In general you may claim a dependency exemption for each qualifying child or qualifying relative. If you are the dependent of another taxpayer, you cannot claim any other person as a dependent.
The qualifying child or relative must be a citizen, resident alien or national of the United States, or a resident of Canada or Mexico. An exception may apply for an adopted child that is not a citizen, national or resident alien.
The qualifying child or relative must not file a joint tax return, unless all the following are true:
- The sole purpose of filing the joint return is to claim a refund.
- No return needs to be filed except to claim a refund.
- The return has no tax liability.
The qualifying child or relative must have a valid identifying number. This number can be any of the following:
- Social Security Number
- Individual Taxpayer Identification Number
- Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number