Q&A: Can my parents claim me as a dependent if I provided more of my own support than they did?
Question by Alexandra: Can my parents claim me as a dependent if I provided more of my own support than they did?
Here’s the situation:
1. I just graduated in December 2011, but was a full-time college student under the age of 24 until then.
2. I provided $ 20,229 of my own support in the form of wages and in students loans taken out in my name (I checked–this counts as support).
3. My mother co-signed on a loan for $ 12,347, sent me a check for $ 300 for graduation, and included me on their health insurance which my step-father gets through work. It seems very unlikely that health insurance premium payments would cost more than $ 7,000/year.
4. My total “money coming in” for the year is about $ 45,600 ($ 4,532 in wages; $ 12,347 loan in my mother’s name; $ 15,696 loans in my name; $ 10,900 in scholarships; $ 3000 from government assistance and checks/cash from other relatives or boyfriend’s family. NOTE: This number does not include the health insurance premium they pay, which I currently do not know and which they might refuse to tell me). In terms of “support,” the $ 10,900 in scholarship money can be claimed neither by me nor my parents (but the money must be accounted for, seeing as I used it). I received about $ 600 in foodstamps, and my boyfriend and his family contributed about $ 1500 in support in the form of checks, cash, transportation, and utilities.
5. I do not live at home. From January to August, I lived in a housing co-op, and from September to date I live in an apartment with my boyfriend. My mother and step-father have lived in Texas for four years. I have lived in the state of Michigan for the past three years and I avoid going home because my step-father has transformed our household into an abusive tyranny. I pay for my own rent, food, transportation, utilities, and school, aside from the one loan which my mother co-signed.
This means I have not technically paid for at least half of my support, unless I don’t include scholarships (am I supposed to? or not?) As that would mean I provided $ 20,229 out of my $ 34,700 of support (amount left with scholarships subtracted). Yes, I already tried filling out the support worksheet. However, it also means that the total amount I have contributed towards my support is greater than the amount my mother and step-father have contributed (assuming they pay less than $ 7,000 in health insurance for me). If this is the case, can they still legally claim me as a dependent?
Thank you much.
Also, to give you an idea of how corrupt my parents are; they give my brother “loans” to pay for his college education, which he must re-pay at 4% interest, and then continue to claim him as a dependent on their tax returns. They are fully invested in reaping the benefits of claiming a dependent while avoiding any of the responsibilities of having a dependent. While it clearly is unethical for them to claim me when I have provided more of my own support than they have, I need to know if it is illegal. Also, if anyone has a specific chapter/section number of the IRS they can cite for me, that would be fantastic.
QUESTION: Since I was not actually a full-time college student at the end of the year (I graduated on December 10, 2011), does this mean they can’t claim me under that exception?
Here is the link to the IRS page which states that loans taken out in my name only (without a cosigner) are considered support. So my support for the year is $ 20,229. http://www.irs.gov/publications/p17/ch03.html#en_US_2011_publink1000170876
Please stop being rude.
Answer by Serietah
The only income of that that counts for tax purposes would be your wages from a job. Everything else is NOT considered income. I doubt you even have to file taxes since you made so little, but you need to talk to a tax office or even the IRS directly.
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