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How old does a child have to be for you to file them on your taxes?

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Asked by RiyahsMommy08 at 9:03 PM on Nov. 27, 2009 in Money & Work

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Answers (7)
  • The child has to have lived with you for most of the year of which you are filing your taxes. Pregnancy counts as the child living with you. I got pregnant Feb 08, had my son in November 08, and this past Spring I claimed him as a dependent on my 2008 taxes and we were given a Child Tax Credit.

    Answer by sweetmoonem at 9:06 PM on Nov. 27, 2009

  • The baby has to be born within the year your claiming!

    Answer by ali_1107 at 9:11 PM on Nov. 27, 2009

  • Pregnancy does not count -- the child has to have been born during the year for which you're filing or previously. For example: if your baby is born next month, you can claim him when you file in April; if your baby isn't born until January, you can't claim him until the following year. Aside from that, the child has to live with you for a majority of the year (if he's less than 6 months old but has lived with you his entire life, it still counts). There are no age restrictions. You can claim a child born December 31, 2009 on 2009's taxes, same as you could a child born on January 1 of the same year.

    Answer by DragonRiderMD at 9:17 PM on Nov. 27, 2009

  • Oh, I should add that you do have to have a social security number for the child in order to claim him, but since that takes 6-8 weeks at most, and you have until April 15 to file, that shouldn't be an issue even if he is born on December 31.

    Answer by DragonRiderMD at 9:18 PM on Nov. 27, 2009

  • Born, lucky us DS birthday is Dec 29th, LOL!

    Answer by kimigogo at 9:22 PM on Nov. 27, 2009

  • dragonrider, I think you are confused. Take another look at your federal tax booklets.

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:39 PM on Nov. 29, 2009

  • OP: This is copied directly from the IRS website. Go there, type in "eligible child tax credit", then click on "qualifying child" and this comes up:

    Exceptions to time lived with you. A child is considered to have lived with you for all of 2008 if the child was born or died in 2008 and your home was this child's home for the entire time he or she was alive. Temporary absences by you or the child for special circumstances, such as school, vacation, business, medical care, military service, or detention in a juvenile facility, count as time the child lived with you.


    Answer by sweetmoonem at 8:07 PM on Nov. 29, 2009

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