Claiming 25-Year-Old Son as Dependent


Dear Tax Talk,

I claimed my 25-year-old son as a dependent on my 2010 income tax form. I provided more than half his living expenses and he lived at home for the year. He made about $12,000 in wages in 2010. I've gotten my 2010 refund. My son filed his taxes, 1040EZ, as an independent and is due a refund that he has not yet received after six weeks. Is there a problem?-- Eugene

Dear Eugene,

You have to learn to let go. You don't want to get that lesson from the Internal Revenue Service.

There are two types of dependents: a qualifying child and a qualifying relative. A qualifying child has an age limit but no income limit. To be a QC, your son would have to, apart from meeting the other tests such as support, be:

*Under age 19 at the end of the year.

*A full-time student under age 24 at the end of the year.

*Or, permanently and totally disabled at any time during the year, regardless of age.

Since your son was 25 he could only be your QC if disabled (because he made $12,000, this is doubtful). He wouldn't be considered a qualifying relative as he made too much money. You should consider amending your return, as your son will probably have an issue arise with his tax return, and you are in the wrong.