Claiming your child as a dependent

“Kids. Exactly when do they stop being your dependent?” – mother of a 20 year old still living at home

In this economy, many young people continue to live at home while in university, or receive financial assistance from their parents past age 18. Sadly, for tax purposes, after the end of the year they turn 18, they can no longer be claimed as a dependent on your taxes unless they are disabled or infirm.

In short:

Turning 18- In the year your child turns 18, (unless they are disabled or infirm ) they are a dependent until Dec. 31 of that year. On Jan. 1, as far as CRA is concerned, they are on their own.

Disabled or infirm-If your child is older than 18 and needs ongoing support for medical reasons, you will need to provide a letter from a doctor in order to claim your child as a dependent.

Young earners (under 18)- A single parent who claims the amount for an eligible dependent must deduct the child’s income from the amount that can be claimed.

Attending University – Over 18 years, you can not claim your child as a dependent, but you can claim up to $5000 in tuition credits. See my post on tuition credits for more information.



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