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What qualifies as support for a dependent?

For the purpose of determining if someone is your dependent, total support includes the amounts spent to provide food, lodging, clothing, education, medical and dental care, recreation, transportation, and similar necessities. Expenses not particular to any one individual must be divided between all the members of the household.

Note that welfare, food stamps, and housing provided by the state are still considered support provided by the state.

Not included in total support are federal, state, and local taxes, social security and Medicare taxes, life insurance premiums, funeral expenses, scholarships, Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance payments.

Remember that in order for someone to be considered your qualifying child, the person in question must not have provided more than half of his or her own support for the year and in order for someone to be considered your qualifying relative, you must have provided more than half of that person’s total support for the year.