Tax Benefits for Parents: Can You Claim Your 17-Year-Old Child?

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If you are a parent of a 17-year-old child or will be soon, then the question of whether you can claim tax benefits related to your child on your taxes is probably top of mind. While there are some restrictions, it is possible to claim certain deductions and credits for children who are under the age of 19 at the end of the year. Here’s what you need to know.

Tax Benefits for Parents: Can You Claim Your 17-Year-Old Child?Tax Benefits for Parents: Can You Claim Your 17-Year-Old Child?


Parents with children under the age of 19 may be eligible for specific tax breaks that can help reduce their taxable income, including child tax credit and earned income credit. However, once a child turns 19 years old, these benefits become unavailable unless they qualify as a full-time student.

Who Qualifies?

To claim these benefits, parents must satisfy several requirements:
– The child must be under the age of 19 (or up to age 24 if they are a full-time student).
– The parent(s) must provide over half of their financial support.
– The child cannot file a joint return with anyone else.
– The child must have lived with one or both parents for more than half the year.

What Are Your Options?

There are two primary ways in which parents can claim tax breaks related to their children:

Child Tax Credit

This is a non-refundable credit that provides qualifying taxpayers up to $2,000 per eligible dependent (including children) under age 17. To qualify for this credit:
– The dependent(s) must meet all qualifications mentioned above.
– Eligible taxpayers’ AGI should not exceed $400K(MFJ), $200K(single). Once AGI exceeds those thresholds,the amount available will phase out gradually.

Earned Income Credit

This benefit applies specifically to low-income working families and individuals but also depends on several factors:
-The taxpayer(s) must have an earned income.
-The qualifying child should be either under the age of 19 or a full-time student.
– The taxpayer(s) must live with the qualifying child for more than half of the year.
– Earned Income Credit does not phase out gradually, but instead, it is subject to maximum income limits.


As you can see, claiming tax breaks related to your children can provide substantial benefits and savings on your annual taxes. However, there are specific requirements that need to be met in terms of both age and financial support provided by parents. Understanding these qualifications will help ensure accurate reporting and maximize returns while avoiding potential penalties in case of mistakes.

For more information regarding tax benefits for parents with children under 19 years old(also include other deductions/credits available), look into IRS Publication 972.


Q: Can I claim my 17-year-old as a dependent?
A: Yes, you can generally claim your 17-year-old child as a dependent on your tax return if they meet certain criteria. The child must be under the age of 19 or under the age of 24 and a full-time student for at least five months during the year.

Q: What tax benefits can I get by claiming my 17-year-old?
A: By claiming your 17-year-old as a dependent, you may be able to receive various tax benefits such as the Child Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Head of Household filing status, and possible deductions such as childcare expenses.

Q: Can my 17-year-old child file their own taxes if I claim them as a dependent?
A: Yes, if you have claimed your 17-year-old child as a dependent on your tax return, they can still file their own taxes in some circumstances. If they have earned income from wages or self-employment exceeding $12,400 in the year provided that they don’t make over half of their support money then it is recommended to file their separate returns so that they would not face any penalties.