Per IRS Publication 501 Dependents, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information, p. 10:
The term "dependent" means:
- A qualifying child, or
- A qualifying relative
Tests to be a qualifying relative:
- The person can't be your qualifying child or the qualifying child of any other taxpayer.
- The person either (a) must be related to you in one of the ways listed under Relatives who do not have to live with you (see Pub. 501), or (b) must live with you all year as a member of your household (and your relationship must not violate local law).
- The person's gross income for the year must be less than $4,200.
- You must provide more than half of the person's total support for the year.
See Pub 501 for exceptions to the qualifying relative tests.
For more information on qualifying children, see Rules for Claiming. For instructions on how to enter dependent information in TaxAct, see Add Dependents in Program.