Can I Claim Another Adult on My Income Taxes?

You can claim another adult on your income taxes as a dependent even if they are not your child. It could be your parent or someone else you are taking care of who meets a dependent’s IRS criteria. But you must also meet the requirements set out for those who want to claim another adult on their income taxes. Can you claim a dependent over 18? Yes, you can.

Who Can Claim Dependents On Income Taxes?

Not everyone can claim dependents on income taxes. Below are the conditions you must fulfill to claim another adult or child as your dependent when filing taxes.

  • U.S. citizens can claim dependents who meet the dependency criteria.
  • If you are a resident alien, you can claim someone else as a dependent provided they meet the U.S. citizens’ dependency rules.
  • If you are a non-resident alien, you must be a U.S. national, resident of Canada, Mexico and South Korea, or resident of India who was a student or business apprentice.
  • You must not be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer.

Who Qualifies As an Adult Dependent?

Not everyone qualifies as an adult dependent. However, considering that each qualifying person could enable you to claim a child and adult dependent tax credit as high as $4,000 ​per qualifying person, you should claim dependents when you can. So, you need to know who to claim on your tax return.

You can think about claiming an older child as a dependent if they meet the qualifying relative or qualifying child rules. In addition, your dependent must be a U.S. resident, citizen, national or a resident of Canada or Mexico.

Also, you could claim an adult as a dependent if they meet the set criteria and they are unmarried and filing as single or married but filing their tax returns separately. However, a married adult can still qualify as a dependent when filing jointly, so long as they filed that way to claim a tax refund.

Your dependent should also have a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) or Social Security Number (SSN).

1. Qualifying Child Rules

For you to claim an adult child as a dependent, they should meet the qualifying child criteria set by the IRS. Therefore, they must be younger than you are and ​under 19 years​ old. However, they could be older than that but ​less than 24 years old​ by the end of the calendar year, so long as they are studying. You could also claim an adult child as your dependent, provided they are totally and permanently disabled.

Can you claim someone else’s child as a dependent? Yes, you can. A child, in this case, includes a natural child, eligible foster child, stepchild or adopted child. You could also claim your full, half and step-siblings as qualifying child dependents. The same applies to their descendants.

A qualifying child must also have lived with you for at least half the year and, even as adults, must not have provided more than half of their own support during that time.

Of course, there are exceptions to any rule, such as children who go missing after being kidnapped. In that case, they don’t have to live with you for a minimum of ​six months​ as required. But the above general rules apply.

2. Qualifying Relative Rules

People who don’t meet the qualifying child criteria may still qualify as relatives. To do so, they must not be your qualifying adult child or that of another taxpayer. And they can be of any age.

Qualifying relatives should either live in your household the entire year or meet the criteria for relatives who don’t have to live with you for that whole period. The latter may include your children, children-in-law, parents, parents-in-law, grandparents, aunts, uncles, grandchildren, siblings (full, half and step-siblings) and the children of your siblings.

The qualifying relative must have earned ​$4,300​ or less as gross income for the year. In 2022, that amount will rise to ​$4,400​. In addition, you must have provided at least half of that person’s support for that period. The support includes money for food, shelter, dental and medical care, among other things.

It’s safe to say that you could claim another adult on your income taxes. First, however, you must meet the taxpayer requirements and ensure your dependents also meet the set criteria. Otherwise, the IRS is unlikely to grant you the dependent tax credit, which could significantly simplify your life financially.