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Are College Age Kids Still Considered Dependents?

Congrats! Your child has reached the next big stage in their life: college. Does that make them an adult? It all depends on your perspective, but your tax person might have something else to say about it. Learn more about what makes a college-age kid a dependent and what that means for your taxes! When the time is right, be sure to visit Maggi Tax for all of your taxing and financial needs.

There are a great number of stipulations that determine whether or not a college student can be considered a dependent such as age, income, residency, and more. If they can be claimed as a dependent, it may also be up to the parent or legal guardian to claim them or not since there are possible benefits (as well as drawbacks) to doing so. Let’s dive deeper into what this means:

When A College Student Is Still A Dependent

Let’s get the most common misconception out of the way. Just because your college student is living with you doesn’t automatically make them a dependent. This is a common belief because in most cases the college student in question is still living with their parent. For a better understanding of what actually deems a college student a dependent or not, let’s take a closer look at some of the other deciding factors:

  • The student must be under 24 years old and attend college full-time at least 5 months out of the year.
  • The student must be under the age of 19 when not attending college full-time.
  • The student can be of any age if permanently disabled.
  • The college student must be your child or sibling.
  • The college student must have lived with you for more than half of the tax year unless they are gone for temporary absences.
  • The college student does not provide more than half of their own support.
  • And more…

These are just a handful of rules that can determine whether or not a college student can be claimed as a dependent, and the rules can change depending on the tax year or where you live. This can be a lot to take in, but there are tax specialists like those at Maggi Tax who can help you navigate the intricacies of filing for taxes when claiming a college student.

What Counts As “Support”?

One of the rules listed above states that a college student can be claimed as a dependent if they do not provide more than half of their own support, but what does that mean? As a college student, support involves anything that the student would need to attend college and survive. Examples include the cost of tuition, books, supplies, food, transportation, clothes, medical expenses, and so on.

Read more > Creative Ways To Lower College Costs

The Benefits Of Claiming Your College Student As A Dependent

Why are many parents so adamant about claiming their college student as a dependent? Because there’s a high chance that they’ll get some sort of benefit out of it, like tax credits or deductions that can help bring in more cash or lower the interest rate on student loans. Sometimes, these savings can add up to thousands of dollars!

Is It Ever Not A Good Idea To Claim A Dependent?

Are there any possible drawbacks to claiming a college student as a dependent? It might not be as common, but if you have a high income and your college student is making a low income, they may qualify for certain tax credits if they file independently.

Need A Second Opinion? Let Maggi Tax Help You With Your Taxes!

Still not sure if it’s a good idea to claim your college student as a dependent? Schedule a consultation with Maggi Tax at (727) 799-1701 and we’ll help you find the best solution for you!


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