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Tests for Qualifying Relative Dependents 

There are four tests for qualifying relative dependents. If your dependent fails one or more tests to be a qualifying child, he or she may pass the tests for qualifying relative dependents and you can then claim him or her as a dependent for tax exemptions.

What is the Not a qualifying Child test for qualifying dependent relative?

A child is not your qualifying relative if the child is your qualifying child or the qualifying child of anyone else.

Can a child living in Canada or Mexico be a qualifying relative dependent?

A child who lives in Canada or Mexico may be your qualifying relative and you may be able to claim the child as a dependent.

  • If the child does not live with you, the child does not meet the residency test to be your qualifying child.
  • If the persons the child does live with are not US citizens and have no US gross income then they are not "taxpayers", so the child is not the qualifying child of any other taxpayer
  • the child is your qualifying relative if the gross income test and the support test are met.

You cannot claim a dependent child who lives in a foreign country other than Canada or Mexico unless the child is a US citizen, US resident alien or US national for some part of the tax year. There is an exception for certain adopted children who lived with you all year. See Citizen or Resident Test on the How to Claim Tax Exemption for a Dependent? section.

What is the member of household or relationship test for qualifying relative?

To meet this test, a person must either:

  • live with  you all year as a member of your household or
  • be related to you in one of the ways listed under relatives who do not have to live with you

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