Discuss practical tax decisions with your college student

Now is the time for parents and college students to decide who claims whom on their 2013 federal and state tax returns. Surprisingly, it’s not just limited to minor children.

“I’ve had parents go to claim their college-aged child and find out he or she already took the dependent deduction on their tax return,” says Steven Klane, a Certified Public Accountant from St. Paul.“The e-file system automatically rejects a return if the Social Security number is used on an already-filed tax return.”

To qualify as a dependent deduction, the child must:

• Be your child, step child, adopted child, foster child, brother, sister or a descendent

• Be under 19, or under 24 and a full-time student for five months, or any age if totally and permanently disabled

• Have lived with the person claiming the child for more than six months (school,vacation, illness and military service count as living with the taxpayer)

• Not provide more than half of his/her own support

“I always advise my clients that if their college-aged child still qualifies as a deduction, it’s wise to do the math to determine which party benefits most on their taxes as a result of the deduction,” adds Klane.

Have questions about what else you can and can’t deduct on your taxes for family members living with you? Contact a Certified Public Accountant. Don’t have one? Visit www.mncpa.org/referralor call 800.331.4288.

 

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