All Things Tax

All Things Tax

Like the title says, from the filing process and tax questions to tax policy and reform, you can search and share All Things Tax here. This is the place to find answers to all your general questions that don't fall under the other categories. And just a reminder: questions about software or online filing should be posted in DIY Products.

Posts: 1
Registered: ‎02-03-2018
Accepted Solution

Can I claim my mother as a dependent?

[ Edited ]
My mother is 41, on Aug 1,2012 she fell from a ladder at work and sustained a herniated disk, multiple bulging discs, & chronic pain. She can not work, her Dr will not release her to & she's going through a work comp lawsuit. She has applied for SS disability, but was denied due to her age & lack of soft tissue findings. My mother & I live together, I'm 17, she has a mortgage where we reside. My Mom collects TANF, EBT, & Medicaid for both of us through the state. I'm wondering if I can claim her as a dependent, file as head of household, & claim the interest from the mortgage on my taxes? This is the first year I've filed. Also, I was wondering if H & R Block Zero will charge to do a direct deposit into my joint checking acct? Please help, TIA
Heather D Laubert
Associate (Pioneer)
Posts: 253
Registered: ‎01-08-2018

Re: Can I claim my mother as a dependent?

[ Edited ]

Hello Kloe72213,

Welcome to H&R Block Community.

To answer your questions:

(1) To claim the mortgage interest as a deduction, the tax rules state that the taxpayer must be legally liable for the debt. What that means is that if the mortgage is under the mother's name, then it can only be deducted on the mother's return. Even when you paid for it, it can't be listed as a deduction on your return even when you are qualified to claim the mother as a dependent on your return.

(2) To claim the mother as a dependent on the tax return, you must meet all of the following to claim the mother as a qualifying relative dependent:

a. Support: The taxpayer must provide over 50% of the total support of the qualifying individual.

Note: Since it's mentioned that your mother receives "TANF, EBT, and Medicaid", to determine if you meet the 50% total support rule, in calculating a person’s total support, the tax-exempt income, savings, and borrowed funds used to support that person are included in the calculation. Tax-exempt income includes social security benefits, welfare benefits, nontaxable life insurance proceeds, Armed Forces family allotments, nontaxable pensions, and tax-exempt interest. Therefore, if the total support that you provide to the mother is over 50% of the support that the mother receives from TANF, EBT, and Medicaid, then you meet this part of the tax rules in claiming the mother as a qualifying relative dependent on the return.

b. Gross income:  A qualifying individual's gross income must be less than the personal exemption amount for the tax year. For 2017, that is $4050.

Note: To determine the gross income for the person, any amount that is not included in gross income, such as the nontaxable portion of social security benefits, welfare benefits, such as TANF, EBT, and any nontaxable item, such as Medicaid, are not counted in determining if the person's gross income is above $4,050 for 2017.

c. Citizenship: A qualifying individual must be a U.S. citizen, resident alien, or U.S. national, or a resident of Canada or Mexico.

d. Joint return: A married dependent must not file a joint tax return unless the return is filed only to claim a full refund of tax withheld and/or estimated tax and neither spouse would have a tax liability if separate returns were filed.

e. Member of household or relationship: The individual must either:
  i. Live in the taxpayer's household the entire year, or
  ii. Be related to the taxpayer in one of the following ways:

  • The taxpayer's child (includes biological and adopted children, plus descendants of either), foster child, stepchild, sibling, step-sibling, or half sibling.
  • The taxpayer's parent, grandparent, father- or mother-in-law, stepparent (but not foster parent), aunt or uncle, niece or nephew, brother- or sister-in-law, or son- or daughter-in-law.

If you meet all of the above conditions for the qualifying relative dependent rule, then you can claim the mother as a dependent on your return.

(3) In regards to whether H&R Block More Zero (Free Edition) will charge for a direct deposit to the joint checking account, you would need to contact Product Support in one of the following ways:
- For telephone support, call 1 (855) 897-8639
- For support via our online chat system, follow the steps in this link:
  • If using the online product, be sure to select the Get Program Help option
  • If using the downloadable software, be sure to select Chat Now under Need Program Help?

If you have any other questions, I'll be glad to help.

Tax Research Specialist