Can I Claim My Son as a Dependent?


Dear Tax Talk,

My 21-year-old son who is a full-time student working part time filed his taxes for the 2013 tax season. I was supposed to claim him on my taxes as usual. Can I claim my son as a dependent if he has already filed? Can something be done about this?


Dear Angie,

Even though you are allowed to claim your son as a dependent on your tax return, he may have been required to file his own return in order to receive a refund of taxes he paid on that part-time job he worked while going to school. Young man writing at desk © wavebreakmedia/ However, when he filed his return, he should not have claimed an exemption for himself on Form 1040, line 6a. If he did, there is a fix for you.

This is a very common occurrence, and he should be commended for being responsible by filing his income tax return. It is usually the case that the $3,900 deduction for the exemption is of more benefit on your tax return than his. So here is what you need to do. •First, get a copy of your son's tax return and see if he has an entry on line 6a where he may have claimed himself. •If he did, then he needs to file Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, and no longer claim himself. •Once the IRS has that on file, you can then file your return and claim him.

Thanks for the great question.

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