78%
15 year fixed 3.04%  0.04 3.00%
5/1 ARM 3.14%  0.02 3.16%
View Rates in your area Next
Product Rate Change Last week
30 year fixed refi 3.88%  0.03 3.85%
15 year fixed refi 3.13%  0.04 3.09%
10 year fixed refi 3.14% --0.00 3.14%
View Rates in your area Next
Product Rate Change Last week
60 month used car loan 2.68%  0.03 2.65%
48 month used car loan 2.76%  0.02 2.74%
60 month new car loan 3.11% --0.00 3.11%
View Rates in your area Next
Product Rate Change Last week
1 Year CD 1.08%  0.01 1.07%
2 Year CD 1.18% --0.00 1.18%
5 Year CD 1.77%  0.01 1.76%
View Rates in your area Next
Product Rate Change Last week
Balance Transfer Cards 15.87%  0.01 15.86%
Cash Back Cards 16.37% --0.00 16.37%
Low Interest Cards 11.10% --0.00 11.10%

Our tax expert Kay Bell provides resourceful tips and advice to help you stay prepared for filing.



Kay Bell

IRS catches millions of math mistakes

Apparently Americans can't add, subtract, multiply or do other math, at least not when working on their tax returns. Last year, the IRS caught 2.3 million math mistakes.  ... Read more

Partner Center

Connect with us