Tongue Twister

Today TaxMama hears from Nora in the TaxQuips Forum, who wants clarification. “Topic under Pub 17: Qualifying Relative (QR) -> Member of Household or Relationship Test -> Relatives who do not have to live with you.  Where it states that one of the QR’s who do not have to live with you are the “son or daughter of your brother or sister” (B/S)…  Am I assuming correctly that by it specifying only “brother or sister” that it does not include the children of your “half-B/S” nor “step-B/S” otherwise it would have stated it specifically? 

I ask because there are many references where it states specifically “half” and “step” relatives, including in that same list of other QR’s not having to live with you being your “brother, sister, half-brother/sister, and step-brother/sister”.  Another instance where it specifically mentions B/S, half-B/S, step-B/S and any descendants of them, is the Qualifying Child test.”

Whew! Boy is a lot of B/S!

That’s a good question, Nora.

Although IRS usually does specify the half or step relationship in their descriptions, I always interpret a brother or sister to also include half B/S AND step b/s. Perhaps it’s just me, but I don’t see a lot of difference in the relationships for legal purposes.

Maybe someone else has a better interpretation? Or we could always look to the code and see what the code says about Qualifying Relatives?

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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