Dependent Income Limits

Today TaxMama® hears from Rando with a question that has become more and more common in today’s economy. “What is the maximum income my son can earn, who lived with us all year, and still be declared as a dependent on my tax return?”

Ask TaxMama

Dear Rando,

It depends. If your son is under age 18, or a full-time student under age 24, his income makes no difference.

By law, he qualifies as your dependent – unless he fully supports himself.

However, if neither of those two conditions exist, once he earns more than the personal exemption amount, he is no longer your dependent.

For 2012 that amount is $3800.

And remember, you can find answers to all kinds of questions about dependents, and other tax and business issues, free. Where? Where else? At

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