Grandparent Claiming Grandchild on Taxes? Here’s What You Need to Know

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Navigating the complexities of claiming your grandchild on your taxes as a grandparent can be challenging. This comprehensive guide will demystify the process, providing you with the necessary knowledge, practical tips, and advice to make an informed decision.”

Requirements for Claiming a Grandchild


The first requirement is establishing a qualifying relationship with the child. This means the child must be your biological, adopted, or step-grandchild. For instance, consider the case of Mr. and Mrs. Smith, who have been taking care of their adopted grandchild, Timmy, for the past year. They are eligible to claim Timmy as a dependent because they have a qualifying relationship.”

Residency and Support

The child must live with you for more than half of the year and rely on you for at least half of their support during that time. For example, if your grandchild lived with you for seven months of the year and you provided more than half of their financial support during that time, you meet this requirement.”

Age Limitations

The child cannot provide more than half of their own financial support and must also meet age criteria. The IRS considers children under 19 years old (or up to 24 years old if they are full-time students) eligible dependents. For instance, if your grandchild, Jenny, is 18 years old and still in high school, you can claim her as a dependent.”

Tax Benefits for Claiming a Dependent

Tax Exemption

Claiming your grandchild as a dependent can reduce your taxable income. For example, in 2023, for each dependent, you can deduct $4,300 from your taxable income. This means if you’re in the 22% tax bracket, you could save up to $946 in taxes.”

Child Tax Credit

Eligible taxpayers who claim an eligible grandchild may qualify for the Child Tax Credit. This credit is worth up to $3,600 for each qualifying child under 6 and $3,000 for each child aged 6 to 17. For example, if you’re raising two grandchildren aged 4 and 7, you could receive up to $6,600 in Child Tax Credit.”

Earned Income Credit

If grandparents earned less than a certain amount in 2023 and meet other eligibility criteria, they could qualify for the Earned Income Credit. This credit can be worth up to $6,728 if you have three or more qualifying children. For example, if you’re a grandparent raising three grandchildren and your income is below the threshold, you could qualify for this substantial credit.”

Special Considerations

It’s crucial to note that if both parents of the child file separate tax returns claiming dependency exemptions, such claims will trigger an error from the IRS. This can lead the IRS to more closely scrutinize both returns, so it’s a good idea for grandparents to discuss their intention of claiming dependents with the child’s parents beforehand.”