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J.K. Lasser's Your Income Tax 2013: For Preparing Your 2012 Tax Return by J.K. Lasser Institute

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21.5 Meeting the Support Test for a Qualifying Relative

To claim an exemption for a dependent as a qualifying relative (21.4), you must contribute more than 50% of the dependent’s total support for the year. You do not have to meet this support test to claim a child as your dependent under the qualifying child rules (21.3), but qualifying child status is denied if a child provides over half of his or her own support, and the support items listed below count when making that determination.

Meeting the support test.

Follow these steps to figure support: (1) Total the value of the support contributed by you, by the dependent, and by others for the dependent. Use the checklists later in this section for determining what to include in total support and what to exclude. (2) Determine your share of the total. If your share is more than 50% of the dependent’s total support, you meet the support test. It does not matter how many months or days you provided the support; only the total cost of the support is considered. You may not take the exemption if the dependent contributed 50% or more of his or her own support or 50% or more was contributed by others, including government sources.

Multiple support agreement. If the dependent or someone else did not contribute 50% or more of the support, and you contributed more than 10% of the total support, you may be able to claim the exemption under a multiple support agreement (21.6).

Divorced or separated parents contributing to support of their ...

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