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6 Answers

Can I claim my sister in law on my taxes?

Asked by: sventre 621 views YA Discussion

My sister is fourteen and she live with me for eight months, she also was on my afdc/tanf case for nine months. I provided support for her during those eight months, she went and moved back with the father but he has no income. Can i still claim her on my taxes? Also the brother might try and claim her but he has not supported her how would that come in to play?


6 Answers



  1. Howard L on Oct 21, 2012 Reply

    Legally you can based on her having lived with you and your having provided more than half of her support but she can only be claimed as a dependent on one tax return. If either her father or brother claims her first you wouldn’t know about it until you got a letter from the IRS rejecting your tax return. To avoid problems make sure she is only claimed once.

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  2. Bobbie on Oct 21, 2012 Reply

    on my afdc/tanf case for nine months state was also paying some amounts for her support during that period of time in your life RIGHT.
    NO one on this website will be able to tell you that you would meet all of the rules for this purpose and time in your life to be able to qualify to claim your SIL at all for tis purpose. WILL have to be your own decision during the 2013 tax filing season for this purpose.
    Publication 501 (2011), Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information

    http://www.irs.gov/publications/p501/index.html

    http://www.irs.gov/publications/p501/ar02.html#en_US_2011_publink1000220858

    Personal Exemptions
    You are generally allowed one exemption for yourself. If you are married, you may be allowed one exemption for your spouse. These are called personal exemptions.
    Your Own Exemption
    You can take one exemption for yourself unless you can be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer. If another taxpayer is entitled to claim you as a dependent, you cannot take an exemption for yourself even if the other taxpayer does not actually claim you as a dependent.
    Your Spouse’s Exemption
    Your spouse is never considered your dependent.
    Joint return. On a joint return, you can claim one exemption for yourself and one for your spouse

    Exemptions for Dependents

    http://www.irs.gov/publications/p501/ar02.html#en_US_2011_publink1000220868

    All the requirements for claiming an exemption for a dependent are summarized in Table 5.
    Table 5. Overview of the Rules for Claiming an Exemption for a Dependent
    You cannot claim any dependents if you, or your spouse if filing jointly, could be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer.
    The person’s gross income for the year must be less than $ 3,800.
    You must provide more than half of the person’s total support for the year.
    Support provided by the state (welfare, food stamps, housing, etc.). Benefits provided by the state to a needy person generally are considered support provided by the state. However, payments based on the needs of the recipient will not be considered as used entirely for that person’s support if it is shown that part of the payments were not used for that purpose.
    Total Support
    To figure if you provided more than half of a person’s support, you must first determine the total support provided for that person. Total support includes amounts spent to provide food, lodging, clothing, education, medical and dental care, recreation, transportation, and similar necessities.
    Generally, the amount of an item of support is the amount of the expense incurred in providing that item. For lodging, the amount of support is the fair rental value of the lodging.
    Expenses that are not directly related to any one member of a household, such as the cost of food for the household, must be divided among the members of the household.
    Worksheet 1.Worksheet for Determining Support
    And you will have to do this worksheet for each one that you think that you might be able to claim for the support test and make sure that you do have the needed necessary written proof in IF and when the IRS might decide that they would want you to VERIFY the information that you entered on your correctly completed income tax return during the tax filing season.
    And you do have to sign the completed tax return where the below statement is included at bottom of the page of the 1040 tax form for your use at this time in your life.
    Under penalties of perjury, I declare that I have examined this return, and to the best of my knowledge and belief, it is true, correct, and accurately lists all amounts and sources of income I received during the tax year.
    Your signature Date Your occupation Spouse’s signature. Date Your occupation
    If a joint return, both must sign.
    Be sure that you do have very good detailed written records and a copy of the worksheet that you used to determine the amount of support that you and others paid for this purpose available in case the IRS should decide that they would want you to verify some of the information that you entered on your 1040 income tax return and printed a copy for your records and signed the other copy to send to the IRS for processing at that time in your life.
    Hope that you find the above enclosed information useful. 10/21/2012

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  3. Quick Answers on Oct 21, 2012 Reply

    Don’t know. You haven’t provided enough details.

    First you call her your sister in law, then your sister.

    If she is in fact your sister-in-law, you could only claim her as a qualifying relative. That doesn’t require her to live with you all year, BUT it does require that you have provided more than half of her total support. You mention that you claimed her for AFDC/TANF for 9 months (even though she only lived with your for 8???). That says the state picked up part of the tab. I think you’d be in a world of hurt trying to prove support for a $ 3800 exemption. The IRS rules for support are that you have to show the total cost of supporting this child–meaning you’d have to have the figures from the months she didn’t live with you. You can’t get HOH, ACTC or EIC with a qualifying relative.

    If she is your sister (sharing at least one parent), my answer might be different.

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  4. tro on Oct 21, 2012 Reply

    she lived with you more than the six months required and you more than likely provided more than 50% of her support, yes

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  5. StephenWeinstein on Oct 21, 2012 Reply

    It does not matter whether the brother did or did not support her. The fact that the brother did not support her would not come into play in any way.

    If she lived with you for more than half of a calendar year (183 of the days from January 1 to December 31 of the same year), then you can claim her. July 1 through February 29 would qualify. So would December 31 through July 31. But November 1 through June 30 would not be enough (if you do the math, January through June is actually less than half a year, because February is shorter than the other months).

    If four of the either months were in one year and the other four months were in another year, then you do not meet the “more than half” of a year requirement. Same problem if it was 5 and 3 or 3 and 5.

    To claim someone based on the person living with you, they have to live with year for more than half of the year for which they are being claimed.

    To claim someone based on you supporting the person, it has to be more than half of their total support for the year for which they are being claimed.

    51% of a year is enough, if it is all in the same year. But a total of 98% of a year is not enough, if it is 49% of one year and 49% of another year.

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  6. Pascal the Gambler on Oct 21, 2012 Reply

    Sister or sister in law? Big difference.

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