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Instructions for Form 1040-A
taxmap/instr/i1040a-012.htm#TXMP7e99e27e

Line 6c—Dependents(p15)

rule
taxmap/instr/i1040a-012.htm#TXMP326827f1

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 six dependents, include a statement showing the information required in columns (1) through (4).
taxmap/instr/i1040a-012.htm#TXMP474a6cec

 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 2011 and younger than you (or your spouse, if filing jointly)
or
Under age 24 at the end of 2011, a student (defined later), and younger than you (or your spouse, if filing jointly)
or
Any age and permanently and totally disabled (defined later)
and
Who did not provide over half of his or her own support for 2011 (see Pub. 501)
and
Who is not filing a joint return for 2011 or is filing a joint return for 2011 only as a claim for refund (defined later)
and
Who lived with you for more than half of 2011. If the child did not live with you for the required time, see Exception to time lived with you, later.
caution If the child meets the conditions to be a qualifying child of any other person (other than your spouse if filing jointly) for 2011, see Qualifying child of more than one person, later.
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.
taxmap/instr/i1040a-012.htm#TXMP451f6e61

 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, later.)
Yes.  Continue...
No. Stop.  You cannot claim this child as a dependent. Go to Form 1040A, line 7.
2.  Was the child married?
Yes.  See Married person, later.
No.  Continue...
3.  Could you, or your spouse if filing jointly, be claimed as a dependent on someone else's 2011 tax return? See Steps 1, 2, and 4.
Yes.  You cannot claim any dependents. Go to Form 1040A, line 7.
No.  You can claim this child as a dependent. Complete Form 1040A, line 6c, columns (1) through (3) for this child. Then, go to  Step 3.
taxmap/instr/i1040a-012.htm#TXMP0a75486f

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

1.  Was the child under age 17 at the end of 2011?
Yes.  Continue...
No. Stop.  This child is not a qualifying child for the child tax credit. Go to Form 1040A, 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, later.)
Yes.  This child is a qualifying child for the child tax credit. Check the box on Form 1040A, line 6c, column (4).
No. Stop.  This child is not a qualifying child for the child tax credit. Go to Form 1040A, line 7.
taxmap/instr/i1040a-012.htm#TXMP3eb9766d

 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, later.
and
who was not...
A qualifying child (see Step 1) of any taxpayer for 2011. 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 $3,700 in 2011. If the person was permanently and totally disabled, see Exception to gross income test, later.
and
For whom you provided...
Over half of his or her support in 2011. But see Children of divorced or separated parents, Multiple support agreements, and Kidnapped child, later.
1.  Does any person meet the conditions to be your qualifying relative?
Yes.  Continue...
No. Stop.  Go to Form 1040A, 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, later.)
Yes.  Continue...
No. Stop.  You cannot claim this person as a dependent. Go to Form 1040A, line 7.
3.  Was your qualifying relative married?
Yes.  See Married person, later.
No.  Continue...
4.  Could you, or your spouse if filing jointly, be claimed as a dependent on someone else's 2011 tax return? See Steps 1, 2, and 4.
Yes. Stop.  You cannot claim any dependents. Go to Form 1040A, line 7.
No.  You can claim this person as a dependent. Complete Form 1040A, line 6c, columns (1) through (3). Do not check the box on Form 1040A, line 6c, column (4).
taxmap/instr/i1040a-012.htm#TXMP41f182ed

Definitions and Special Rules(p16)

rule
taxmap/instr/i1040a-012.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/i1040a-012.htm#TXMP2648cefe
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 dependant is not a U.S. citizen or resident alien, apply for an ITIN instead, using Form W-7. See Social Security Number (SSN), earlier.)
taxmap/instr/i1040a-012.htm#TXMP02762f22
Children of divorced or separated parents.(p16)
rule
A child will be treated as being the qualifying child or qualifying relative of his or her noncustodial parent (defined later) 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 2011 (whether or not they are or were married).
  2. The child received over half of his or her support for 2011 from the parents (and the rules on Multiple support agreements 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 2011.
  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 2011, 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 attach 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, later.
    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 2011.
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 33 and 42). 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, or the earned income credit. See Pub. 501 for details.
taxmap/instr/i1040a-012.htm#TXMP4935f878
Custodial and noncustodial parents.(p17)
The custodial parent is the parent with whom the child lived for the greater number of nights in 2011. 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/i1040a-012.htm#TXMP0d09a771
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/i1040a-012.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/i1040a-012.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/i1040a-012.htm#TXMP18061f78
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 earned income credit or any other similar refundable credit is claimed on it.
taxmap/instr/i1040a-012.htm#TXMP512bca7d
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 requirement to be a U.S. citizen (Step 2, question 1; Step 3, question 2; and Step 4, question 2).
taxmap/instr/i1040a-012.htm#TXMP7cc74f71
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 later), certain income for services performed at a sheltered workshop may be excluded for this test. For details, see Pub. 501.
taxmap/instr/i1040a-012.htm#TXMP6ec6bd75
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, earlier, or Kidnapped child, below.
A person is considered to have lived with you for all of 2011 if the person was born or died in 2011 and your home was this person's home for the entire time he or she was alive in 2011.
taxmap/instr/i1040a-012.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/i1040a-012.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/i1040a-012.htm#TXMP5684567b
Married person.(p17)
rule
If the person is married and files a joint return, you cannot claim that person as your dependent. Go to Form 1040A, line 7. However, if the person is married but does not file a joint return or files a joint return only as a claim for refund (defined earlier) and no tax liability would exist for either spouse if they filed separate returns, you may be able to claim him or her as a dependent. Go to Step 2, question 3 (for a qualifying child) or Step 4, question 4 (for a qualifying relative).
taxmap/instr/i1040a-012.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/i1040a-012.htm#TXMP1efad3dc
Permanently and totally disabled.(p17)
rule
A person is permanently and totally disabled if, at any time in 2011, 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/i1040a-012.htm#TXMP54948d83
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, described earlier, applies.
  1. Dependency exemption (line 6c).
  2. Child tax credits (lines 33 and 39).
  3. Head of household filing status (line 4).
  4. Credit for child and dependent care expenses (line 29).
  5. Exclusion for dependent care benefits (Form 2441, Part III).
  6. Earned income credit (lines 38a and 38b).
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.
taxmap/instr/i1040a-012.htm#TXMP410dfce4
Example.(p18)
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, including 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 earlier for which you otherwise qualify. Your mother cannot claim any of those six tax benefits unless she has a different qualifying child. However, if your mother's AGI is higher than yours and the other parent's 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. Otherwise, stop; you cannot claim any benefits based on this child. Go to Form 1040A, line 7.
taxmap/instr/i1040a-012.htm#TXMP74feeb7e
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, or you need to get an SSN for your dependent, contact the Social Security Administration. See Social Security Number (SSN), earlier. If your dependent will not have a number by the date your return is due, see What If You Cannot File on Time?, earlier.
If your dependent child was born and died in 2011 and you do not have an SSN for the child, enter Died in column (2) and attach a copy of the child's birth certificate, death certificate, or hospital records. The document must show the child was born alive.
taxmap/instr/i1040a-012.htm#TXMP5f235983
Student.(p18)
rule
A student is a child who during any part of 5 calendar months of 2011 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.