Mom as Dependent

Today TaxMama hears from Dee in California, who wants to know. “Is my mother’s Social Security income ($9,000 – no other income) considered earned income in order for me to meet the criteria to file for Head of Household?”

Dear Dee,

I was talking to IRS about a related question – whether non-taxable unemployment income and municipal bond interest (both are non-taxable income) are taken into account for this computation. IRS assured me that non-taxable income is not taken into account when you consider earned income for the dependency test.

However, you have to meet the next test. Do you provide more than half her support?

If she is spending that SS money on her own support? how much are you spending, based on the total costs to support her?

If she is spending more on her own support than you are…you cannot claim her as a dependent.

So be sure to look up the support test in IRS publication 17 – see the link in the Resource Box, below.

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

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