How Long Can You Claim A Child (And Why)?

How Long Can You Claim A Child (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Upto 19 years

Under federal laws, the children would be treated as dependants till they turn 19 years old. The age for claiming the children can be extended till 24 years if the child is in college. Claiming the child helps in saving a lot of money for parents under different laws of the state for tax.

There are many other cities under which your children can be claimed. Knowing the marital status of the child is vital for determining if the child is eligible to be claimed or not. A federal tax return is a great way to claim the child by the parents.

The federal government has certain guidelines for checking the capabilities of parents to claim their children. There are a few conditions and requirements that the children have to satisfy for becoming eligible for getting claimed.

How Long Can You Claim A Child

How Long Can You Claim A Child?         

Claim A ChildTime
In years19 years
In months228 months

The children can be claimed if they are dependent on their parents. Sometimes, the children can be claimed if they are not having a huge source of income. In these cases, the child would be claimed as a qualifying relative of the parents. For becoming the qualifying relatives, the child must not be permanently disabled.

All the children satisfying the income limits required for qualifying relatives would be eligible for getting claimed by parents. The financial support criteria are very important for knowing if the parents can claim a child or not. According to the rules of financial support, the child must not be capable of making half of their own requirements or support in the tax years.

Here the financial support includes education, insurance, medical care, and housing. Recreational spending is also included in the financial support condition. The marital status of the parents would have a huge impact on the process of claiming the child.

It’s always better for the parents to claim their children for a long time. The introduction of the Job Act and Tax Cuts have changed the process of how the parents claim the child. According to the old process, the parents get exemptions for the children. This exemption would help in reducing the taxes on the income.

The introduction of new rules and guidelines has removed the concept of exemption. This will make the parents try out other exemptions available for dealing with the loss of child exemption.

Why Can You Claim A Child For This Long?

There are a few conditions that the child must satisfy for becoming eligible to get claimed by parents. These are:

The child must be a resident of the state without any legal custody.

The age condition of the children must be satisfied for getting claimed.

The child must live entirely with the parents permanently.

If the child is getting any type of welfare payment such as social welfare payment will not be eligible for becoming dependant. A child dependant is a child who is claimed by the parents and lives with the parents. The parents must have to apply through a form to get an increase for the qualified child.

In the form, the parent has to give all the details about the child for getting the social welfare payment. There are few dependency tests done for deciding the eligibility for claiming a child. These tests are support, joint return and residency/citizenship, relationship, and gross income.

The parents with whom the child spends all the time should apply for claiming the child. If the two parents are not living together, then the parents with the highest adjusted gross income should apply for claiming the children.


Parents who are not willing to claim their children can file for the income tax return. People who have claimed their children will be able to save a lot of money on taxes.

The IRS would have to apply tiebreaker rules if both the parents apply for child dependants. In the tiebreakers rule, the parents with higher adjusted gross income would claim the child.


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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.

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