In general, you may claim a dependency exemption for each qualifying child or qualifying relative when you either efile your taxes or file them through traditional means. If you are the dependent of another taxpayer, you cannot claim any other person as a dependent.
The qualifying child or relative must be a citizen, resident alien or national of the United States, or a resident of Canada or Mexico. An exception may apply for an adopted child that is not a citizen, national or resident alien.
The qualifying child or relative must not file a joint tax return, unless all the following are true:
- The sole purpose of filing the joint return is to claim a refund.
- No return needs to be filed except to claim a refund.
- The return has no tax liability.
The qualifying child or relative must have a valid identifying number. This number can be any of the following: