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Instructions for Form 1040
taxmap/instr/i1040gi-008.htm#TXMP6dc8f3ed

Line 6c—Dependents(p15)

rule
taxmap/instr/i1040gi-008.htm#TXMP7a95bb25

Dependents and Qualifying Child for Child Tax Credit(p15)

rule
Follow the steps below to find out if a person qualifies as your dependent, qualifies you to take the child tax credit, or both. If you have more than four dependents, check the box to the left of line 6c and include a statement showing the information required in columns (1) through (4).
taxmap/instr/i1040gi-008.htm#TXMP1404fc56

 Step 1   Do You Have a Qualifying Child?

A qualifying child is a child who is your...
Son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, half brother, half sister, or a descendant of any of them (for example, your grandchild, niece, or nephew)
and
was ...
Under age 19 at the end of 2010 and younger than you
(or your spouse, if filing jointly)
or
Under age 24 at the end of 2010, a student (see page 18), and younger than you (or your spouse, if filing jointly)
or
Any age and permanently and totally disabled (see page 17)
and
Who did not provide over half of his or her own support for 2010 (see Pub. 501)
and
Who is not filing a joint return for 2010
or is filing a joint return for 2010 only as a claim for refund (defined on page 17)
and
Who lived with you for more than half of 2010. If the child did not live with you for the required time, see Exception to time lived with you on page 17.
caution If the child meets the conditions to be a qualifying child of any other person (other than your spouse if filing jointly) for 2010, see Qualifying child of more than one person on page 17.
1.  Do you have a child who meets the conditions to be your qualifying child?
Yes.  Go to Step 2.
No.  Go to Step 4 on page 16.
taxmap/instr/i1040gi-008.htm#TXMP13ec6e92

 Step 2   Is Your Qualifying Child Your 
Dependent?

1.  Was the child a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, U.S. resident alien, or a resident of Canada or Mexico? (See Pub. 519 for the definition of a U.S. national or U.S. resident alien. If the child was adopted, see Exception to citizen test on page 17.)
Yes.  Continue...
No. Stop.  You cannot claim this child as a dependent. Go to Form 1040, line 7.
2.  Was the child married?
Yes.   See Married person on page 17.
No.  Continue...
3.  Could you, or your spouse if filing jointly, be claimed as a dependent on someone else's 2010 tax return? See Steps 1, 2, and 4.
Yes.  You cannot claim any dependents. Go to Form 1040, line 7.
No.  You can claim this child as a dependent. Complete Form 1040, line 6c, columns (1) through (3) for this child. Then, go to Step 3.
taxmap/instr/i1040gi-008.htm#TXMP485db1cc

 Step 3   Does Your Qualifying Child 
Qualify You for the Child Tax Credit?

1.  Was the child under age 17 at the end of 2010?
Yes.  Continue...
No. Stop.  This child is not a qualifying child for the child tax credit. Go to Form 1040, line 7.
2.  Was the child a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or U.S. resident alien? (See Pub. 519 for the definition of a U.S. national or U.S. resident alien. If the child was adopted, see Exception to citizen test on page 17.)
Yes.  This child is a qualifying child for the child tax credit. Check the box on Form 1040, line 6c, column (4).
No. Stop.  This child is not a qualifying child for the child tax credit. Go to Form 1040, line 7.
taxmap/instr/i1040gi-008.htm#TXMP584d428e

 Step 4   Is Your Qualifying Relative Your Dependent?

A qualifying relative is a person who is your...
Son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, or a descendant of any of them (for example, your grandchild)
or
Brother, sister, half brother, half sister, or a son or daughter of any of them (for example, your niece or nephew)
or
Father, mother, or an ancestor or sibling of either of them (for example, your grandmother, grandfather, aunt, or uncle)
or
Stepbrother, stepsister, stepfather, stepmother, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, or sister-in-law
or
Any other person (other than your spouse) who lived with you all year as a member of your household if your relationship did not violate local law. If the person did not live with you for the required time, see Exception to time lived with you on page 17
and
Who was not a qualifying child (see Step 1) of any taxpayer for 2010. For this purpose, a person is not a taxpayer if he or she is not required to file a U.S. income tax return and either does not file such a return or files only to get a refund of withheld income tax or estimated tax paid
and
Who had gross income of less than $3,650 in 2010. If the person was permanently and totally disabled, see Exception to gross income test on page 17
and
For whom you provided over half of his or her support in 2010. But see the special rule for Children of divorced or separated parents that begins on this page, Multiple support agreements on page 17, and Kidnapped child on page 17.
 
1.  Does any person meet the conditions to be your qualifying relative?
Yes.  Continue...
No. Stop.  Go to Form 1040, line 7.
2.  Was your qualifying relative a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, U.S. resident alien, or a resident of Canada or Mexico? (See Pub. 519 for the definition of a U.S. national or U.S. resident alien. If your qualifying relative was adopted, see Exception to citizen test on page 17.)
Yes.  Continue...
No. Stop.  You cannot claim this person as a dependent. Go to Form 1040, line 7.
3.  Was your qualifying relative married?
Yes.  See Married person on page 17.
No.  Continue...
4.  Could you, or your spouse if filing jointly, be claimed as a dependent on someone else's 2010 tax return? See Steps 1, 2, and 4.
Yes. Stop.  You cannot claim any dependents. Go to Form 1040, line 7.
No.  You can claim this person as a dependent. Complete Form 1040, line 6c, columns (1) through (3). Do not check the box on Form 1040, line 6c, column (4).
taxmap/instr/i1040gi-008.htm#TXMP52ad2c26

Definitions and Special Rules(p16)

rule
taxmap/instr/i1040gi-008.htm#TXMP63f9e58c
Adopted child.(p16)
rule
An adopted child is always treated as your own child. An adopted child includes a child lawfully placed with you for legal adoption.
taxmap/instr/i1040gi-008.htm#TXMP18bf5e23
Adoption taxpayer identification numbers (ATINs).(p16)
rule
If you have a dependent who was placed with you for legal adoption and you do not know his or her SSN, you must get an ATIN for the dependent from the IRS. See Form W-7A for details. If the dependent is not a U.S. citizen or resident alien, apply for an ITIN instead, using Form W-7. See page 12.
taxmap/instr/i1040gi-008.htm#TXMP555c6c2f
Children of divorced or separated parents.(p16)
rule
A child will be treated as the qualifying child or qualifying relative of his or her noncustodial parent (defined on page 17) if all of the following conditions apply.
  1. The parents are divorced, legally separated, separated under a written separation agreement, or lived apart at all times during the last 6 months of 2010 (whether or not they are or were married).
  2. The child received over half of his or her support for 2010 from the parents (and the rules on Multiple support agreements on page 17 do not apply). Support of a child received from a parent's spouse is treated as provided by the parent.
  3. The child is in custody of one or both of the parents for more than half of 2010.
  4. Either of the following applies.
    1. The custodial parent signs Form 8332 or a substantially similar statement that he or she will not claim the child as a dependent for 2010, and the noncustodial parent includes a copy of the form or statement with his or her return. If the divorce decree or separation agreement went into effect after 1984 and before 2009, the noncustodial parent may be able to include certain pages from the decree or agreement instead of Form 8332. See Post-1984 and pre-2009 decree or agreement and Post-2008 decree or agreement on page 17.
    2. A pre-1985 decree of divorce or separate maintenance or written separation agreement between the parents provides that the noncustodial parent can claim the child as a dependent, and the noncustodial parent provides at least $600 for support of the child during 2010.
If conditions (1) through (4) apply, only the noncustodial parent can claim the child for purposes of the dependency exemption (line 6c) and the child tax credits (lines 51 and 65). However, this special rule does not apply to head of household filing status, the credit for child and dependent care expenses, the exclusion for dependent care benefits, the earned income credit, or the health coverage tax credit. See Pub. 501 for details.
taxmap/instr/i1040gi-008.htm#TXMP273cb70a
Custodial and noncustodial parents.(p17)
The custodial parent is the parent with whom the child lived for the greater number of nights in 2010. The noncustodial parent is the other parent. If the child was with each parent for an equal number of nights, the custodial parent is the parent with the higher adjusted gross income. See Pub. 501 for an exception for a parent who works at night, rules for a child who is emancipated under state law, and other details.
taxmap/instr/i1040gi-008.htm#TXMP23f714c6
Post-1984 and pre-2009 decree or agreement.(p17)
The decree or agreement must state all three of the following.
  1. The noncustodial parent can claim the child as a dependent without regard to any condition, such as payment of support.
  2. The other parent will not claim the child as a dependent.
  3. The years for which the claim is released.
The noncustodial parent must include all of the following pages from the decree or agreement.
caution
You must include the required information even if you filed it with your return in an earlier year.
taxmap/instr/i1040gi-008.htm#TXMP18275110
Post-2008 decree or agreement.(p17)
If the divorce decree or separation agreement went into effect after 2008, the noncustodial parent cannot include pages from the decree or agreement instead of Form 8332. The custodial parent must sign either Form 8332 or a substantially similar statement the only purpose of which is to release the custodial parent's claim to an exemption for a child, and the noncustodial parent must include a copy with his or her return. The form or statement must release the custodial parent's claim to the child without any conditions. For example, the release must not depend on the noncustodial parent paying support.
taxmap/instr/i1040gi-008.htm#TXMP13bc7651
Release of exemption revoked.(p17)
A custodial parent who has revoked his or her previous release of a claim to exemption for a child must include a copy of the revocation with his or her return. For details, see Form 8332.
taxmap/instr/i1040gi-008.htm#TXMP2a4be3ef
Claim for refund.(p17)
rule
A claim for refund is a return filed only to get a refund of withheld income tax or estimated tax paid. A return is not a claim for refund if the making work pay credit, earned income credit, or any other similar refundable credit is claimed on it.
taxmap/instr/i1040gi-008.htm#TXMP7bc29994
Exception to citizen test.(p17)
rule
If you are a U.S. citizen or U.S. national and your adopted child lived with you all year as a member of your household, that child meets the citizen test.
taxmap/instr/i1040gi-008.htm#TXMP6c8a127f
Exception to gross income test.(p17)
rule
If your relative (including a person who lived with you all year as a member of your household) is permanently and totally disabled (defined on this page), certain income for services performed at a sheltered workshop may be excluded for this test. For details, see Pub. 501.
taxmap/instr/i1040gi-008.htm#TXMP162e4244
Exception to time lived with you.(p17)
rule
Temporary absences by you or the other person for special circumstances, such as school, vacation, business, medical care, military service, or detention in a juvenile facility, count as time the person lived with you. Also see Children of divorced or separated parents that begins on page 16 or Kidnapped child on this page.
A person is considered to have lived with you for all of 2010 if the person was born or died in 2010 and your home was this person's home for the entire time he or she was alive in 2010.
taxmap/instr/i1040gi-008.htm#TXMP52e2041f
Foster child.(p17)
rule
A foster child is any child placed with you by an authorized placement agency or by judgment, decree, or other order of any court of competent jurisdiction.
taxmap/instr/i1040gi-008.htm#TXMP480774dd
Kidnapped child.(p17)
rule
If your child is presumed by law enforcement authorities to have been kidnapped by someone who is not a family member, you may be able to take the child into account in determining your eligibility for head of household or qualifying widow(er) filing status, the dependency exemption, the child tax credit, and the earned income credit (EIC). For details, see Pub. 501 (Pub. 596 for the EIC).
taxmap/instr/i1040gi-008.htm#TXMP56e6c746
Married person.(p17)
rule
If the person is married, you cannot claim that person as your dependent if he or she files a joint return. But this rule does not apply if the return is filed only as a claim for refund (defined on this page) and no tax liability would exist for either spouse if they had filed separate returns. If the person meets this exception, go to Step 2, question 3, on page 15 (for a qualifying child) or Step 4, question 4, on page 16 (for a qualifying relative). If the person does not meet this exception, you cannot claim this person as a dependent. Go to Form 1040, line 7.
taxmap/instr/i1040gi-008.htm#TXMP6171bc74
Multiple support agreements.(p17)
rule
If no one person contributed over half of the support of your relative (or a person who lived with you all year as a member of your household) but you and another person(s) provided more than half of your relative's support, special rules may apply that would treat you as having provided over half of the support. For details, see Pub. 501.
taxmap/instr/i1040gi-008.htm#TXMP20e86ce2
Permanently and totally disabled.(p17)
rule
A person is permanently and totally disabled if, at any time in 2010, the person cannot engage in any substantial gainful activity because of a physical or mental condition and a doctor has determined that this condition has lasted or can be expected to last continuously for at least a year or can be expected to lead to death.
taxmap/instr/i1040gi-008.htm#TXMP6064d5b3
Qualifying child of more than one person.(p17)
rule
Even if a child meets the conditions to be the qualifying child of more than one person, only one person can claim the child as a qualifying child for all of the following tax benefits, unless the special rule for Children of divorced or separated parents beginning on page 16 applies.
  1. Dependency exemption (line 6c).
  2. Child tax credits (lines 51 and 65).
  3. Head of household filing status (line 4).
  4. Credit for child and dependent care expenses (line 48).
  5. Exclusion for dependent care benefits (Form 2441, Part III).
  6. Earned income credit (lines 64a and 64b).
No other person can take any of the six tax benefits listed above unless he or she has a different qualifying child. If you and any other person can claim the child as a qualifying child, the following rules apply.

Example.(p17)

Your daughter meets the conditions to be a qualifying child for both you and your mother. Your daughter does not meet the conditions to be a qualifying child of any other person, includ ing her other parent. Under the rules just described, you can claim your daughter as a qualifying child for all of the six tax benefits listed on page 17 for which you otherwise qualify. Your mother cannot claim any of the six tax benefits listed on page 17 unless she has a different qualifying child. However, if your mother's AGI is higher than yours and you do not claim your daughter as a qualifying child, your daughter is the qualifying child of your mother.
For more details and examples, see Pub. 501.
If you will be claiming the child as a qualifying child, go to Step 2 on page 15. Otherwise, stop; you cannot claim any benefits based on this child. Go to Form 1040, line 7.
taxmap/instr/i1040gi-008.htm#TXMP4a937d4e
Social security number.(p18)
rule
You must enter each dependent's social security number (SSN). Be sure the name and SSN entered agree with the dependent's social security card. Otherwise, at the time we process your return, we may disallow the exemption claimed for the dependent and reduce or disallow any other tax benefits (such as the child tax credit) based on that dependent. If the name or SSN on the dependent's social security card is not correct, call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213. For details on how your dependent can get an SSN, see page 12. If your dependent will not have a number by the date your return is due, see What if You Cannot File on Time? on page 7.
If your dependent child was born and died in 2010 and you do not have an SSN for the child, enter Died in column (2) and include a copy of the child's birth certificate, death certificate, or hospital records. The document must show the child was born alive.
taxmap/instr/i1040gi-008.htm#TXMP09dbf109
Student.(p18)
rule
A student is a child who during any part of 5 calendar months of 2010 was enrolled as a full-time student at a school, or took a full-time, on-farm training course given by a school or a state, county, or local government agency. A school includes a technical, trade, or mechanical school. It does not include an on-the-job training course, correspondence school, or school offering courses only through the Internet.