Daughter’s Residency

Today TaxMama hears from the Joni in Il who is concerned, “Our daughter is going to a school away from our home, but in the same city as her grandparents. So she is moving in with them. If we allow her to establish residency with her grandparents, her tuition will be less. Would we still be able to claim her as a dependent come tax time?”

Hi Joni

That’s a good question. And I’m sure that many families face that kind of issue each year as their
college-age children head off to academia.

Generally, when children are off at college as full-time students, parents may still claim them as dependents, as long as they are under 24 years of age at 12/31.

What’s the issue in your case? It’s not the residency. Establishing her grandparents’ address as her place of residence doesn’t mean they’re supporting her. It’s just where she lives.

The real issue here is – will her grandparents insist on trying to claim your daughter as their dependent?

As long as they do not, and you continue to provide more than half of your daughter’s support – you will still be able to claim your child as your dependent.

You will only have a problem if the grandparents file a tax return, with your daughter listed as a dependent. Then, you will have to fight it out, with the IRS as the ultimate referee.

So work it out – long before tax season.
And everything will be just fine!

And remember, you’ll find answers to lots of questions about dependents and other tax information, free. Where? At TaxMama.com

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