Define the dependent you support. In general, the Internal Revenue Service describes a dependent as a qualifying child or relative. Use the requirements set forth by the IRS to establish if the dependent qualifies.
Count your exemptions. The IRS allows you to claim one exemption for each dependent. You can claim anyone you materially support, but you must be able to prove support if challenged. If the person you list as a dependent files an individual tax return, you may still be entitled to claim him as an exemption.
Fill in the number of dependents in the space provided on the form. Enter the number in the drop-down menu if you're filing online or via a tax software CD.
Place the appropriate dollar amount in the child and dependent care box. This is a tax exemption for work-search or lack-of-work due to caring for a child or other dependent. Enter any other child taxes or qualifying credits in the boxes indicated. This includes your children, adopted child, grandchild, stepchild, or foster child under age 17 for the eligible tax year.
Enter any other tax credits you might qualify for, such as caring for an elderly or disabled person.
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