Can I claim a dependent exemption for my stepson?

August 15, 2005

From:  Donna
Date:  Thu, 04 Aug 2005

I may be able to be a stay at home mom. My fiancée and I were wondering if he would be able to claim a dependency exemption for my son as a stepfather? As the custodial parent, I have always claimed his exemption; his real father does not.


Date:  Mon, 08 Aug 2005

The federal rules for claiming a dependent exemption have changed, starting January 1, 2005 under the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004. The support test (except for self-supporting children) has been replaced by a residency test. The child is the dependent of the parent with which the child lives for more than one-half of the year. If the child resides with more than one parent for the same period of time, the child is the dependent of the parent with the highest adjusted gross income. A step-parent counts.

If you and your new husband file a joint income tax return, it will eliminate any confusion about the dependency exemption.

Good luck!
Mike Gray

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