Rules for Dependents, Exemptions and
Head-of-Household Filing Status
- Your child under age 19 on December 31st generally qualifies as your dependent (unless you or your spouse are younger than the child).
- Your child under age 24 on December 31st generally qualifies as your dependent if a full-time student during any day during five different months during the year (unless you or your spouse are younger than the child).
- Your child generally qualifies as your dependent if he is permanently and totally disabled.
- Otherwise, if the “family member” whom you support had gross income less than $4,050 in 2016, then that generally qualifies him as your dependent.
Head of Household filing status, see IRS Publication 504
You generally may claim an exemption for each of your dependents.
Exemptions, see IRS Publication 501
T.C. Memo. 2015-203 discussing HOH and dependency exemptions as well as the 20% section 6662(a) accuracy-related penalty when there is an understatement of tax of the lower of 10% or $5,000 vs. an underpayment / deficiency of the lower of 10% or $5,000.