21.4 Qualifying Relatives

You may claim an exemption for a qualifying relative (under the relationship, gross income and support tests below), provided (1) that person is not your qualifying child (21.3) nor the qualifying child of any other taxpayer, (2) you cannot be claimed as a dependent (nor your spouse if you file jointly) by another taxpayer, and (3) the citizenship/resident test (21.8) and joint return test (21.9) are also met. If the member-of-household test described below is met, it may be possible to claim an individual as your qualifying relative even if he or she is “technically” the qualifying child of another taxpayer.

Assuming a person meets the relationship test, you must provide over 50% of his or her support and his or her gross income must be under the exemption amount ($3,800 for 2012) for you to claim that person as your qualifying relative.

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image Filing Tip
Nephew, Niece, Uncle, and Aunt
Nephews, nieces, uncles, and aunts must be your blood relatives to qualify under the relationship test. For example, the brother or sister of your father or mother qualifies as your relative; their spouses do not. You may not claim your spouse’s nephews, nieces, uncles, or aunts as your qualifying relatives unless you file a joint return.
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Relationship test.

Relatives listed below meet the relationship test; they do not have to live ...

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