Claiming a parent as a dependent

Jasmine Phu

August 25, 2010

Across the country, a large number of baby boomers are now taking care of their elderly parents. In many cases, older adults have moved back in with their children and are now being fully cared for – bills, health, and other responsibilities are undertaken by the child.

Recently, Craig Reaves, an elder law attorney, wrote for The New York Times about claiming a parent as a dependent.

He states that there are a series of steps involved with claiming a parent as a dependent. First, you have to prove that your parent is related to you and is a citizen of the United States, Mexico or Canada.

Reaves also claims that the a parent’s gross taxable income can’t be over the personal exemption limit, which is $3,650 this year.

Lastly, the child must be providing half of the total support to a parent – including groceries, medical expenses and rent.

Boomers who have parents living with them may want to consider installing an elderly alert system in their home, which will enable seniors to contact you if they are alone at the house. This can ease a concerned child’s mind while at work or running errands.