A relative can be your dependent if the person meets four tests.
1. Not a Qualifying Child Test
A child is not your qualifying relative if the child is your qualifying child or the qualifying child of any other taxpayer. If a child would be a qualifying child except for not meeting the residency test, the child may be your qualifying relative. If the child does not live with you, but lives in Canada or Mexico, and meets the gross income test and the support test, the child can be your qualifying relative.
2. Member of Household or Relationship Test
One of these must be true:
- The person lived with you all year as a member of your household.
- The person is related to you in any of these ways:
- Child or stepchild
- Eligible foster child
- Sibling or step-sibling
- A descendant of any of the above
- Direct ancestor (parent, grandparent, step-parent, etc.)
- Niece or nephew
- Brother or sister of your parent
3. Gross Income Test
The person must have gross income of less than $3,650 for the year.
4. Support Test
You must provide more than half of the person's total support for the calendar year. You can figure this by comparing the amount you contributed to that person's support to the entire amount of support that person received from all sources, including the support the person provided from his or her own funds.
The support test is applied to each individual separately. For example, if you are determining the qualifications of your parents, you must figure the support test for each parent separately.
Expenses that are not directly related to one member of a household should be divided among the members of the household.
Support expenses include:
- Medical and dental care
- Ordinary and necessary expenses to live