Are My Adult Children Dependents for Tax Purposes?

When I work with couples who have children 18 years or older, this question frequently comes up. Children under the age of 18 are credits against the taxes their parents owe. When they reach the age of adulthood, however, they may not be. However, The Federal Law allows parents to treat children over the age of 18 as dependents when:

  • He or she is a full-time student until they reach the age of 24
  • Children who are not earning a true self-supporting income until they reach the age of 24

*Who gets to claim the child as a dependent in any given year is negotiated in mediation. Most parents share the exemption in some manner they believe is fair. *

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