You may claim an exemption on your tax return for each one of your dependents. Qualifying dependents can include your child, stepchild, foster child, sibling or step-sibling, or any of their children, such as your grandchild for example. In order to qualify for an exemption, the dependent must be under 19 or be a full-time student under age 24. The dependent must live with you for at least six months a year and may not provide more than half of his or her own support.
You may also claim other relatives and full-time members of your household as dependents:
- if they are citizens or residents of the U.S. or residents of Canada or Mexico,
- if they did not file a joint income tax return with anyone else,
- if you provided over half of their support, and
- if they have less than $12,500 of income for the entire year.
Relatives who can qualify as dependents without having lived in your home for the entire year include children, grandchildren, stepchildren, siblings, half siblings, step-siblings, parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, stepparents, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, fathers-in-law, mothers-in-law, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, brothers-in-law or sisters-in-law.