Can I claim my Ukrainian stepson as a dependent?

November 8, 2006

Date:  Fri, 06 Oct 2006
From:  Christopher


I'm in the military and stationed in Belgium. My wife is a citizen of Ukraine and has her ITIN. My stepson, who is a citizen of Ukraine, does not have an ITIN or SSN. He has lived with me over a year and is 8 years old.

What will I need to do to claim him as a dependent in 2006?


Date:  Wed, 01 Nov 2006

Hello Christopher,

I'm sorry, but as far as I can tell your stepson would have to be a citizen or national of the US or a resident of the US, Mexico or Canada in order to qualify as a dependent. I haven't found an exception for children of military personnel.

If the child was a resident of the U.S. for even a few days, he might qualify.

There is an exception for an adopted child. A non-citizen, non-resident adopted child can qualify as a dependent provided the child had the same principal place of abode as the taxpayer, is a member of the taxpayer's household and the taxpayer is a citizen or national of the United States. (Internal Revenue Code Section 152(b)(3)(B).)

Two months is a short time to process an adoption, but this might be a possibility for you.

Good luck!

Mike Gray

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