Can I Claim My Mom As a Dependent if She Gets Social Security?

By Taxes Bankrate.com

Dear Tax Talk, My mom lives with me and is confined to a bed. She draws widower benefits from my father. Do I claim her income of $935 a month? And can I claim her on my taxes as a dependent? What are the rules on claiming a dependent parent? -- Mike

Continue Reading Below

Dear Mike, Let's get right to your first question regarding who reports the widower benefits. You do not claim the widower benefits received by your mother, as that would be reported on her tax return. You have not indicated any other sources of income for her, so she may not even be required to file.

Moving on to your 2nd question: In order to claim your mother as a dependent, you must be sure that her gross income was less than $4,000 in 2015. Please note: The widower benefits she receives is not included in the $4,000. Additionally, you must have provided more than half of her total support.

More from FOXBusiness.com

 

Determining support when claiming a dependent parent

Support includes the value of a dependent's lodging, food, utilities, home repairs, clothing, medical and dental expenses not reimbursed by insurance, and even travel and recreation expenses.

Continue Reading Below

The personal exemption for 2015 has increased from $3,950 to $4,000. However, it is subject to a phase-out that starts when adjusted gross income, or AGI, is $258,250 ($309,900 for married couples filing jointly). It is completely phased out when AGI is $380,750 ($432,400 for married couples filing jointly).

You do not mention your filing status, so I want to point out one more benefit that may help you. If you are unmarried or "considered unmarried" at the end of the year and you have paid more than half the cost of maintaining your home, you may qualify to file as "head of household." You should definitely check out the requirements on the IRS website.

Thanks for the great question and all the best to you and your mother.

 

Ask the adviser

To ask a question on Tax Talk, go to the "Ask the Experts" page and select "Taxes" as the topic. Read more Tax Talk columns.

To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS, we inform you that any U.S. federal tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein. Taxpayers should seek professional advice based on their particular circumstances.

Bankrate's content, including the guidance of its advice-and-expert columns and this website, is intended only to assist you with financial decisions. The content is broad in scope and does not consider your personal financial situation. Bankrate recommends that you seek the advice of advisers who are fully aware of your individual circumstances before making any final decisions or implementing any financial strategy. Please remember that your use of this website is governed by Bankrate's Terms of Use.

Copyright 2016, Bankrate Inc.

What do you think?

Click the button below to comment on this article.