Paying more than half of your parent’s household expenses means you are eligible to claim your parent as a dependent. Claiming a dependent will no longer give you an exemption, but it can still provide tax breaks.
Unlike children, parents don’t have to live with you at least half of the year to be claimed as dependents – they can qualify no matter where they live. As long as you pay more than half their household expenses, your parent can live at another house, nursing home, or senior living facility. (Be sure to check out the Child and Dependent Care credit.)
Several people can contribute to a parent’s household expenses, which happens frequently when several adult children pitch in—but it may be unclear who gets to claim the dependent parent. After all, many times no one person contributed at least 50% of support.
If that’s the case for you, each person who pays more than 10% to help your parent should fill out a Form 2120 and give it to the one who will claim your parent. The form allows each person to release their claim to one party, and you can even take turns in different tax years.
When you’re doing your taxes with Tax Office & Associates™ and claiming a parent as a dependent, we will add Form 2120 for each person releasing a claim to the parent.
Is your filing status single or married filing separately? Are you paying more than half of your parent’s household expenses? If the answer is yes to both questions, you may be able to file as head of household. That gives you a higher standard deduction, which is a good thing.
However, if you pay less than half of the expenses, or you contribute less than 10% of the total yearly expense and claim your parent as a dependent, you’re not eligible to file as head of household.
Regardless of how you claim your parent, Tax Office & Associates™ keeps the process simple with our tax-filing walkthrough. Call now to get started!