The New Dependents

Are your adult children living in your household? Are your elderly parents living with you?  Or maybe both?  

If so, you're part of a growing national trend. A Pew Report reveals that in 2009, fifty-million plus Americans were living in multi-generational households. About 20% of Americans older than 65 live in a household with another generation.

My guess is your adult kids or your parents have moved in with you for many reasons. Maybe you're your parent's caregiver. Your adult child may have lost his job, or perhaps has been unable to find one following graduation. Although you may not be looking for any economic tit-for-tat, the truth is that under certain circumstances, you may be able to claim these individuals as dependents on your income tax return. Why turn down a gift from Uncle Sam?

To claim a person as your dependent, the individual has to be US citizen, and you must have paid for more than half of the person's support.  The person cannot have earned over $3,700 in the tax year, although Social Security and disability payments are not figured in this amount. The rules can be complicated, but there is a  simple survey on the IRS website that can help you determine if you can claim the person living with you as a dependent.  

Happy deducting. 

Attorney Joseph S. Karp is a Florida Bar Certified and Nationally Certified Elder Law Attorney focusing on Elder Law, Probate, Estate Planning, Asset Protection, Special Needs Planning and Estate Litigation. He is AV rated by Martindale Hubbell. Mr. Karp is the founder of The Karp Law Firm, a South Florida law firm with offices in Palm Beach Gardens, Boynton Beach and St. Lucie, Florida.  Mr. Karp was named a 2011 SuperLawyer by SuperLawyer Magazine and a member of the 2011 Florida Legal Elite by Florida Trend Magazine. He is admitted to practice law in New York as well as Florida. Visit Mr. Karp's Florida Elder Law and Estate Planning website. 

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