Posts: 1Joined: October 10, 2010Last Post: October 10, 2010
I was recently looking through the latest issue and came across some information that is somewhat misleading. The information is contained in a box on the lower right hand corner of page 31. "CAN I CLAIM MY ADULT CHILD OR MY PARENTS AS A DEPENDENT?" The misleading information concerns INCOME. The article states that the gross income must be below $3,650.00 which is somewhat misleading. Most people will assume social security or disability payments will count towards that income when they do not. Gross income is all income in the form of money, property, and services that is not exempt from tax, according to IRS Pub 17. A parent could live in a house you provide free of charge and receive $18,000.00 in social security and $25,000.00 in a Veterans Administration disability pension and still meet the Gross Income Test. If they saved their income and didn't spend more then you did on their own support you could claim them as a dependant and take the exemption.
I know the article was just a quick overview, but I feel it should err on the side of the taxpayer not the IRS. Taxes affect everyone and tax advice should be clear and concise, and reflect all the exceptions or people will take the information as gospel and do no further research on their own. I feel this article made the $3,650.00 amount set in stone when that isn't quite the case.
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