How to Meet the IRS Definition of a Qualifying Relative

by Contributor ; Updated July 27, 2017
Meet the IRS Definition of a Qualifying Relative

Items you will need

  • Proof of relationship
  • Proof of financial support for a relative

How to Meet the IRS Definition of a Qualifying Relative. A qualifying relative, as per the IRS definition, is someone who is related to you either by blood or marriage. Unlike a qualifying child, a qualifying relative can be any age for you to meet the IRS definition.

Meet the IRS Requirements for a Qualifying Relative

Step 1

Meet the criteria for what constitutes a qualifying relative by the IRS standard. The relative cannot be your qualifying child, regular dependent, or someone listed as a qualifying dependent by another person or custodian.

Step 2

Fulfill the requirements for a qualifying relative regarding place of residence. A dependent is not required to live with you under the IRS definition of a relative. This includes siblings, step relations, parents, grandparents, nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles and relatives through marriage, such as your daughter-in-law.

Step 3

Evaluate the dependent's financial income. The IRS has strict rules for the definition of a dependent's total income for a given tax year. For a relative to be claimed as your dependent, his gross income must not exceed $3,300 a year.

Step 4

Check your financial records for the year in relation to how much money you spent supporting the relative. This amount must be more than half of the person's total need for the year.

Step 5

Take a dependent taxpayer evaluation test. Determine whether another person could claim you as a dependent. If so, you cannot claim anyone else as a dependent. Even if you have a qualifying child or qualifying relative, you cannot claim that person as a dependent.

Step 6

Locate where you can file your taxes and review the FAQs about specific instances of how a qualifying relative could impact your benefits by visiting the IRS website (see Resources below).