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

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

Exact Answer: Till the Child Is 19 Years Old

If a person is a citizen of any country, there are certain benefits that they can claim being a rightful citizen. The reason is that they belong to that country, and as per the laws, they get entitled to get assisted by the government.

The reason why it is in the law is since many people cannot handle their monetary problems. That is also due to many people who don’t have jobs or are dependent. They are sometimes dependent on a family member for their expenses.

How Long Can You Claim A Child As A Dependent

How Long Can You Claim A Child As A Dependent?

For a dependent person, there are certain benefits that the person who takes care of a dependant can claim. It gets provided to a person who has a child or a parent that they take care of.

A child gets considered to be dependant as their expenses get taken by their parents only. To make the burden a little less for the parents, the government assists the parents. The parents can benefit from the Tax Return. 

However, certain conditions are in place under which a parent can claim the tax return for their child’s expenses. If those conditions get fulfilled, only then can someone get an exemption from taxes under the IRS system. Below are the conditions that need to get fulfilled to qualify a child as a dependent. It is so that one can claim for them.

  • The child must be related to the taxpayer. That child can be either a son, daughter, foster child, or even brother or sister. It can also be a niece or a nephew, mainly dependant on the taxpayer for their expenses.
  • For qualification as a dependent, the age criteria have to get cleared. That is, the said dependent should not have crossed 19 years of age. Age factor is one the major things that will qualify if someone is a dependent or not.
  • The said dependent must be living with the taxpayer to get the claim processed. A few exceptions can get provided still.
  • The said dependent should be dependent on the taxpayer for all their finances.
  • The most important condition is that there should be only one person who claims for the said dependent.
ConditionAge Till When Claim Can Be Done
If not going to collegeCan be claimed as a dependent only till 19 years
If going to collegeCan be claimed as a dependent till 24 years

Why Can You Claim A Child As A Dependent For That Long?

A dependent is a person who cannot look after their expenses and have to depend on either a parent or guardian. A dependent can be a child or, in some cases, brothers and sisters, or even grandchildren. Mostly, a dependent is someone who is gets called a child since they are below 19 years of age.

A person under the age of 19 years is either still into studies or is looking for work. Since the legal employment age is still 18 years, there is little to no scope for children under 19 years to earn their income. 

That is why they depend on a guardian or their parent, who takes care of their expenses. They hence get counted as dependent. The parent or the guardian can rightfully claim tax returns for them.

Another aspect is when a child is studying, the studies can take four to five years to complete. A person can start earning after they have completed their education. Hence, if a person is studying, they can get considered dependent. Only till they reach 24 years of age. This facility has been made available as they are only a handful of people who can study and work simultaneously.


The expenses on a child are not less, and hence one can claim for it. By claiming tax returns for dependents, people have saved thousands of dollars. It not only help financially, but it also creates less burden for the person who pays the taxes. As they are people who cannot take care of all expenses of themselves and the dependent.

It is a good facility for any person who is a parent or even a guardian.


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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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